A top-of-Sunburn birthday shoutout to our friend Matt Farrar of Strategic Digital Services. Matt and his partner, Joe Clements, were recently — and deservedly — featured in Florida Trend. As good as things are going for Matt (he and wife, Anna, are expecting their first child), this year’s birthday may be a little tough on him because he lost his beloved grandfather last year on this day. So … if you know Matt, be sure to drop him a line (Matt@StrategicDigitalServices.net) and wish him a happy birthday.

Bloggedy blog blog — “Why can’t Farm Share, one of the genuine good guys, get a win in the budget?” via Peter Schorsch — Farm Share, a nonprofit genuine good-guy organization whose sole mission is to collect food that would otherwise go to waste and get it into the hands of people who need it. Farm Share’s heroic work often takes the form of providing emergency provisions after natural disasters like Hurricanes Michael and Irma and even during the federal government shutdown. Farm Share has established itself as such an important partner with the state of Florida that investing in it seems like a no-brainer. Yet, it sustained a $1 million cut last year, and funding is even lower in this year’s preliminary budgets. Hopefully, budget negotiators will see the light and grow back the state’s investment in a high-impact program like this one.

An investigation of the agency that funnels money to groups that help domestic violence victims. An effort to give judges flexibility to deviate from mandatory minimum sentences for some drug offenses. A proposal to merge the state’s two smallest universities with its largest. These are but three of the dozens of important earth-shattering issues debated during the 2020 Legislation Session.

The Legislative Session is also about the tangential and the trivial, but it’s tangential and trivial, which drives the state capital.



That’s why Florida Politics is excited to announce the return of TallyMadness — an online voting competition to determine who is the “best” lobbyist in Florida.

Just like college basketball fans who fill out their brackets as part of “March Madness,” political aficionados in the capital and beyond can vote on a series of bracketed matchups pitting Florida’s top lobbyists against each other.

But this year, we’re mixing things up. This year we want to crown the top ‘young’ lobbyist in #FlaPol. 

Young is a relative term, so for our purposes, this year’s TallyMadness is limited to those 40 years old and younger. Sorry, Dean Cannon, we see those boyish good looks, but you’re just a few years too old for this year’s competition.

Right now, we are still accepting nominations for who should make the big dance. From there, a select committee will then seed the lobbyists. Voters will select the winner of each matchup, with first-round voting beginning this weekend and lasting through the final days of Session.

If you would like to nominate a lobbyist or would like to serve on the select committee, please email me at Peter@FloridaPolitics.com.

With just three weeks to go before sine die of the 2020 Legislative Session: Good luck to all the legislative staffers who’ll be pulling all-nighters during these final weeks.

— A House committee is raking the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence over the coals, as it holds a public hearing about its spending practices.

— The contentious bill to merge New College and Florida Poly with the University of Florida goes before the House Appropriations Committee. University administrators are circling the wagons to try to protect their schools. We’ll hear from the Governor, the House Speaker and the Senate President on “merger mania.” Florida Polytechnic University President Dr. Randy Avent speaks about the bill, of which he is no fan.

— We’ll hear from Gov. Ron DeSantis on the battle over E-Verify — one of his priorities this year. Sen. Tom Lee, who sponsored the Senate version of the E-Verify bill, said the changes are so bad, the Governor should veto it, but DeSantis says it’s still a work in progress

— And the further adventures of Florida Man, who is offering a $1,000 reward for a certain Florida Woman.

—@RealDonaldTrump: Looks like Crazy Bernie [Sanders] is doing well in the Great State of Nevada. [Joe] Biden & the rest look weak, & no way Mini Mike [Bloomberg] can restart his campaign after the worst debate performance in the history of Presidential Debates. Congratulations Bernie, & don’t let them take it away from you!

—@MarcoRubio: No reason to believe the #coronavirus is “contained” in #China. The numbers they are releasing are fake. Their primary goal isn’t addressing the virus, it’s their global image. We have no idea what the true numbers are, but they are, without a doubt, higher than what they admit to.

—@Gangrey: So many reporters “on the ground” in Nevada. I want to hear from a reporter in a tree or on a trampoline.

—@MattGaetz: The @JoeBiden Nevada speech was pitiful. Democrats, welcome your new Socialist Overlord — @BernieSanders. See ya on the field in the General Election, Bernie.

—@DavidJollyFL: There’s a long way to go in this primary, and I get the varying Dem and pundit opinions re Bernie’s electability, but half the nation just elected a President who openly invited interference from Russia, bragged of sexual assaults, and promised increasing deficits and debt. I’m pretty certain this time around the other half of the nation could come around to supporting a candidate who’s perceived liability is that he’s openly pledging economic policies that raise taxes to expand health care, education and wages. Think about the November contrast

—@FredGuttenburg: .@TomSteyer, you gave this your best shot. It was not enough. While I like you, I like our democracy more. NOW, it is time for you to reevaluate your campaign and exit. You do not have a path, and Bernie must be stopped.

—@MurphyMike: How many times does Elizabeth Warren have to come in 5th before she understands that she is not what D primary voters are looking for?

My guy might not have a billion dollars for ads, but I wouldn’t trade being on his side for anything. Let’s do this @JoeBiden. pic.twitter.com/LvK2LIX7BE

—@MrEvanRoss: Dear @BarackObama, It’s time to speak up. I rallied behind you and knocked on doors when I was a teenager because you gave me something to believe in. We need you to help save our party from impending doom. Time is running out. Don’t let @BernieSanders destroy what you built.

Wrapped up weekend duty at Fort Bragg with Team St. Pete and now DC bound for a busy week fighting for Florida’s veterans. #FLVets #ForwardMarch