American Action Network is spending $50,000 on an ad thanking Sen. Marco Rubio for the immigration bill that includes tens of billions in additional border security spending. The ad will run on Fox News in Florida over the next two weeks, the conservative group said Tuesday.
"It's called the border surge. The toughest border security plan ever passed by Congress," a narrator says. "Seven hundred miles of new fencing. Twenty thousand new border patrol agents. Radar. Night vision. Even drones. Written with border patrol agents and supported by conservative leaders like Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush. This is the tough border security America needs. Call Sen. Rubio. Thank him for keeping his promise and fighting to secure the border."
The ad comes as Rubio has endured significant criticism from the right (and some from the left for pushing for tougher enforcement).
"There's been a lot of misinformation throughout the debate, and we believe it's important Floridians know that this bill helps provide the tough border security America needs," said American Action Network President Brian O. Walsh.
Gov. Scott taking time off
Gov. Rick Scott headed to his hometown of Naples for some down time Tuesday. Aides said Scott planned no public events for the rest of the week, making this a particularly quiet time for a chief executive who usually keeps a hectic work schedule.
But Scott has other things on his mind at the moment. Both of his daughters, Allison Guimard and Jordan Kandah, are pregnant, and both are scheduled to give birth in August.
Both also are expecting boys, which will give "Grandpa" three grandsons along with Auguste, born last year.
After a quiet July 4, Scott plans to hit the road Sunday. He'll head to Pensacola as featured speaker at the annual Escambia County Lincoln Day Dinner celebration at the Crowne Plaza Pensacola Grand Hotel. Tickets are $55 each, and local GOP chairwoman Susan Moore is hoping for a sellout.
Shakeup in Panhandle race
Rep. Matt Gaetz's path to the state Senate is now a lot clearer.
Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City, announced this week that he will not run against Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, for an open state Senate seat in 2016.
Patronis said he wants to spend more time with his family.
"Trying to serve three different causes — my family, my business that pays the bills and the Legislature — was just more than I could really do well in," Patronis said. "I knew, first and foremost, being a good dad and a good husband needs to be my priorities."
The Panhandle seat is solidly Republican, and Patronis' exit makes Gaetz a heavy favorite.
The seat is currently held by Gaetz's father, Senate President Don Gaetz.
Official: Bondi running in 2014
Attorney General Pam Bondi said this week she will seek re-election.
"Officially filed for re-elect this morning — looking forward to continuing working hard and serving the people of Florida!" Bondi tweeted Monday.
Bondi's move was not a surprise, and it remains unclear who might challenge her from the Democratic Party.
Bondi defeated Democrat Dan Gelber in 2010, receiving nearly 55 percent of the vote.
Florida's other Republican Cabinet members, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, have also filed paperwork seeking second terms.
Times/Herald staff writers Steve Bousquet and Tia Mitchell contributed to this week's Buzz, which includes information from the News Service of Florida.