Lawmakers are multi-tasking their brief time in Tallahassee this week between official duties and fundraisers to bolster their re-election campaigns in 2016.
By day, lawmakers are attending committee meetings in advance of the 2016 legislative session, but by night, they're wining and dining with campaign supporters at fundraisers, where cocktails are openly served.
The festivities are being hosted tonight through Thursday by the House Majority and are perfectly timed to the designation of Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, as House speaker. Corcoran is in charge re-electing Republicans and is focused on retaining a strong majority. (More here on that.)
Another round of fundraisers will be held for the feuding factions of the Senate, where Sens. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, and Joe Negron, R-Stuart, continue to compete for the 2016 Senate presidency.
The House Majority fundraisers include events for Republican Reps. Mike La Rosa of St. Cloud and Mike Miller of Winter Park tonight, for Carlos Trujillo of Miami on Wednesday and for Miller, Elizabeth Porter of Lake City, Larry Metz of Yalaha, Ben Albritton of Wauchula, Cyndi Stevenson of St. Johns, Rene Plasencia of Orlando, Bob Cortes of Altamonte Springs, Manny Diaz Jr. of Hialeah, Jason Brodeur of Sanford and Frank Artiles of Miami on Thursday.
More events are planned in the coming weeks, including for Republican Rep. Kathleen Peters of South Pasadena on Sept. 28, and during the next committee week (Oct. 5-9) for Republican Reps. Greg Steube of Sarasota, Heather Fitzenhagen of Fort Myers, Holly Raschein of Key Largo and Brad Drake of Eucheeanna.
In the Senate, Latvala is hosting a cocktail reception Wednesday at his Tallahassee home and he's inviting his guests to "please bring your contributions to the re-election campaigns" of Republican Sens. Denise Grimsley of Sebring, Alan Hays of Umatilla, and John Legg of Trinity.
Meanwhile, the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is continuing its run of extravagant getaways to raise money "benefiting (the) Senate Majority 2016."
Senate Republican leaders are gathering in Chicago on Sunday for a "VIP Dinner Cruise," followed by a Cubs-vs.-Brewers game Monday evening at Wrigley Field. Download Chicago Cubs Invite
The list of hosts includes Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, Majority Leader Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, and Republican Sens. Lizbeth Benacquisto of Fort Myers, Aaron Bean of Fernandina Beach, Rob Bradley of Fleming Island, Anitere Flores of Miami, Tom Lee of Brandon, Latvala, Joe Negron of Stuart and Wilton Simpson of Trilby.
The trip to the Windy City comes just a couple weeks after Senate Republicans hosted a two-day fishing trip in the Florida Keys. They also hosted a golf fundraiser at California's Pebble Beach in July.