4/13/18: High Powered Senate Race, Public Beach Access

Apr 13, 2018

On this week's Roundup: The matchup between Gov. Rick Scott and Senator Bill Nelson is expected to be the most expensive U.S. Senate race in history and we look at how a new law might impact your trip to the beach.

Governor Rick Scott went to Orlando Monday to announce his long-anticipated run for the U.S Senate - live on Facebook. He told the crowd “we can change Washington.”

“In this campaign, I’m going to put out a variety of policy initiatives. And let’s start with the obvious. This concept of career politicians has got to stop. We have to have term limits on Congress,” Scott said.

Scott is challenging incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, who’s held the office since January 2001.

Nelson quickly responded to Scott's announcement, telling the Orlando Sentinel he’s ready for the competition. “I run like there’s no tomorrow,” said Nelson.

Nelson went on to say he’ll have to “run double-time like there’s no tomorrow” because of what’s expected to be a very expensive fight against Scott.

Both major parties will give this race everything they’ve got, in terms of money and resources. Scott will also pour a big chunk of his own fortune into the contest.

We began the Roundup with a closer look at Nelson vs. Scott and how it plays into national politics.

Sergio Bustos, Senior editor for Politico and Daniel Cronrath, Political Science Professor at Florida State College at Jacksonville joined us.

Public Beach Access

Some beachgoers are upset about a new law that could limit public access to Florida beaches. State Senator Kathleen Passidomo sponsored the bill, known as Possession of Real Property.

In a commentary in the Naples Daily News, Passidomo called the bill “misunderstood.” She wrote, “Some people have been led to believe that this bill restricts access to Florida’s beaches. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

But, nearly 30-thousand petition signatures have been gathered to repeal the law. The petition states that the law will allow beachfront property owners more control over their land, allowing them to restrict access to the general public.

Groups like the Florida Wildlife Federation and the Surfrider Foundation oppose the bill. But it was signed by the governor and takes effect July 1st.

Senator Passidomo is an attorney in Naples.  She joined us along with Diana Ferguson, an attorney with Rutledge-Ecenia in Tallahassee.  Ferguson represents the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association.