Florida Five: Lobbyists haul in big cash in first quarter, Grayson calls wife a ‘gold digger’

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips: 

tallahassee capitolLobbying firms haul in big cash in Florida during first quarter of 2015 – Millions of dollars poured into lobbying firms during the first three months of the year, as they sought to sway Florida lawmakers on issues such as gambling and health care, according to newly filed reports. Four lobbying firms reported earning $1 million or more between Jan. 1 and March 31 for legislative work, while eight others reported earning between $500,000 and $999,999, and 21 reported earning between $250,000 and $499,999. Dozens reported earning smaller amounts. Read more

When running for Senate, it’s probably best not to call your estranged wife a ‘gold digger’ – Even when he’s biting his tongue when asked about his nasty divorce proceedings, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) is pretty outspoken. The Florida Democrat, who’s currently mulling a run for Marco Rubio’s Senate seat (even though national Democrats don’t want him to), was brief when asked about his divorce with his estranged wife Lolita. “I’ll sum it up for you: Gold diggers gotta dig. that’s all I got to say,” he told WFTV — a play on “haters gonna hate” (which, for the record, is one of the worst ways for politicians to reply to criticism). Read more

If government shuts down, a doomsday scenario would emerge in Florida – If the state government shuts down July 1, street lights will go dark, teachers could go unpaid and the state will stop monitoring privately owned prisons. At the request of Gov. Rick Scott, state agency heads this week spelled out some of the ways Floridians would be affected if lawmakers can’t agree on a budget by June 30. Gov. Rick Scott requested the reports, which show that the state would stop building roads and bridges and that responses to emergencies could be affected in the middle of hurricane season. So far, no one is predicting it will come to that. Read more

Hillary Clinton coming to Orlando for $2.7K per fundraiser – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is coming to Central Florida for a fundraiser May 29 at the home of Democratic rainmaker and lawyer John Morgan. The event will take place at Morgan’s Heathrow mansion, at a time to be determined later. The minimum donation for attendance is $2,700 to Clinton’s campaign fund, which is the maximum allowable under federal law per election. However, bundlers are welcome, bringing checks from others. Someone who brings $27,000 gets named an event “co-host” and is enrolled in Clinton’s Hillstarters organization of campaign contribution bundlers. Read more

Florida chief justice lays down the law: Black robes only in court – Justice isn’t blind after all. It’s black. Florida’s highest-ranking jurist, Chief Justice Jorge Labarga of the state Supreme Court, has laid down the law: Every judge must wear a solid black robe in court at all times, and with no “embellishment.” From now on, colored robes are banned in courtrooms, and no embellishment means nothing else — not even a cross or tiny American flag. Read more

Election results: Jacksonville Mayoral Race: Lenny Curry defeats Alvin Brown

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page

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