1. Once eager to tout Trump friendship, Rick Scott now plays it downAs Scott has played up his friendship with the president, using it to boost his profile and score political victories, he has avoided mentioning Trump since launching a campaign against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson earlier this month. The distance speaks to the challenges Republicans face in the midterm elections but also the transactional nature of Scott's relationship with the president, getting close but not too close, the ultimate political balancing act.
Already, nearly $10 million in out-of-state money has poured into the war chests of the declared and likely candidates for governor — about 15 percent of the total $64 million raised so far. But that cash is far from being spread evenly.
More than 1,800 people have been removed from the state-employee health insurance program after Gov. Rick Scott's administration started requiring workers to fork over tax documents and their children's birth certificates to verify that family members qualify for coverage. Nina Ashley, a spokeswoman for the state agency that oversees the health-insurance program, said decisions to terminate coverage have been made by people who were enrolled.
Nick Finch only served one term as Liberty County's sheriff, from 2012 to 2016, but he left quite a legacy. As Ashley Powers of the New Yorker points out in the magazine's April 30 issue, Finch became a cause célèbre for a law enforcement movement that claims sheriffs need to answer only to the U.S. Constitution — or, more precisely, their own interpretation of it.
State Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, filed papers Thursday disbanding his political committee, without saying where the money will go. He couldn't be reached for comment. That could be the first step in converting it into a superPAC to conduct independent expenditures for a congressional race. That would make Lee the heavyweight in the race, but there could also be legal hurdles.
Today's contributors: Alex Leary, Emily L. Mahoney, News Service of Florida, Michael Van Sickler, William March