"Rocky" Roque De La Fuente is a California businessman who moved to Orlando in March and is running for Florida's U.S. Senate seat. He's also apparently still running for president, as he had been before he filed for the race here.
A late entry in Florida's U.S. Senate race last month is apparently not giving up on his primary ambition: to become president of the United States.
Florida newcomer and Democrat "Rocky" Roque De La Fuente entered the state's U.S. Senate race in late June, after moving to Orlando in March from his home state of California.
And despite landing a spot on the Aug. 30 primary ballot here, he's still working to get on other states' ballots for the November general election as an independent presidential candidate.
According to his most recent FEC report, De La Fuente gave his presidential campaign another $389,500 on June 30, making for a total of $6.4 million that De La Fuente has personally loaned that campaign. Last month, he also continued to spend tens of thousands of dollars on consultant fees, transportation and other bills, spending $362,000 in all in June. …
"As we have anticpated, Zika is now here," CDC Director Tom Frieden said on a call with reporters and scientists. "There may well be more cases that we are not aware of right now because most people infected with Zika do not show symptoms."
The four cases confirmed by the Florida Department of Health on Friday involve three men and one woman who live in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
But the CDC is not encouraging people to steer clear of Wynwood.
"We currently do not see a situation where people should cease travel into the area," Frieden said. "If, however, cases were to continue in the area, even after the mosquito control efforts were undertaken, that would be a very different situation." …
Ironically it was Beruff who was accused of ducking debates earlier in the campaign before Rubio jumped back into the contest. In June when he faced three other lesser known opponents, Beruff skipped a forum where he would have faced them. When pressed days later during an interview on a Sarasota television program about why he didn’t agree to debate them, Beruff said he’d debate when “there’s somebody worth debating. At this point, I don’t think there is any.”
Dawn Abate of Sutart on the convention floor Thursday in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA - Dawn Abate was willing to give Hillary Clinton a chance.
"Hillary has to figure out how she can make us believe she’s going to do any of the things she says she will do," the Florida delegate said Thursday afternoon, hours before Clinton gave her speech.
Abate, 39, of Stuart, is a hardcore Bernie Sanders supporter and had a neon yellow Sanders shirt draped across her shoulders. “It’s been a very emotional week. We’re all in mourning,” she said. “The energy here has been so unfriendly."
But she said she would hear out Clinton, who did acknowledge what Sanders had done and addressed some of his core issues, including campaign finance and income inequality. "You've put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong," Clinton said. "And to all of your supporters here and around the country: I want you to know, I've heard you. Your cause is our cause."
Was Abate moved?
"Hell no," she said Friday by text message. "But I will not let Donald Trump be president either, so sadly, I have to bubble in her name."
Two other political groups are now voicing their opinions on whether Miami Democrat Pam Keith should be included in an Orlando TV station's upcoming primary debate for Florida's U.S. Senate race.
The Boynton Beach-based Democratic African American Women Caucus says, quite bluntly, that Keith shouldn't complain about being excluded, because the fact is she didn't meet the qualifying criteria to participate.
"Put the race card away. It doesn't apply here," caucus president Leslie Wimes said of Keith, in an email statement to the Herald/Times.
Keith has accused WFTV in Orlando of "blatant racism and sexism" for excluding her from its televised primary debate next month between the two leading Democratic candidates, U.S. Reps. Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy. Keith is African American and the only female candidate seeking Florida's U.S. Senate seat this year. Grayson and Murphy are white. …
Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks at a news conference in February at the Hillsborough County Health Department after his decision to declare a state of emergency in five counties affected by the Zika virus.
Four people likely contracted Zika virus from mosquitoes in Miami-Dade County, Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday.
One woman and three men have been infected, and all four live in Miami-Dade or Broward counties. This is believed to be the first time the virus has been spread by mosquitoes within the continental United States.
Under an emergency declaration, Scott already gave the state authority to spend $26.2 million to combat Zika, which has been linked to microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than normal.
“If it becomes clear that more resources are needed, we will not hesitate to allocate them,” he said in a statement Friday.
Additionally, Scott and other state leaders announced plans to double down on efforts in South Florida to fight the virus. Among them, the Florida Department of Health will give $620,000 to OneBlood so the blood bank can start testing donations for Zika. …
It's one snapshot in time: three days in July in Pinellas County. But county figures on the uptick in voter registration suggest how aggressively third-party groups, most aligned with Republicans and Democrats, are signing up new voters in advance of the presidential election. For the first three days of this week, here's the tally on which groups submitted how many voter forms:
Community Voters Project: 397
Florida Democratic Party: 92
Republican Party of Florida: 13
Libertarian Party of Pinellas: 7
League of Women Voters: 5
NAACP St. Petersburg branch: 3
That's 517 voters in less than 72 hours in one county. The Community Voters Project, a nationwide group, is targeting six states, including Florida, in an effort to sign up as many African-American and Latino voters as possible in the 2016 election cycle.
"We're seeing some big numbers," Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark said.
Why is Pinellas important? Here are three reasons:
* Big media: Pinellas and Hillsborough together comprise the state's largest TV market, No. 13 nationally, making its voters a major national target of political advertising. …
Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine questioned Donald Trump's business ethics, saying the Republican presidential candidate swindled customers in a past real estate deal in the Sunshine State.
"Retirees and families in Florida - they believed Donald Trump when he said he'd build them some condos. Thousands of them," Kaine said on the third night of the Democratic National Convention. "They paid their deposits, but the condos, they were never built. He just pocketed their money and walked away. They lost tens of thousands of dollars, all because they believed Donald Trump."
The Florida chapter of the National Organization for Women says it's "outraged" that an Orlando TV station is excluding Democrat Pam Keith from its U.S. Senate primary debate next month.
Keith -- an African American from Miami and the only female candidate in the Senate contest -- wasn't invited to WFTV Channel 9's "one-on-one" debate between U.S. Reps. Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy because she hasn't polled high enough to meet the threshold to participate.
Keith received 10 percent and 11 percent support in the two polls she has been included in; the station said candidates needed to have at least 15 percent support in order to be eligible.
"This discriminating action by the station and other candidates demonstrates the ongoing fight both women and minorities face in our society," Florida NOW said in a statement. "To summarily dismiss Ms. Keith’s candidacy as inconsequential is an insult to all voters, especially women and people of color."
The group endorsed Keith's campaign several months ago.
Earlier this week, Keith also blasted WFTV and her opponents for the decision to exclude her. She decried their decision as "blatant racism and sexism."
A dark-money conservative group with ties to the Koch brothers has launched an ad attacking Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy for a vote supporting the Export-Import Bank.
The ad from American Future Fund began airing this week on certain Florida markets. It urges viewers to call Murphy and tell him to support HR 5715 to "stop supporting corporate welfare" and "stop supporting state sponsors of terror."
Murphy campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen called the ad "just another misleading attack by Republicans to distract from Marco Rubio's record of skipping work and missing many important closed intelligence briefings."
The Washington Post reported the ad buy is worth $1.5 million and is targeting "networks that attract a disproportionate share of Democratic viewers, including MSNBC, while eschewing GOP-heavy networks, such as Fox News Channel."
"Also arousing suspicions are the markets in which the ad is airing — Democratic strongholds like West Palm Beach and Gainesville are seeing the ad, while GOP-heavy areas like Fort Myers and Pensacola are not," The Post reported.
PHILADELPHIA - Donald Trump says he was being "sarcastic" when he asked Russian hackers to get Hillary Clinton's State Department emails.
"Well, that’s bulls---. You’re running for president of the darn United States of America and you can’t be sarcastic," said a fired up Alex Sink, standing on the Democratic convention floor this afternoon.
We were down there to ask how Clinton will get past her image problem.
“I know from personal experience what millions of dollars in negative advertising can do to somebody who is a good person like she is," Sink said. "This week has been a good opportunity to start laying the story for 'Hey wait a minute, she’s a fantastic person, a wonderful leader, well prepared and she’s going to think about ordinary Americans.' She really does care.”
PHILADELPHIA — Florida Democrats gathered in Pennsylvania this week may have been focused on electing Hillary Clinton in 2016, but they also witnessed unmistakable jockeying for Florida governor in 2018.
We are in the invisible primary phase of that open governor's race, where the prospects quietly laying the groundwork and generate buzz among the partisan activists and fundraisers who pay attention long before more sensible people do. As hundreds of Florida delegates to the Democratic convention gathered for daily breakfasts this week in a downtown Marriott, three of the four leading prospects for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination — Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine debuted stump speeches (or at least showed off their speaking skills). The fourth, state Sen Jeremy Ring of Broward County, did not attend, but the early Yahoo executive already is actively courting prospective donors nationally from the high tech world. …
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