Tax Collector Randolph and Sun Trust Offices Get Prime Media Scrutiny

Everyone knows that the Orange County Tax Collector and Property Appraiser don’t belong in the swanky Sun Trust Building Downtown. Including current Tax Collector Scott Randolph.

Yesterday, both Randolph and the controversial offices were highlighted in two very different media reports.

The first story, an article in the Orlando Sentinel, paints Randolph as a fiscally aware elected official who wants out of the Orange Ave address, who is currently in conflict with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, who wants the search to play out before a decision is made. You can read that story HERE.

The second story is by WFTV which slams Randolph for hiring a lobbyist to communicate with County Commissioners. He says that the lobbyist allows him to concentrate completely on his job. Critics say that he should have saved the money and do his own communicating with the commissioner. He’s the only Tax Collector doing this and it pays 5K to the Consultant a month.

Randolph and Mayor Jacobs have a long standing feud stemming back to the Orange County Sick Time Fight where Randolph tried to sue Jacobs herself before changing the lawsuit to the County itself after it was determined it was filed incorrectly. He’s also a major supporter for Jacobs’ opponent, former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings.

Jacobs was also considering eliminating the Tax Collector Position itself after opinion leaders believed the office itself wasn’t needed. There are definitely political tactics in play here. The reason Randolph needed a lobbyist was possibly because he doesn’t have a strong working relationship with the Mayor or any of the Commissioners.

They’re scheduled to discuss the matter at the Board of County Commissioners Meeting today.

Scott Randolph

How It Played: $215 Mil Expansion Project Announced for Orlando International Airport

Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that he wants to spend $215 Million Dollars on a train station as part of the expanding Orlando International Airport. The station would run trips up and down Florida with the main destination being Miami.

There is also the possibility that the depot could also link up to Sunrail in the future.

The project also has the support of the regions two most powerful people. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Teresa Jacobs were on hand for the announcement and optimistic about the potential benefits of the project.


Orlando Sentinel: Rick Scott announces $215M for new train depot at Orlando International Airport

WESH 2 :( Video) Gov. Rick Scott pledges $213 million for OIA expansion

WKMG Local 6: Gov. Rick Scott says $213M to aid OIA expansion project

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WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Orlando Int’l Airport to become transportation hub with new train station

CF News 13: Major airport expansion to link Orlando to Miami by rail

WOFL FOX 35: New train depot planned at Orlando International Airport

FOX 35 News Orlando

SO HOW DID IT PLAY, FRANK?: With cautious optimism

Most of the stories led with the price tag. It was anywhere between 200 and 215 mil, depending on what you were watching and there is not doubt that if this project gets the greenlight it will be scrutinized every step of the way.

It did however, have support from a lot of leaders and getting positive sound bytes from the two Mayors builds it credibility. This is Scott’s baby though and since he’s pushing the budget for this project, it depends upon the legislature approving it this year for the first half of the funding and his reelection for the second half. Only one outlet reached out to Charlie Crist to asked if he would support it. It’s likely he would considering Orlando’s standing as the tourism destination of the world.

How It Played: Medical Marijuana Makes November Ballot

Yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court ruled 4 to 3 in favor of the existing language on the new legislation that would make medical marijuana prescriptions legal in the Sunshine State.

The charge led by Orlando Super Attorney John Morgan announced that it hit it’s petition count late last week. This was the last hurdle it had to clear.

The Measure now goes before the voters in November. Polling indicates that 82% of Floridians are in favor of the measure. Advocates for the drug say it reduces the suffering of those undergoing chemotherapy and conditions that cause seizures. There are also the therapeutic properties of the drug that can reduce the amount of pain patients are forced to deal with.

Let’s take at how it played in the Orlando Media.

WESH 2: Florida Supreme Court approves medical marijuana initiative for November ballot

WKMG Local 6: Fla. Supreme Court approves medical marijuana initiative for ballot
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WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Florida Supreme Court OKs medical marijuana for ballot

CF News 13: Florida medical marijuana bill approved for November ballot

WOFL FOX 35: Supreme Court approves medical marijuana ballot language
FOX 35 News Orlando

Orlando Sentinel: Medical marijuana amendment gets green light from Supreme Court

So How Did it Play?: Well. This is exactly what John Morgan wanted.

There are political ramifications from this as well. Pundits believe that this amendment will increase sluggish mid-term turnout numbers for Democrats. In a close race, those who come out to support the measure will likely lean towards the lawmakers who believe in medical marijuana as well.

Expect Pro and Anti campaigns to pop up any week now and begin the message war.

Saturday Morning Political Headlines: Eduardo “Eddie” Fernandez is the new Orange County Clerk of Court

Happy Saturday. Here we go!

Yesterday, Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed Eduardo “Eddie” Fernandez to be the new Orange County Clerk of Courts. Fernandez replaces Lydia Gardner who passed away last year.

In a statement the Governor had this to say..

“I am excited today to announce Eddie as the next Clerk of Courts in Orange County. Eddie’s reputation as a problem solver and respected member of the Orlando community makes him a great fit to serve the families of Orange County. I look forward to working with him as we continue making Florida the best state in the nation to live and raise a family,”

This story sweeps your Saturday Morning Political Headlines. Have a great weekend.

WESH 2: Governor appoints Eddie Fernandez as new Orange County Clerk of Courts

WKMG Local 6: Gov. Scott appoints new Orange County clerk of courts

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Gov. Scott appoints Eduardo Fernandez as Orange County Clerk of Courts

CF News 13: Gov. Scott appoints new Orange clerk of court

WOFL FOX 35: Gov. Rick Scott appoints Eduardo Fernandez as Orange County Clerk of Courts

Orlando Sentinel: Scott taps attorney Eddie Fernandez as Orange County’s new clerk of court

Scott has appointed Attorney Eddie Fernandez to be the next Orange County Clerk of Court

Scott has appointed Attorney Eddie Fernandez to be the next Orange County Clerk of Court

How it Played: Val Demings formally announces her OC Mayoral Bid

Yesterday afternoon, Former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings formally announced her candidacy for Orange County Mayor after months of speculation over which political path she would take next after her Congressional run came up short in 2012. This presser set up what promises to be an exciting race between Demings and incumbent Teresa Jacobs who’s indicated early on, that she doesn’t believe Demings is qualified to hold the office.

Demings actually did a mini press tour talking to a few outlets before the announcement. I’ve included those and the answers she gave to questions during those hits are more valuable than what you’ll see from the presser footage.

Let’s have a look at the what the local media had to say…

WESH 2: Val Demings makes official Orange County mayoral announcement

Video:Full interview: Val Demings running for Orange County mayor

WKMG Local 6: Val Demings kicks off campaign for Orange County mayor
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WFTV 9 Eyewitness News : Val Demings announces candidacy for Orange County Mayor’s seat

WOFL FOX 35: Exclusive: Val Demings talks politics before her rally to run for Orange County mayor

FOX 35 News Orlando

FOX 35 News Orlando

Orlando Sentinel: Demings formally kicks off Orange mayoral campaign

So, how did it Play? Pretty Well. But man, that WESH exclusive

I saw a lot of the hits as they aired after the presser and the sound was dominated by the best parts of Demings’ speech. Despite the dreary conditions, it looked great with the supporters and union reps standing behind Chief with the fountain, for the most part, still in view.

What the average voter saw during their evening newscast was fine. However, that mini-press tour did give the opposition some talking points to use against her.

Florida Democratic Party already hurt her campaign by sending out a release that she cut millions from the police department budget, when it in fact increased under her watch according to that WESH 2 one on one. FDP needs to stay out of this race. Outside parties did plenty to hurt her campaign in 2012. She also called for her handler during the hit. There are quiet signals we use for that.

She was also less than excited about MLS Soccer when she spoke to WOFL FOX 35 during that one and one. City fans aren’t going to like that.

Keep the main footage. That was good stuff. Bury the one on ones. Those will come back to haunt her