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Monday's Daily Pulse

Presidential race in Florida is a 'coin toss'

Here comes another nail-biter presidential election. A new Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll finds Barack Obama and Mitt Romney essentially tied in America's biggest battleground state, with 46 percent of likely Florida voters supporting the president, 45 percent backing the former Massachusetts governor, and 2 percent behind Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Only 7 percent are undecided. "A coin toss," Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker said. "Typical Florida." [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

» Obama Spending On Attack Ads Soars to nearly $100 million
Florida ranks second in President Obama's campaign ad spending. So far, Obama's television ad spending dwarfs the Romney campaign's by a margin of 4-1 or more. But the GOP is just ramping up their ad buy. This fall, the GOP appears positioned to outspend the president and his allies, perhaps heavily.

Florida Trend Business Profile
Boost a Hero uses 'veteran' business model

Tom Perez
Navy veteran Tom Perez has raised nearly $7,000 through Boost a Hero. He closed on a deal to buy a Meineke Car Care Center franchise in the Panhandle in May. [Photo: Hana Frenette]

Entrepreneurs Mark Mohler and Todd Jones have created an online fundraising program called Boost a Hero that gives honorably discharged veterans a platform for raising money to buy a franchise of their choice. Sprigster, the Melbourne-based business launched early this year to oversee the program, signs up qualifying vets. Then friends, family and other donors can contribute to the veteran's business online. The concept is called "crowd funding." Story continues here.

Fla. space workers struggle a year after last shuttle flight; many can’t find comparable jobs

A year after NASA ended the U.S. space shuttle program, thousands of formerly well-paid engineers and other workers around the Kennedy Space Center are still struggling to find jobs to replace careers that flourished when shuttles blasted off from Florida's Space Coast. “Nobody wants to hire the old guy,” said Terry White, a 62-year-old former project manager. “There just isn’t a lot of work around here. Or if so, the wages are really small.” [Source: AP]

Sarasota pool company star of Olympic swimming

Sarasota-based Myrtha Pools USA Inc. will play a pivotal role in the London games, building seven of the nine pools that will be used for swimming events when the global competition begins July 27. Myrtha pools also are coveted by swimmers because the company's technology and designs are believed to enhance performance. Since 2004, more than 90 percent of all the swimming world records set in North America have taken place in a Myrtha pool. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Feds give Florida list of resident noncitizens

A yearlong stalemate between Florida and Washington ended Saturday when the federal government gave the state access to a federal citizenship database, which the state will use to resume an election-year purge of noncitizen voters. After repeatedly refusing, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security agreed to open its database to the Department of State, which oversees Florida's voter registration system. The state will now cross-check the names of Florida voters against a federal citizenship database known as SAVE, or Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

» Poll: Majority of Floridians support noncitizen voter purge Gov. Rick Scott remains unpopular with Florida voters, but nonetheless they strongly support his efforts to rid Florida's voter rolls of noncitizens in this presidential election year.

» From Politifact: MoveOn gets its facts wrong on Florida's voter purge


› South Florida salvage firms respond to emergencies at sea
When there’s an emergency on the world’s waterways, two South Florida companies spring to action. Resolve Salvage & Fire is one of two South Florida companies, with Pompano Beach-based Titan Salvage, that have grown from tiny operations to multinational corporations large enough to compete for the world’s most high-profile projects. A third major firm, Netherlands-based Svitzer Salvage, has a regional headquarters in Miami.

› Digital billboards could spread to South Florida Water Management District land
New billboards could spread to public land in a money-making move by South Florida water managers. Digital billboards, rotating commercial advertising with public service announcements, would start showing up alongside busy roads and canals, according to a proposal from the South Florida Water Management District.

› More hospitals tailor emergency rooms for seniors
For many patients, an emergency hospital visit often equals long waiting periods and noisy chaos, an atmosphere particularly hard on the elderly. But Memorial Regional Hospital South in Hollywood is trying something new: giving seniors an emergency room of their own. The facility is among a small but growing number of U.S. hospitals looking to change the emergency room experience for seniors.

› Deutsche Bank under fire in Florida and at home
Deutsche Bank was a heavyweight financial player during the American mortgage meltdown and its aftermath: empty and neglected properties that blight local neighborhoods. The bank and related companies currently hold title to more than 1,400 homes in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties alone.

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› Clean start: Green technology companies, united by 'acceleration network,' trying to grow jobs
Electricity from manure. Fuel oil from yard waste. Biodiesel from algae. Solar panels that generate electricity from both sides. While these sound like far-fetched concepts, companies in Brevard County and Central Florida are working on profit-generating, job-creating ventures using these green ideas. The Florida Cleantech Acceleration Network has been formed to speed that process by cataloging advanced clean technologies in Central Florida and helping entrepreneurs get them into the commercial marketplace more quickly.

› Opinion: Mandatory Insurances, Taxing Us to Death
From Steven Kurlander, writing for Florida Voices:

The House voted earlier this week to get rid of Obamacare on the heels of the Supreme Court ruling that its insurance mandate was constitutional. And so the debate continues about whether the government should impose a “tax” on Americans who refuse to buy health insurance. Left unsaid is whether other forms of mandatory insurance also represent a tax -- taxes that are going through the roof. Commentary continues here.

› Rubio's health plan looks like exchanges
Chapter 8 in Sen. Marco Rubio's book, "100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future," is titled "Quality Healthcare at an Affordable Price." and it includes the idea that "Florida should launch a marketplace of affordable health insurance." Now, Rubio's vision for an insurance marketplace is about to come to fruition. It's called Florida Health Choices. And though Republicans such as Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott won't admit it, Florida's marketplace is a lot like President Barack Obama's health exchange, the very one Scott says Florida won't embrace.

› New app protects against ID theft, fraud
If you live in Florida, the odds are you will come across way more identity thieves and fraudsters than hurricanes or alligators. So it may be worth adding the new free app called Scam Detector onto your iPhone or Android device. Florida ranks first per capita in identity theft complaints nationwide and ranks sixth in fraud complaints.