December 4, 2020

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/20/2020

Armies of Florida lawyers deployed for presidential election, in case of 2000 sequel

It’s not quite like a battle in Game of Thrones, but armies of lawyers and other volunteers for the Biden and Trump campaigns are being deployed across Florida as they brace for the distinct possibility of another legal clash in what could prove a razor-thin presidential election. Ever since the bitter 36-day legal war over recounts of presidential ballots in Florida’s 2000 election, which wound up decided by just 537 votes, both the political parties and voters have been dreading a sequel but also planning for one. [Source: Miami Herald]

See also:
» In all, 14.4 million people are registered to vote in swing state Florida

Tobacco payment fight goes to Florida supreme court

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has gone to the Florida Supreme Court in a case about whether it is responsible for paying more than $100 million in a dispute stemming from a landmark 1997 settlement between Florida and the tobacco industry. R.J. Reynolds filed a notice last week that it was appealing a July 29 ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeal, according to documents posted Monday on the Supreme Court website. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Coalition: Florida trying to hide overwhelming opposition to toll road plan

As three regional task forces prepare for final meetings to gauge the feasibility of the Florida Legislature’s multibillion dollar proposal to build 340 miles of toll roads by 2030, opponents say the state is hiding overwhelming public opposition to the plan. According to an analysis of nearly 10,000 public comments by the No Roads to Ruin coalition gleaned from 15 months of review, more than 93 percent oppose the three proposed toll roads. [Source: The Center Square]

Florida flying squirrel trafficking scheme reached South Korea, investigators say

Poachers in Central Florida caught thousands of flying squirrels and sold them to buyers in South Korea, according to state wildlife investigators, who have described a broad wildlife trafficking scheme centered north of Tampa in Bushnell. Trappers may have illegally caught more than 3,500 squirrels, which are protected in Florida, over three years, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

There’s a $30 billion company in South Florida. It wants to take over the pet world.

If you haven’t yet heard of Chewy, you may need more furry friends in your life. Thanks to pet lovers who’d rather take delivery than head to the store, the online pet superstore founded in Dania Beach nearly a decade ago is now worth nearly $30 billion. Unlike so many companies that have been slammed in the COVID age, Chewy has seen its stock price soar as consumers have shifted more heavily to an online existence. [Source: Miami Herald]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Glamorous Miami club caught in power struggle over coronavirus
At LIV, one of the most glamorous, star-studded nightclubs in one of the world’s biggest party destinations, there’s a velvet-roped VIP area, and then there’s a secret VIP area. The parties at the club are so legendary they have inspired lyrics from Drake, Kanye West and Rick Ross. High rollers spend up to $20,000 just for a table. Today, LIV sits quiet and empty — a casualty not just of the coronavirus outbreak but of a power struggle between state and local government over how to contain the scourge.

› ‘It’s about opportunity’: Diversifying Orlando’s arts scene requires pathways for people of color
Many in the artistic community say a stronger effort needs to be made to level the backstage playing field for nonwhite theater-makers — and an obvious way to do that is through mentorships, consultant roles, internships and other training.

› Gunster adds Joe Jacquot, former General Counsel to Governor DeSantis, to business litigation practice
Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service business law firms, is pleased to announce Joe Jacquot has joined the firm as a business litigation shareholder in the firm’s Jacksonville and Tallahassee offices. Jacquot is a legal veteran with a proven record of public service and private sector experience.

› Tampa water company expands with acquisition of California firm
Primo Water Corp., headquartered in Tampa, has acquired Mountain Valley Water Co. of Los Angeles (MVLA). According to a press release, the deal brings 8,000 new clients to Primo Water North America (Primo NA), the firm’s wholly owned subsidiary that supplies purified bottled water, water dispensers and self-service refill drinking water to customers in the United States and Canada.

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