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Politics

What's Going on the Week of May 19

May 20, 2019 - 7:00am
Bobby Joe Long, left, before being sentenced to death in 1989
Bobby Joe Long, left, before being sentenced to death in 1989

As Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a death warrant last month for serial killer Bobby Joe Long, the governor’s office released a chilling description of the murder of Michelle Simms.

“On or about May 27, 1984, Long approached Simms, and she entered his car,” the description said. “Long drove Simms to a remote location, forced her to undress at knife point, and tied her to the car seat. Long then raped Simms and attempted to strangle her. When his attempts failed, he hit her head with a club and pushed her from the car. Long slit her throat and left her on the side of the road to die.”

Long, now 65, is scheduled Thursday to be put to death by lethal injection for Simms’ murder. In 1985, he pleaded guilty to seven additional first-degree murder charges and numerous charges for sexual batteries and kidnappings in the Tampa Bay region. 

Long’s attorney has filed appeals to try to block the execution, a process that likely will continue leading up to Thursday. If the execution is carried out, it will be the first since DeSantis took office in January.

MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

VETERANS’ SERVICES DISCUSSED: U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., will hold a news conference to announce legislation that would streamline the opening of congressional offices inside Department of Veterans Affairs facilities. (Monday, 9:30 a.m., 65th Infantry Veterans Park, 301 Buenaventura Blvd., Kissimmee.)

BRANDES HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, will hold “mobile” office hours in Largo. (Monday, 10 a.m., Largo City Hall, 210 Highland Ave. North, Largo.)

AGING SERVICES AT ISSUE: The Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the Florida Council on Aging and the Florida Association of Aging Service Providers will hold a conference call to discuss the aging-service network in the state. (Monday, 11 a.m. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 419201747.)

PENCE TALKS TRADE: Vice President Mike Pence is slated to appear in Jacksonville to discuss trade policy during an event hosted by the group America First Policies. Pence will talk about the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which the Trump administration negotiated to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement. The new trade deal still needs congressional approval. (Monday, 11:15 a.m., Schultz Center, 4019 Boulevard Center Dr., Jacksonville.)

SEMINOLE STATE TRUSTEES MEET: The Seminole State College of Florida Board of Trustees will hold a budget workshop, followed by a board meeting. (Monday, budget workshop at noon, with board meeting at 2 p.m., Seminole State College of Florida, Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, 100 Weldon Blvd., Sanford.)

LABARGA DISCUSSES STORM RECOVERY, RESPONSE: Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga will hold a media availability before a meeting of the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice. Labarga will discuss efforts related to disaster recovery and access to civil justice after hurricanes Irma and Michael. (Monday, 12:15 p.m., Hotel Duval, 415 North Monroe St., Tallahassee.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Lake, Citrus and Wakulla counties. (Monday, 1 p.m., Cooper Memorial Library, 2525 Oakley Seaver Dr., Clermont. Also, 1 p.m., Citrus County Chamber of Commerce, 106 West Main St., Inverness. Also, 1:30 p.m., Wakulla County Commission office, 3093 Crawfordville Highway, Crawfordville.)

TCC BOARD MEETS: The Tallahassee Community College Board of Trustees will meet. (Monday, 2:30 p.m., Tallahassee Community College, Hinson Administration Building, 444 Appleyard Dr., Tallahassee.)

POLK STATE TRUSTEES MEET: The Polk State College Board of Trustees will hold a budget workshop, followed by a board meeting. (Monday, budget workshop at 2:30 p.m., with board meeting at 4 p.m., Polk State College, 3425 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland.)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE IN SPECIAL ELECTIONS: Monday is the registration deadline for voters in special elections in House District 7 and House District 38. Port St. Joe Republican Jason Shoaf and Tallahassee Democrat Ryan Terrell are running in the June 18 special election in District 7, which former Rep. Halsey Beshears, R-Monticello, left to become secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Dade City Republican Randy Maggard and Wesley Chapel Democrat Kelly Smith are running in District 38, which former Rep. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, left to become executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2019

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATER BOARD MEETS: The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board will meet in Hillsborough County. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Southwest Florida Water Management District, 7601 U.S. 301 North, Tampa.)

ST. PETERSBURG COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The St. Petersburg College Board of Trustees will meet. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St., Seminole.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Brevard, Miami-Dade and Sarasota counties. (Tuesday, 9 a.m., Brevard Veterans Memorial Center, 400 South Sykes Creek Parkway, Merritt Island. Also, 9:30 a.m., Stephen P. Clark Government Center, 111 N.W. First St., Miami. Also, 10 a.m., William H. Jervey Jr. Library, 300 Nokomis Ave. South, Venice. Also, 2 p.m., Selby Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota.)

DUKE, TECO STORM COSTS AT ISSUE: The Florida Public Service Commission will hold a hearing about proposals by Duke Energy Florida and Tampa Electric Co. to recoup costs related to restoring power after a series of storms. The Duke proposal deals with hurricanes Irma and Nate, while the Tampa Electric proposal deals with hurricanes Hermine, Matthew and Irma and two tropical storms. Both utilities have negotiated settlement agreements with the state Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues, and other customer groups. The commission will begin the hearing after holding an internal-affairs meeting. (Tuesday, internal affairs at 9:30 a.m., followed immediately by the hearing, Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

JACKSONVILLE COLLEGE BUDGET EYED: The Board of Trustees of Florida State College at Jacksonville will hold a budget workshop after an executive session about a collective-bargaining agreement. (Tuesday, executive session at 11:15 a.m., budget workshop at noon, Florida State College at Jacksonville, administrative offices, 501 West State St., Jacksonville.)

FLORIDA POLY TRUSTEES HUDDLE: The Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees will hold a workshop. (Tuesday, 12:30 p.m., Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In, 4175 Medulla Road, Lakeland. Call-in number: 1-240-454-0887. Code: 648856176.)

SANTA FE COLLEGE BOARD MEETS: The Santa Fe College Board of Trustees will meet. (Tuesday, 4 p.m., Santa Fe College, Northwest Campus, 3000 N.W. 83rd St., Gainesville.)

TAMPA INTERSTATE ISSUES DISCUSSED: The Florida Department of Transportation will hold the first of two workshops about the Westshore-area and downtown Tampa interchanges and the Interstate 275 corridor between the two areas. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. The Cuban Club, 2010 North Avenida Republica de Cuba Tampa.)

NORTH FLORIDA COLLEGE BOARD MEETS: The North Florida Community College Board of Trustees will meet. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., North Florida Community College, 325 N.W. Turner Davis Dr., Madison.)

PENSACOLA COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The Pensacola State College Board of Trustees will meet. (Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Pensacola State College, board meeting room, 1000 College Blvd., Pensacola.)

PASCO-HERNANDO COLLEGE BOARD MEETS: The Pasco-Hernando State College Board of Trustees will meet. (Tuesday, 6 p.m., Pasco-Hernando State College, Spring Hill Campus, Building A, 450 Beverly Court, Spring Hill.)

CHIPOLA COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The Chipola College Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet. (Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Chipola College, Public Service Building, Marianna.)

WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 2019

VOLUSIA LAWMAKERS DISCUSS SESSION: Volusia County lawmakers are slated to speak about the 2019 legislative session during a breakfast meeting hosted by the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce. The county delegation is made up of Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs; Sen. Tom Wright, R-New Smyrna Beach; Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine; Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, R-DeLand; Rep. David Santiago, R-Deltona; Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach; and Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast. (Wednesday, 7:30 a.m., LPGA International Golf Course, 1000 Champions Dr., Daytona Beach.)

SILVERS ‘COFFEE TALK’ ON MENU: State Rep. David Silvers, D-Lake Clarke Shores, and Palm Beach County Commissioner Gregg Weiss will hold a “coffee talk” event with constituents. (Wednesday, 8 a.m., Einstein Bros. Bagels, 1900 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.)

FLORIDA POLY TRUSTEES MEET: The Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees will meet after holding committee meetings. (Wednesday, committees start at 8:30 a.m., with full board scheduled at 12:45 p.m., Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In, 4175 Medulla Road, Lakeland. Call-in number: 1-240-454-0887. Code: 640724241.)

BOARD OF ED MEETS: The Florida Board of Education will meet in Hillsborough County. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Mort Elementary School, 1806 East Bearss Ave., Tampa.)

PAROLE CASES CONSIDERED: The Florida Commission on Offender Review will meet. (Wednesday, 9 a.m., Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee.)

CHAMBER PROSPERITY SUMMIT HELD: The Florida Chamber Foundation will start a two-day “Business Leaders’ Summit on Prosperity and Economic Opportunity,” with speakers including Capital Area Community Action Agency CEO Tim Center, Feeding Florida Executive Director Robin Safley and Alex Ruder and Ellie Terry of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.)

UNEMPLOYMENT CASES CONSIDERED: The state Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission will meet. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., 101 Rhyne Building, 2740 Centerview Dr., Tallahassee.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Liberty, Pasco, Sumter, Monroe, Marion and Hernando counties. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., Veterans Memorial Civic Center, 10405 N.W. Theo Jacobs Way, Bristol. Also, 9:30 a.m., Historic Pasco County Courthouse, 37918 Meridian Ave., Dade City. Also, 10 a.m., Laurel Manor Recreation Center, 1985 Laurel Manor Dr., The Villages. Also, 11:30 a.m., Monroe County Senior Center, 1400 Kennedy Dr., Key West. Also, 2 p.m., Marion County Library, 5870 S.W. 95th St., Ocala. Also, 2 p.m., Hernando County Association of Realtors, 7321 Sunshine Grove Road, Brooksville.)

REVENUE ESTIMATING CONFERENCE MEETS: The state Revenue Estimating Conference will hold what is known as a post-session “impact” conference. (Wednesday, 10 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE ON MENU: Sen. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, and Rep. Rick Roth, R-West Palm Beach, are slated to discuss legislative issues during a luncheon meeting of the Republican Club of the Palm Beaches. (Wednesday, noon, Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center Palm Beach Airport, 1301 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach.)

SOUTH FLORIDA COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The South Florida State College Board of Trustees will meet. (Wednesday 1 p.m., South Florida State College, Highlands Campus, 600 West College Dr., Avon Park.)

REFUGEE ISSUES DISCUSSED: The Southwest Florida Refugee Task Force will meet. (Wednesday, 1 p.m., Department of Children and Families, 2295 Victoria Ave., Fort Myers.)

BRANDES HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, will hold “mobile” office hours in St. Pete Beach. (Wednesday, 2 p.m., Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce, 6990 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach.)

HILLSBOROUGH COLLEGE TRUSTEES MEET: The Hillsborough Community College Board of Trustees will meet. (Wednesday, 4 p.m., Dr. Gwendolyn W. Stephenson District Administration Center, 39 Columbia Dr., Tampa.)

I-95 IMPROVEMENTS DISCUSSED: The Florida Department of Transportation will continue a series of meetings about a study that will look for ways to improve Interstate 95 in Miami-Dade County from south of U.S. 1 to just north of Ives Dairy Road. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Catholic Community Senior Center, 9900 N.E. 2nd Ave., Miami Shores.)

PSC HOLDS RATE MEETING: The Florida Public Service Commission will hold a customer meeting on a proposed rate increase by West Lakeland Wastewater LLC. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Village of Lakeland Lakeside Club, 3574 Lazy Lake Dr. North, Lakeland.)

ACOSTA KICKS OFF CONGRESSIONAL BID: A campaign kickoff event and fundraiser will be held for Republican Christian Acosta, who is running next year in South Florida’s Congressional District 21. U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., is the incumbent in the district. (Wednesday, 6 p.m., Museum 66, 2051 High Ridge Road, Boynton Beach.)

THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2019

EDUCATION ‘SUMMIT’ HELD: Florida TaxWatch will hold a spring meeting and education “summit” focusing on issues such as school choice and workforce development. Speakers are expected to include state university system Chancellor Marshall Criser, Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson and Broward College President Greg Haile. (Thursday, 8 a.m., Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World, 10100 Dream Tree Blvd., Lake Buena Vista.)

‘PROSPERITY AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY’ EYED: State Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, former House Speaker Will Weatherford and Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson will be among the speakers at the Florida Business Leaders’ Summit on Prosperity and Economic Opportunity hosted by the Florida Chamber Foundation. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.)

TOP NURSING HOMES CONSIDERED: The Governor’s Panel on Excellence in Long-Term Care will meet in Orange County to consider applications for designation as “gold seal” nursing homes. (Thursday, 9 a.m., Florida Department of Health, Orange County, 6101 Lake Ellenor Dr., Orlando.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Manatee and Putnam counties. (Thursday, 9:30 a.m., Island Branch Library, 5701 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach. Also, 1 p.m., Crescent City Public Library, 610 Summit St., Crescent City.)

SUPREME COURT RELEASES OPINIONS: The Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to release its weekly opinions. (Thursday, 11 a.m.)

NORTHWEST FLORIDA WATER BOARD MEETS: The Northwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board will meet after holding committee meetings. (Thursday, committees start at 11:30 a.m., with governing board at 1 p.m., district headquarters, 81 Water Management Dr., Havana.)

FLORIDA HEALTHY KIDS AT ISSUE: The Florida Healthy Kids Corp. Board of Directors will meet in Orange County. (Thursday, 1 p.m., Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, 9300 Jeff Fuqua Blvd., Orlando. Call-in number: 1-850-792-4925. Code: 55822585.)

TAMPA INTERSTATE ISSUES DISCUSSED: The Florida Department of Transportation will hold the first of two workshops about the Westshore-area and downtown Tampa interchanges and the Interstate 275 corridor between the two areas. (Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Tampa Marriott Westshore, 1001 North Westshore Blvd., Tampa.)

LONG TO BE EXECUTED: Condemned killer Bobby Joe Long is scheduled to be executed in the May 1984 murder of Michelle Simms in Hillsborough County. In 1985. Long, now 65, also pleaded guilty to seven additional first-degree murder charges and numerous charges for sexual batteries and kidnappings in the Tampa Bay region. (Thursday, 6 p.m., Florida State Prison, 7819 N.W. 228th St., Raiford.)

CARUSO SPEAKS TO GOP WOMEN: Rep. Mike Caruso, R-Delray Beach, and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Link are slated to speak to the Republican Federated Women of South Florida. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Boca Country Club, 17751 Boca Club Blvd., Boca Raton.)

NORTH CENTRAL PLANNING COUNCIL MEETS: The North Central Florida Regional Planning Council will meet in Columbia County. (Thursday, 7 p.m., Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, 213 S.W. Commerce Blvd., Lake City.)

FRIDAY, MAY 24, 2019

FSDB BOARD MEETS: The Board of Trustees of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind will meet. (Friday, 9 a.m., Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, Moore Hall Center for Learning and Development, 207 North San Marco Ave., St. Augustine.)

RUBIO HOLDS ‘MOBILE’ OFFICE HOURS: Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold “mobile” office hours in Orange County. (Friday, 10 a.m., Eatonville Neighborhood Center for Families, 323 East Kennedy Blvd., Suite D, Eatonville.)

SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2019

DESANTIS LEAVES FOR ISRAEL: Gov. Ron DeSantis will leave Florida for a nearly week-long trip to Israel that will include a state Cabinet meeting and business meetings. The trip, DeSantis’ first international trade mission, is planned in conjunction with Enterprise Florida.

BUCHANAN HOLDS TOWN HALL: State Rep. James Buchanan, R-Osprey, will hold a town-hall meeting. (Saturday, 11 a.m., State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, Venice Campus.)

Comments

"Public meetings"; "political discussions"; "mobile office hours"; "Town Halls""; "Council meets"; "workshops"; "political speaking engagements"; "summits"; "estimating conferences"; "issues discussed"; "coffee talks"; "Board Meets"; "etc., etc., etc. ,...ALL "ameliorating, feelgood, political doublespeak for media consumption, "designed to take your eyes off the ball" so your "Tax Pie" can be "divvied-up" unfettered by "Special Interest sleight-of-hand" with "politician-partnership-distraction"....TAKE THE "SCALES OFF YOUR EYES" FOLKS... We're "outnumbered and buried in bullcrap" by political "design": "ALL THAT GLISTENS, IS NOT GOLD" ......Use your VOTE to "change them ALL...OUT !"

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