Note: This blog's templates will be updated this afternoon to a responsive design bringing it in line with MiamiHerald.com.

At that time, we will also change to the Facebook commenting system. You will need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment.

May 26, 2016

Florida GOP to Donald Trump: Congrats on reaching 1,237

@PatriciaMazzei

From Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia:

The Republican Party of Florida would like to congratulate Donald Trump on surpassing the required number of delegates to clinch the Republican nomination for president. Throughout this primary Mr. Trump has generated a historic voter turnout and built an unstoppable momentum that dwarfs the efforts of the Democrats – a testament to voters’ eagerness for a new leader that will not promote the same failed policies of the last eight years.

Will Gov. Rick Scott appoint Republican to lefty Broward Commission?

Gov. Rick Scott has a rare opportunity to appoint a Republican to the liberal Broward County Commission but he hasn't said whether he will fill the seat.

Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter takes over as the county's tourism director June 5th replacing Nicki Grossman who is retiring. (Grossman departs just in time to celebrate getting the 2020 Super Bowl and avoiding the brawl over whether to call it a "South Florida" or "Miami" event.)

Scott's office hasn't said whether he will appoint a replacement -- he appears to be waiting for an official resignation letter from Ritter.

Any appointment of a Republican would likely only last a few months because the seat is up for election this year and the district leans left. 

Parkland Mayor Michael Udine, a Democrat, is the only candidate who has officially filed to run for the northwestern Broward seat.

Currently, there is one Republican on the nine-member commission: Chip LaMarca, who represents northeast Broward. Grossman told us it had been decades since the commission had more than one Republican on it at the same time.

In South Florida, a fight between Broward and Miami-Dade over how "Miami" to make the Super Bowl

@doug_hanks

Super bowl logos

Miami-Dade’s mayor was watching the NFL Network on Tuesday as league owners neared a final vote to award the 2020 Super Bowl to South Florida for the first time in 11 years. And something about the news irked him.

“Excuse me,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez recalled saying to an aide. “That should say ‘Miami.’ ’’

Sure enough, when Gimenez took the lectern at a triumphant press conference on Wednesday to celebrate the success of the “South Florida Super Bowl Bid Committee” in securing Super Bowl LIV, the logo under the microphone read: “Miami Super Bowl Host Committee.”

The shift in locales did not sit well with the tourism director of Broward County, whose agency helped reserve thousands of hotel rooms for the South Florida bid package and was asked to contribute cash for the effort, too. “We would be seriously disturbed by a ‘Miami’ Host Committee,” said Nicki Grossman, who next month is retiring as tourism chief after 22 years on the job. “Especially if there was any expectation that Broward would participate in the Host Committee funding.”


Read the story here

A third way? How Libertarians could alter Florida race

The Libertarian Party is holding its national political convention in Orlando over Memorial Day weekend to nominate candidates for president and vice president. The top contenders appear to be former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson for president and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld for vice-president, both of whom are former Republicans. The convention's theme, with its own hashtag, is Legalize Freedom.

Despite polls showing record unfavorables for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton -- numbers likely to grow -- the idea of a third-party candidate has fizzled partly because of restrictive ballot access laws in many states.

Here's how the law works in Florida: To get on the November ballot, a minor party candidate must notify county supervisors of elections by July 15 that it plans to collect valid signatures from 1 percent of Florida's registered voters from the last general election, or about 120,000 signatures.

But minor-party candidates for president have a dreadful record in Florida. Johnson got one-half of one percent of the vote in 2012, Reform Party candidate Ralph Nader got 0.4 percent in 2004 and 1.6 percent as the Green Party candidate in 2000, a year in which Reform Party's Pat Buchanan for 0.3 percent.

Because the razor-close 2000 Bush-Gore presidential race was decided in Florida in favor of George W. Bush by 537 votes, numerous studies concluded that Nader was a spoiler candidate who was instrumental in Al Gore's defeat. For that reason, Democrats in Florida tried without success to prevent Nader from appearing on the ballot in 2004, when he proved to be a non-factor.

The most successful Libertarian statewide candidate in Florida? That would be Adrian Wyllie, who got 3.8 percent of the vote for governor two years ago.

Read the Florida law for minor-party presidential candidates here. The full schedule for the Libertarian Party convention is here.

Democrats debut anti-Trump ad in swing Miami congressional district

@PatriciaMazzei

National Democrats have targeted 15 competitive congressional districts across the country -- including one based in Miami -- to launch a digital ad campaign against House Republicans and Donald Trump.

The video, backed by a five-figure online ad buy, will run for two weeks. It features Trump sound bites on issues such as immigration and abortion, along with clips from House GOP leaders.

By tying Trump to Congress in districts where the presumptive presidential nominee is already unpopular, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hopes to boost the chances of its candidates, including in Florida's 26th district, where the party has backed Annette Taddeo. She faces a tough primary against former Rep. Joe Garcia to take on Rep. Carlos Curbelo, the Republican incumbent.

Titled "Building Blocks," the highly produced video will be promoted on Facebook, aimed at female Republican and independent voters Democrats hope to win over come November. It's the biggest digital ad campaign the DCCC has launched so far this election cycle.

 

Alan Grayson delays financial disclosure filing

GRaysonAPfile

@JeremySWallace

The world will have to wait a little longer to find out how much money Congressman Alan Grayson made in 2015.

That is because the Orlando Democrat this month asked for, and received, an extension that will delay him from having to report his financial holdings and any income he made last year.

Members of Congress must file annual financial disclosure reports by mid-May each year. However, the Committee on Ethics allows them to file for an extension for 30 days, 60 days or 90 days without offering any reason. Grayson's request for 90 days was granted earlier this month according to the House Committee on Ethics. That allows him to wait until Aug. 14 to file his annual report.

"The reason is that his financial disclosure is lengthy, so additional time is required,” said David Damron, a spokesman for Grayson's campaign.

Grayson's extension comes after his handwritten 2014 report was flagged by the Office of Congressional Ethics earlier this year for having "omitted required information from his annual financial disclosure statements related to reportable assets, income, agreements, and positions.”

The OCE report came as part of a larger inquiry into Grayson’s management of a hedge fund and other business interests that may have improperly overlapped with his congressional duties. The OCE has forwarded their findings on to the House Committee on Ethics, which announced in April it is reviewing the referral.

In his 2014 report, Grayson, an attorney, reported that he has a net worth is between $13 million and $105 million. Roll Call has estimated his net worth to be $33.9 million, ranking him as the 12th wealthiest member of Congress.

The extension will allow Grayson to delay reporting his finances until after voting begins in the August Democratic Primary for the U.S. Senate against U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter. The election is Aug. 30, but absentee ballots begin going out 30 days before the election.

Murphy's campaign said Grayson is either hiding his assets from voters or "needs extra time to fudge the numbers of his money-making schemes."

"Rep. Grayson has yet to amend any of his old financial disclosures, even though ethics investigators did the work of identifying 'numerous omissions' for him, and now he’s delaying his current disclosure to the last possible minute," said Galia Slayen, a spokeswoman for the Murphy campaign said. "Until Rep. Grayson releases his financial disclosures, he is robbing Florida voters of the opportunity to know the truth about the shady money he’s using to fund his campaign.”

Despite Slayen's criticism, congressional records do show Grayson has twice amended his financial disclosures. Grayson filed amendments for his 2014 disclosure in September and again in October, according to records published by the House Clerk's Office.

Ironically, Murphy himself has filed for extensions in previous years. Last year, Murphy was granted a 90 day extension to file his financial disclosures. He also received one in 2013 to delay reporting his 2012 financial holdings.

Damron said Murphy cannot be taken seriously on the issue and pointed out Murphy is being questioned about how much of a role he really played in trying to clean up oil in the Gulf of Mexico as he has claimed in the past.

"In this case, his campaign is lying again," Damron said.

Damron said the reason for Grayson's delay this year is because his financial disclosure is lengthy, so additional time is required.

Grayson is hardly alone in seeking a extension for his report. Seven of Florida's 27 House members have requested and received similar 90 day extensions, including U.S. Rep. David Jolly, the Pinellas County Republican who is among 5 candidates running in the GOP primary for the same U.S. Senate seat that Murphy and Grayson are fighting for. Besides Grayson and Jolly, U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami; Gwen Graham, D-Tallahassee; Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston; and Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens.

May 25, 2016

Marco Rubio reports another $100K from book sales

via @learyreports

Marco Rubio earned an additional $102,500 in 2015 from book royalties, his financial disclosure form shows. That adds to the $1 million or more he'd already earned from two books, chiefly An American Son published in 2012.

He also earned $9,016 for teaching at Florida International University. His wife shows "partnership distributions" for JDR Events but Rubio is only required to say it was more than $1,000.

Bill Nelson reported $49,100 in retirement income from his time in state government and about $5,600 from an IRA. More detail here.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

Former prosecutor to run for Florida Senate against Gwen Margolis

via @DavidOvalle305

Former prosecutor Jason Pizzo is joining the crowded Florida State Senate race to represent Northeast Miami-Dade.

The six-person race among all Democrats includes Sen. Gwen Margolis, Florida Rep. Daphne Campbell and former Rep. Phillip Brutus. The newly configured district include coastal cities such as Aventura and North Miami Beach, as well as predominately black neighborhoods such as Liberty City and Overtown.

Pizzo, 40, spent more than four years as a prosecutor, leaving in November to go into private practice.

During his last 10 months at the state, Pizzo said, he helped lead a pilot project that embedded prosecutors and community-support staff with police in Northeast Miami-Dade neighborhoods hardest hit by gun violence.

The efforts resulted in more arrests in shooting cases, convictions at trial and even the targeting of slum lords and shoddy housing conditions, he said.

To begin his campaign, Pizzo lent himself $200,000. "I can speak my mind," Pizzo said. "I don't need to go ask for money. I'm not beholden to any lobbyists or special interest or old guard crusty bureaucratic B.S. If there is something to do, I'm going to make sure it gets done."

Pizzo, a graduate of New York University, Columbia University and the University of Miami's law school, is married with 10-year-old twin boys.

--DAVID OVALLE

Zika funding inaction frustrates Florida members of Congress

via @learyreports

With Congress set to go on -- another -- vacation, Florida lawmakers are worried about Zika funding. 

Sen. Bill Nelson today sent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a letter urging him to keep the chamber in session.

"Though the House passed a stand-alone bill to provide a mere $622 million and the Senate attached $1.1 billion in Zika funding as an amendment to a larger appropriations package, we are still weeks away, at best, from passing a final bill out of Congress," Nelson wrote. "Without the passage of a stand-alone Zika funding bill by the Senate, there is no clear path forward. I have tried repeatedly to pass a bill to fund the Administration’s request and send it to the House. Unfortunately, each attempt was blocked. For these reasons, I ask you to exercise your power as the Senate majority leader to take up consideration of a stand-alone funding bill (S. 2843) to address Zika, and to even delay the Memorial Day recess if Congress needs more time to pass the bill."

Sen. Marco Rubio was on the floor Tuesday making a similar call for action. "For all of us as Americans but especially for all of us as elected leaders, It is long past due to take this virus seriously. Because the virus is not just serious; this virus is deadly serious and so far, I must say that congress is failing this test.”

Rep. Vern Buchanan is asking House and Senate leaders to appoint conference members to work out differences on spending measures.

"The cost of delay is unacceptably high," Buchanan wrote in a letter to Republican and Democratic leaders. "We are seeing the effect of this disease in Florida, where mosquito season has already begun. Currently, Florida has more than a quarter of all U.S. Zika cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said this weekend that mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus are expected to enter the U.S. mainland and begin infecting Americans within the next 'month or so.' "

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

Debbie Wasserman Schultz sided with medical marijuana proponents in a vote despite past opposition

DWSAPmug

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, who has taken heat for her opposition to medical marijuana, quietly took a vote in favor of it last week.

In 2014, she opposed Florida’s constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana — a rare position for a South Florida Democrat — that led to a spat between her and wealthy trial lawyer John Morgan, who bankrolled the amendment. A similar measure will appear on the ballot in November.

In the past, as a Democrat in a safe liberal district, Wasserman Schultz faced no political repercussions at the ballot box for taking a position out of step with her constituents. But criticism about her stances carry more weight this year because she faces a well-funded Democratic challenger: Tim Canova, who supports medical marijuana.

That’s why her vote related to medical marijuana last week has drawn some attention.

On May 19, Wasserman Schultz joined all but five Democrats in voting in favor of an amendment to allow military veterans’ access to state medical marijuana programs, as first reported by Marijuana.com. A directive currently prohibits Veterans Administration doctors from filling out forms for state medical marijuana programs or discussing the use of medical marijuana with patients.

Keep reading here.

Florida Dems snag Cory Booker as speaker for Broward gala

@PatriciaMazzei

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, a man some people consider a possible Hillary Clinton running mate, will star at Florida Democrats' annual gala next month in Broward County.

Booker will keynote the 2016 Leadership Blue Gala on June 18 in Hollywood, the party announced Wednesday.

"As the largest swing state in the nation, Florida will play a determining role in stopping Donald Trump and returning the Senate to Democratic hands," Booker said in a statement. "While we know the work ahead won't be easy, I know Sunshine State Democrats are fired up and ready to deliver Florida for the third time in a row."

"As Mayor of Newark and in the United States Senate, Senator Booker's leadership has brought Republicans and Democrats together to get things done without compromising on the values which make our party and our nation strong," Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant said in a statement.

Todd Wilcox calls Social Security a 'Ponzi scheme'

@MichaelAuslen

17098319Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, Republican Senate candidate Todd Wilcox, told a conservative activist group last month.

In an April forum put on by the Republican Liberty Caucus of Central East Florida, Wilcox said there need to be changes made to Social Security, such as upping the retirement age for future generations of recipients and adding means testing. It was caught on video by a YouTube user named Amir Patel, likely a “tracker” sent out by a rival campaign to collect video of candidates’ every move.

“Social Security is a tax and an insurance program. It’s not a 401(k) program,” Wilcox said. “It’s a Ponzi scheme at this point, so if we don’t change the way we’re doing things, it’s going to go bankrupt.”

Wilcox, a defense contractor who lives in Orlando, isn’t the first Florida Republican to claim that a government entitlement program is a Ponzi scheme. In 2014, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami, was caught on video telling college Republicans that Social Security and Medicare are both Ponzi schemes.

It became the centerpiece of an attack ad by Curbelo’s Democratic opponent, Joe Garcia, who lost the election.

That year, PolitiFact Florida rated Curbelo’s claim False. PolitiFact also rated a similar claim in 2009 by former Texas Gov. and two-time presidential candidate Rick Perry False.

In a Ponzi scheme, someone promises big returns on people’s investments, but they all come from future investors’ money — not from legitimate profits. Social Security, meanwhile, is more of a “pay-as-you-go” system giving current workers’ money to current retirees, PolitiFact wrote.

Wilcox, however, said in an interview with the Times/Herald that the comparison is fair because of the flow of money. If the program is not changed, he said, current workers — especially younger ones — may not receive the benefits.

He’s advocated for changes to the program that would affect younger workers.

“We can’t change the rules on seniors who are in the program now and are depending on it,” Wilcox said. “Those who are in their 40s now, and especially those who are younger, should not plan on it being what it is now.”

At the Republican Liberty Caucus event last month, Wilcox’s words resonated: He won a straw poll that night with 128 of 204 votes.

Wilcox is one of five Republicans running to replace U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. The other candidates are U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis and David Jolly, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and developer Carlos Beruff.

Mystery donor cut $13.5 million to 'dark money' group that backed Marco Rubio

via @learyreports

A single, unnamed donor gave $13.5 million to a "dark money" nonprofit supporting Marco Rubio's presidential campaign -- and his or her identify may forever be a secret.

The donation was revealed in a tax document obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics, which unpacked how the money went to consultants with close ties to the Florida Republican, despite the group's supposed independence.

Immediate speculation focused on Norman Braman, who poured millions into a super PAC supporting Rubio.

Read the report here.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

CBO report says ending automatic Cuban refugee payments would save money

@PatriciaMazzei

It seems obvious, but now a nonpartisan report confirms it: Ending automatic welfare payments to Cuban immigrants would save the federal government money.

That’s according to the Congressional Budget Office, which analyzed proposed legislation by U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo and Sen. Marco Rubio, two Cuban-American Republicans.

The CBO estimated the feds would save $2.45 billion over 10 years if recently arrived Cubans were no longer treated automatically as refugees deserving of food stamps and other aid. About $1.05 billion would be saved from 2017-21, and another $1.4 billion from 2022-27.

The savings give Curbelo and Rubio a new selling point for their bill, which they filed to curtail abuse by some Cuban immigrants who send the money back to the island. GOP leaders in Congress — particularly House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin — have said they’re not interested in taking up immigration legislation. With the CBO report in hand, Rubio and Curbelo might have better luck pitching their proposal as a way to save money.

More here.

Planning for 'the big one': not a hurricane, an election

Nearly six months before Florida chooses the next president, the people who count votes in Florida are deep into planning how to do it right while anticipating everything that could possibly go wrong.

County supervisors of elections are meeting at a beachfront hotel in Clearwater, discussing how to improve voter outreach, adapt to better technology and reduce the potential for political mischief. One of the first panel discussions was entitled "Long lines, long ballots and long hours -- a presidential year."

The conference follows Florida's record turnout in the March 15 presidential preference primary, which has prompted state officials to predict that statewide in November could exceed 80 percent in a year when congressional and state Senate districts have been redrawn. Secretary of State Ken Detzner will soon roll out a voter education toolkit that will ramp up the use of social media to connect with voters.

The unprecedented chaos that followed the 2000 presidential election in Florida has taught voting to anticipate what could go haywire. In a presevtation to supervisors, Maria Matthews, director of the state Division of Elections, described one "unusual" aspect of this year's election.

It's a proposed constitutional amendment by the Legislature, dealing with a solar energy tax break, that will appear on the Aug. 30 primary as Amendment Number 4. (The other lower-numbered amendments will all appear on the November ballot).

"It may create some confusion for your voters," Matthews said. "You're going to have to expect that one."

Florida saw a record-high turnout in the March presidential preference primary, and Secretary of State Ken Detzner's office will roll out a voter education toolkit next month that will ramp up the use of social media to connect with voters.

"We're ready," said Martin County Supervisor Vicki Davis.

IMG_5388Florida is fertile territory for vendors looking to sell products. Clear Ballot, a Boston company, markets ClearAudit, a tool to audit vote totals rather than conducting manual audits. The technology is in use in 13 counties, including Bay, Broward, Leon and Nassau. A company kiosk shows the many dizzying ways (photo at left) that voters in Tallahassee marked ballots in a close 2012 election for an obscure soil and water conservation district that required a recount. 

Even Theresa Lepore is at the conference. Sixteen years after the recount, the former Palm Beach County elections supervisor says she's still stopped constantly by people who want to talk about the "butterfly ballot" central to the 2000 meltdown. Lepore is a consultant for Democracy Live, a vendor that develops electronic ballots for overseas and military voters and voters with disabilities.

 

Rick Scott silent on other surgeon general applicants

@MichaelAuslen

Last week, Gov. Rick Scott announced interim state surgeon general Dr. Celeste Philip would take on the job full-time, but he and his office won't say whether they sought other applications for the job.

Asked whether he considered other candidates, Scott told reporters in Miami on Tuesday that he was pleased by Philip's work since taking on leadership of the Department of Health after her predecessor, Dr. John Armstrong, was not confirmed by the Florida Senate.

"Dr. Phillips has done a great job at the Department of Health, and she did a great job there while John Armstrong was there," Scott said. "And so I appointed her the interim when John left, and she's done a great job."

The Times/Herald asked his spokespeople the same question last week, and they have not responded with an answer.

Scott can hire anyone who meets basic requirements -- like being a medical doctor with public health experience -- as surgeon general and secretary of DOH, and there is no public component of the hiring process. The Senate has final confirmation authority and must act on Philip's appointment by the end of the 2018 legislative session.

An internal hire, Philip was previously the deputy secretary of health responsible for Children's Medical Services, as well as HIV and other communicable diseases -- both areas about which senators raised questions in Armstrong's confirmation hearings.

She became interim surgeon general March 11 at the end of the legislative session and was also acting surgeon general last fall when Armstrong took time off to undergo treatment for colon cancer.

Miami Herald staff writer Patricia Mazzei contributed to this report.

May 24, 2016

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: 'Venezuela is on the verge of total collapse'

@PatriciaMazzei

Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday to blast Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and his administration.

"To put it simply, Mr. Speaker: Venezuela is on the verge of total collapse," Ros-Lehtinen said. "And what an impact that will have throughout our hemisphere. It is not a matter of if. It is a matter of when."

 

U.S. Senate candidate Todd Wilcox lacks proof that waterboarding works

U.S. Senate candidate Todd Wilcox said the controversial interrogation practice of waterboarding isn’t torture but an effective tool in the global war on terror.

It gets results, he said.

In an interview published in the Miami Herald on May 20, Wilcox blamed the White House for limiting the country’s ability to gain intelligence from alleged terrorists.

"I can tell you that the enhanced interrogation techniques that have since been banned by this administration — specifically waterboarding — work," said Wilcox, who is vying for the Republican nomination to replace Sen. Marco Rubio. "They work on the terrorists, and there's a proven history of that."

Wilcox didn’t consider the practice to be torture, and also said while he didn’t advocate overusing waterboarding, it’s an option that should be available for interrogators. 

We wanted to know if waterboarding — strapping a prisoner to a board or table and then pouring water over a cloth covering their mouth and nose to simulate drowning — was a proven method of questioning someone.

Keep reading Joshua Gillin's fact-check from PolitiFact Florida.

Did Patrick Murphy exaggerate cleanup role in Gulf oil spill?

via @learyreports

BP oil gushed in the Gulf of Mexico in spring 2010, motivating Patrick Murphy to quit his job as an accountant and embark on a mission to protect the Florida Keys, where he'd grown up.

Though oil never reached the Keys, Murphy has used the experience to cast himself as an entrepreneur with an environmental conscience. "Immediately following the BP oil spill, Congressman Murphy spent six months in the Gulf of Mexico leading cleanup efforts with his small business, Coastal Environmental Services," reads his official House website.

But a review raises questions of whether Murphy exaggerated his role in the catastrophe.

His campaign refuses to make public contracts he says he secured to clean up oil, or to characterize how much oil the company's skimmers cleaned up and how much the firm earned.

While Murphy's bio says he spent "six months in the Gulf of Mexico leading cleanup efforts," a timeline provided by his campaign contradicts that.

It states he moved to Louisiana in May "and started looking for opportunities to get involved in the cleanup effort" and began cleanup in July. But it also says Coastal Environmental Services did not get the contracts until "early August" and ceased operations in "late September." The campaign said dispersants caused oil to sink, "making the work of oil skimmers nearly impossible."

More here.

Anonymous takes aim at Rick Scott, who focuses on Everglades restoration instead

@PatriciaMazzei

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has been asked a great deal of questions, but perhaps none quite like the one he got from a Miami television reporter Tuesday: What were his thoughts on a video from the group Anonymous calling for the Republican governor to be impeached or else for him to resign?

The video, posted on Anonymous' Facebook page earlier in the day ("Hello, citizens of the world," it begins), accused Scott of working to "destroy the great state of Florida's ocean wildlife" by allowing polluted waters from Lake Okeechobee to run off into the Atlantic Ocean. The masked figure with a disguised, robotic voice also charged the governor with "lining his pockets" with support from Big Sugar. 

The video was first reported by Political Fix Florida.

Scott, speaking to reporters after a ceremonial bill signing at the Department of Children and Families office in Miami, ignored the part of the question about Anonymous and instead focused on Everglades restoration efforts.

"Here's what's exciting that's happened in the last five years," he said, rattling off a list of accomplishments from settling lawsuits with federal agencies to appropriating $880 million from the state budget to improve water quality. 

"So we're clearly heading in the right direction, and this state can be proud of what we're doing."

It's the federal government, Scott countered, that "has not paid up their portion" of Everglades projects.

UPDATE: The governor's office said Wednesday the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was made aware of the Anonymous video. FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger told the Miami Herald in an email that it has seen the video.

"FDLE always maintains operational awareness, but we have not seen evidence of a threat related to the video," she wrote.