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September 28, 2016

Rubio demands federal investigation of jetty off Miami Beach where Marlins star died


Senator Marco Rubio requested an investigation Wednesday into the jetty where Marlins superstar José Fernández and two friends were killed in a weekend boat crash.

Rubio, a Florida Republican, made the request to the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the two federal agencies responsible for navigational aids designed to keep boaters away from the dangerous rocks of Miami Beach’s Government Cut inlet. The Corps is responsible for maintaining the pair of jetties off the inlet. Fernández, Emilio Macias and Eduardo Rivero died Sunday from a crash on the baseball star’s powerboat, which landed upside down on the northern jetty.

The unlit spit of rocks has a reputation for marine accidents, though the Coast Guard said after the crash that flashing channel markers should be adequate to guide boaters around the rocks.

In his letter, Rubio, a boat owner who lives in West Miami and faces reelection in November, suggested he personally has had concerns about navigating the jetty where Fernández died.

“As a boater myself, I have experienced firsthand the challenges this particular jetty can present to others trying to navigate around it,” he wrote. “I respectfully request your agencies coordinate to produce a comprehensive assessment of the jetty near the Government Cut channel as well as offer any pertinent recommendations to enhance safety for boaters to navigate around and through them.”

His letter cited a Miami Herald article about the jetty’s potential hazards and said it was not enough to rely on good seamanship to avoid hazards. “Responsibility falls on each individual to follow safety standards, as well as our governments and agencies to maintain navigational beacons and permitted structures that may be potential safety threats.”

No lights illuminate the jetties, and the northern one in particular has spots underwater during high tides. Fernández 32-foot powerboat, the Kaught Looking, was found crashed on the jetty around 3:30 a.m., about 45 minutes before high tide.

Read the story here

Hillary Clinton ad features former Broward Republican chair


A new radio ad for Hillary Clinton in the Miami area features a former Broward Republican chair who has endorsed the Democrat.

Cindy Guerra, a Cuban American, told the Miami Herald earlier this year that she would back Clinton.

Here is the script of the radio ad:

"My name is Cindy Guerra. I am the daughter of Cuban refugees raised right here in Miami. My first campaign I stuffed envelopes for Ronald Reagan. I served two Republican attorney generals and even chaired the Broward County Republican Party. But this year with Donald Trump I just can't. I can't trust someone who takes counsel from no one," she said, as the ad plays a clip of Trump saying "I know more abut ISIS than the generals do believe me"

Guerra continues: "We send our daughters to Catholic school for a reason: the values we want them to learn I don't see in Donald Trump. The insults, the name calling, the bullying," she says as the ad airs a clip of Trump saying "And you can tell them to go f--- themselves."

Guerra continues her critique of Trump: "He mocks people with disabilities. He picked a fight with a grieving mother who lost her son in a war -- who does that?  I can't teach my daughters one thing at home and then vote another way. I am voting for my daughters and that's why I am voting for Hillary Clinton." 

The Clinton campaign is also running a radio ad statewide that features Warren Chase, a Republican, former Naval office and Vietnam veteran from Palm Beach County. Chase volunteered for seven past Republican presidential campaigns but this year is backing Clinton.

"There are times when we all have to take a stand. For me,that time is now to say country first, party second and to say no to Donald Trump," Chase said.

Clinton to campaign Friday in Coral Springs

Campaign 2016 Clinton (4)

Hillary Clinton returns to South Florida on Friday, to campaign in Coral Springs.

She plans to rally supporters at 5:15 p.m. at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, 2501 Coral Springs Dr., according to a link posted on Clinton's campaign site. Attendees can request tickets online.

Later Friday, Clinton is scheduled to attend a high-dollar fundraiser at the Miami Beach home of Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure and his wife, Jordan.

Last time Clinton came to South Florida in any sort of public way was in August, when she visited a Miami clinic to see how Miami was handling the Zika virus outbreak. She also endorsed Weston Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz ahead of her Aug. 30 primary race, which the congresswoman won.

Photo credit: Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

Cory Booker to attend Clinton fundraiser in Broward

FullSizeRender (15)@PatriciaMazzei

Miramar Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief will raise money for Hillary Clinton's campaign Saturday, with U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey headlining the event.

Booker is a top Clinton campaign surrogate, especially in the African-American community. With polls showing Clinton running head-to-head against Donald Trump in Florida, her team has stepped up its outreach to black voters, airing radio and TV ads aimed at drawing them to the polls.

Donors must contribute at least $250 to get into Sharief's fundraiser, though tickets at that contribution level were limited, according to an invitation obtained by the Miami Herald. Other donation levels are $500, $2,700 and $5,000.

Clinton camp airs first TV ad featuring Michelle Obama


First Lady Michelle Obama speaks directly into the camera in her first TV ad for Hillary Clinton, asking voters to think about their children when they cast their ballots for president.

"Hillary will be a president our kids can look up to," Obama says.

The ad will air nationally, with a heavy rotation in battleground states like Florida, where Obama is already on the radio airwaves trying to rally African-American support.

Florida will let Miami-Dade publish Zika mosquito locations

via @joeflech

Miami-Dade County on Wednesday will release the locations of mosquito traps that captured Zika-positive insects in Miami Beach, the result of a public dispute between state and local officials after the Miami Herald filed a lawsuit seeking the information.

The word came Tuesday evening, an hour after Gov. Rick Scott and Surgeon General Celeste Philip agreed that Miami-Dade can release the trap locations.

“Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez will be releasing the locations [Wednesday] morning now that the Florida Department of Health has approved the dissemination of the information,” said Gimenez spokesman Michael Hernandez, adding that property owners at the locations will likely be notified Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

Earlier Tuesday, Gimenez sent a letter to the state health department saying he would release the locations of the traps unless state health officials prohibited the action — in writing — by Wednesday afternoon.

“This decision is one that is solely the county’s to make,” responded spokesman McKinley P. Lewis, a few hours later. “Gov. Scott encourages the county to disclose the locations of these traps immediately so that their residents may remain fully informed.”

More here.

For $25K, Miami donors can have dinner with Ivanka Trump



Coming soon to Miami to raise money for Dad: Ivanka Trump.

Donald Trump's oldest daughter will headline a $25,000-a-head dinner fundraiser on Oct. 5, according to an invitation obtained by the Miami Herald. For $10,000, donors can get a photo with Ivanka Trump, and for $2,500, they can attend a reception.

In addition to listing Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and top Trump fundraisers Lew Eisenberg, Brian Ballard, Steven Mnuchin and Mel Sembler, the invitation also names as hosts state Sens. Joe Negron, Jack Latvala and Wilton Simpson.

The invitation doesn't list a location, but Trump's past local fundraising events have been held at his Trump National Doral golf resort. Ivanka Trump has been one of her father's most effective campaign surrogates.

Donald Trump attended a pair of fundraisers Tuesday in Miami and Longwood, on a day after his first debate against Hillary Clinton. His campaign said it raked in $18,000 in about 24 hours.

This post has been updated with a new invitation and new date: Oct. 5 instead of Oct. 6.

Patrick Murphy launches ad on Spanish-language radio, too


A day after releasing his first Spanish-language TV ad, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy is also going on air with an ad targeting Spanish-language radio stations.

The radio ad builds on the message of the TV ad by attacking Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on abortion.

But the radio ad has two obvious additions: It links Rubio to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump by emphasizing they both support de-funding Planned Parenthood, and it mentions Murphy's most prominent backer, President Barack Obama.

Name-dropping Obama was a prominent tactic Murphy used in primary ads -- both with the overall Democratic electorate and, particularly, with minority voters.

MORE: "Rubio, Murphy making their pitch in Spanish-language TV ads"

"Marco Rubio has consistently opposed basic rights for Florida women and this new ad makes that clear," Murphy spokesman Freddy Balsera said in a statement. "He stands with Donald Trump, whose rhetoric and actions towards women have offended millions. Patrick will always stand up and fight for the rights of Florida women to make their own health care decisions and against Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood."

Rubio spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas reiterated the campaign's position that Murphy continues to "distort" Rubio's record and that Murphy's "extreme positions on abortion put him out of touch with the vast majority of Floridians."

Murphy's campaign is spending at least $100,000 to air the radio ad in Miami, Tampa and Orlando, where the TV ad is also running.

Murphy has stepped up his game recently to court Hispanic voters, who are energized this year and could be a deciding factor in who wins in November. Murphy hired Balsera last week to boost his Hispanic outreach.

Listen to the radio ad here:

Photo credit: Walter Michot / Miami Herald

AFL-CIO drops mailers bashing Trump, praising Murphy



In what the AFL-CIO says is its largest mail drop of this election, the labor union is sending out more than 120,000 mail pieces to Florida union members, aiming to persuade them to vote for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy and also oppose Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Half of the mailers attack Trump by highlighting his "greed" and saying he "is all about making money" at whatever the cost.

View those mailers here and here.

The other half of the mailers promote Murphy's support for working families and also touts his upbringing when he "watched his dad build a business and learned that a job is more than a paycheck."

Murphy's stump speech frequently includes mention of how his father, Tom Murphy Jr., gave him his first job on a construction site, "digging holes and pouring concrete." Tom Murphy Jr. founded Miami-based Coastal Construction Group, today one of the largest construction firms in South Florida that made Murphy's family into millionaires.

View the Murphy mailers here and here.

It wasn't immediately clear how much the AFL-CIO is spending on the mailers, which are being sent out today.

Image credit: AFL-CIO