Another “Trump Divorce” in the offing?

Dave and Lynn Aronberg at a New Year’s Eve celebration at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion.

The divorce of Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg from former Miami Dolphins cheerleader Lynn Aronberg isn’t the only one being blamed, in part, on President Donald Trump.

Multiple news reports Friday indicated that the wife of the president’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, has filed for divorce citing, among other things, their differing views of Trump.

The news reports quote people supposedly close to Deidre Scaramucci saying she loathes Trump.

In his first press conference as communications director, Scaramucci said – many, many times – that he loves the president.

A press statement released by a media company that employs Lynn Aronberg was headlined: “Dave and Lynn Aronberg Sign Amicable Divorce Settlement Putting and End to What Some Were Calling The Trump Divorce.”

Dave Aronberg is a Democrat. The statement described Lynn Aronberg as “a staunch Republican and supporter of President Donald Trump” who “said she felt increasingly isolated in the marriage.”

Constitution Revision Commission to meet at FIU, FAU

Carlos Beruff

The Constitution Revision Commission will hold a pair of public meetings today and Friday, giving residents in South Florida a chance to weigh in on whether and how the state’s constitution should be changed.

Today’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Florida International University’s Student Academic Success Center in Miami.

Friday’s meeting begins at 9 a.m. at Florida Atlantic University’s Acura Club, which is located in the university’s football stadium in Boca Raton.

The meetings are free and open to the public.

“We were pleased to see 400 Floridians attend our first public hearing in Orlando,” CRC Chairman Carlos Beruff said. “Given the public interest in speaking before the CRC, we have found new spaces on the FIU and FAU campuses that can hold even more participants. I encourage all interested Floridians in the greater Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County areas to come make their voices heard on April 6 at FIU in Miami and on April 7 at FAU in Boca Raton.”

Report: Paul Ryan in Palm Beach Thursday; Dem already attacking

Ryan

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan isn’t in the Sunshine State yet, but gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is already throwing some shade his way.

“When Speaker Paul Ryan comes to Florida later this week, he’ll hear a rallying cry from every corner of our state: Governor Rick Scott should expand Medicaid now, and Obamacare is the law of the land,” Gillum, mayor of Tallahassee, said in a press release. “His continued refusal to expand coverage is a deeply damaging mark on our state’s healthcare system, and the governor should immediately take this long overdue step to save lives. Speaker Ryan should know that healthcare is a right, and any attempt to further hurt Florida’s families will backfire at the ballot box.”

The Miami Herald has reported that Ryan, fresh off the House’s high-profile failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, plans to spend Thursday and Friday at The Breakers on Palm Beach huddling with top financial donors.

Mast returns donation from businessman accused of bilking customers

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, is returning a $5,400 donation from a Florida businessman accused of bilking customers.

The Federal Trade Commission has accused Scott J. Cooper and his company, World Patent Marketing, of defrauding people in a marketing scam, Politico has reported. Cooper donated to a committee that supported Mast’s campaign last year, the news site reported.

Mast had been listed as member of World Patent Marketing’s advisory board, and the Miami-based company has used publicly available footage of him in a promotional video. The company issued a news release touting Mast’s membership on its advisory board.

Mast spokesman Brad Stewart said the congressman “never served on the board and has no knowledge of the inner workings of this business.”

Stewart also said Mast never conducted any business on behalf of the company, did not attend any meetings of the company and did not receive any compensation from the company.

Mast did not know about the news release when it was sent out, Stewart said, adding that “promotional materials using the congressman’s image were taken from media that was publicly available on the internet.”

Scott backs Trump, tourism and business groups in State of State

Gov. Rick Scott

Florida Gov. Rick Scott expressed his happiness that Donald Trump was elected president and backed a pair of controversial tourism and business agencies in his State of the State address Tuesday.

Speaking to a joint meeting of the state House of Representatives and Senate at the opening of this year’s legislative session, Scott made no mention of the opioid and heroin epidemic that has ravaged families in Palm Beach County and throughout the state.

Palm Beach County officials said they were pleased by aspects of the governor’s speech but were disappointed he did not mention the opioid epidemic.

The governor’s support for Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida puts him on a collision course with some state legislators, who have criticized those agencies as havens of waste and corporate welfare.

Check with http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com later today for more on this story.

Frankel looks to keep heat on Trump, GOP about Obamacare repeal

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, speaks during a press conference with Sherry Riggs of Fort Pierce behind her. (Wayne Washington/Palm Beach Post)
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, speaks during a press conference with Sherry Riggs of Fort Pierce behind her. (Wayne Washington/The Palm Beach Post)

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, has invited a Fort Pierce woman who credits the Affordable Care Act for saving her life to be her guest as President Donald Trump makes his first speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.

Frankel and other Democrats are looking to keep the heat on Trump and other Republicans who say they will repeal the ACA, better known as Obamacare, and replace it with something better.

Some Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, are hearing from constituents during angry town hall meetings that they don’t want Obamacare repealed unless it’s replaced with something that won’t drive up costs or lead to more  people without health care.

Members of Congress are allowed to bring a guest to hear Trump’s speech, and Frankel’s will be Sherry Riggs, a 55-year old barber who says she turned to Obamacare in 2015 after learning she could not afford private health insurance because of a preexisting heart condition.

Months after signing up, Riggs, a mother of three, underwent heart surgery, the first two procedures she has now undergone while using Obamacare.

“If it wasn’t for the Affordable Care Act, I would be dead twice now,” Riggs said during a press conference with Frankel Monday morning.

Learn more about Riggs and the debate over repeal at http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com later today.

Mast gets earful as hundreds pack town hall meeting in Fort Pierce

mast-mtgU.S. Rep. Brian Mast was jeered and, at times, cheered during a packed, raucous, four-hour town hall meeting at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce Friday.

MyPalmBeachPost: See our full coverage of the raucous town hall

The Palm City Republican was the most recent member of Congress to face constituents infuriated by policies supported by the Republican Party and by President Donald Trump.

Mast, a double amputee Army veteran elected in November, held the meeting to address the concerns of military veterans, but he got an earful on a host of other issues, particularly the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

Most of those in the audience seemed intent on tearing into Mast, though the congressman had plenty of supporters among the nearly 500 people who showed up.

Unlike some in his party who returned to their districts, Mast did not cancel the town hall meeting, nor did he lose his temper as angry audience members booed some of his answers or shouted at him in fury.

Audience members seemed most angry about Mast’s support for a repeal of Obamacare and a border wall between Mexico and the United States, two of Trump’s prominent policy goals.

Many of the talking points that stood Republicans in good stead on the campaign trail – respect for states’ rights, getting rid of ‘waste, fraud and abuse,’ repeal of Obamacare, bashing illegal immigration – drew condemnation Friday. Audience members also booed whenever Mast veered into long answers instead of saying ‘yes,’ or ‘no.’

But respect for Mast’s military service – and the congressman’s calm responses over the course of the meeting – kept the audience from completely letting loose on him.

Check with http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com later for more on this topic.

Mast
U.S. Rep. Brian Mast

Where’s Rubio? Unknown group wants to know

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio

It’s Wednesday afternoon. Do you know where one of your U.S. senators is?

Speaking Up for America – a group that doesn’t appear to be registered as a corporation or a political committee in Florida or with the Federal Elections Commission – has paid for an advertisement in The Palm Beach Post describing U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio as “lost.”

The ad has a picture of Rubio and a tongue-in-cheek description.

“He may respond to the title ‘Senator Marco Rubio,’ though his constituents have been unable to verify whether this is still the case as they have been unable to contact him in recent weeks,” the ad reads. “Senator Rubio was recently re-elected to the United State Senate and may be found in Washington, D.C. Many of his concerned constituents have been trying to reach him by phone, email, fax, the Senate website, and the Postal Service about a variety of issues, but they have been unable to reach the Senator and have received no response to their communications.”

The ad finishes with: “If found, please return Senator Rubio to his constituents by way of a Town Hall meeting or other suitable gathering in which the Senator demonstrates his accountability to his constituents by listening to and honestly addressing their concerns.”

Rubio’s office didn’t take the swipe laying down.

“We have been fully accessible and responsive to constituents, including the two individuals likely hiding behind this anonymous ad,” the senator’s press secretary, Matt Wolking, wrote in an email to The Post. “Our Palm Beach office only has one employee and serves multiple counties, but he greets any protesters who show up and has already met with hundreds of these activists.”

Wolking was just getting warmed up.

“This dishonest ad is part of a coordinated strategy of disruption revealed in an online activist manual, which instructs liberal protesters to carry out ‘mass office calling’ in which the group ‘all agree[s] to call in on one specific issue that day,’ he wrote. “They are further instructed that ‘the next day or week, pick another issue, and call again on that.’ Their goal is to flood offices with calls and emails, disrupt our ability to respond, then complain to the press that they aren’t getting a response.”

Nelson announces opposition to Trump’s EPA pick

Sen. Bill Nelson calls on the House to pass a Zika funding bill without "unacceptable riders."

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has announced his opposition to President Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt.

Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general, shut down his office’s environmental protection unit. Critics fear he will curtail the EPA’s enforcement authority.

Nelson said he won’t vote to confirm Pruitt because of his ties to the oil and gas industry, which has supported Pruitt’s campaigns.

“Ever since I was a young congressman, I have been fighting to keep oil rigs off the coast of Florida,” Nelson said. “And an EPA administrator with such close ties to the oil industry is deeply concerning for the people of Florida.”

While Trump wants Pruitt to lead the EPA, one Florida congressman, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, has introduced legislation to terminate the agency.

Several members of Palm Beach County’s congressional delegation have blasted that idea.

 

President takes Japan’s Abe on a Trump golf course tour

JUPITER — Hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Donald Trump showed off a pair of his Palm Beach County golf courses Saturday, zooming past a clutch of early-morning protesters who staked out Trump National in Jupiter.

About 20 protesters waited roughly an hour at Donald Ross Road and Alternate A1A to register their unhappiness with the president.

President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe exchange a high five on the links at Trump National Golf Club in a picture posted on Trump's social media accounts.
President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe exchange a high five on the links at Trump National Golf Club in a picture posted on Trump’s social media accounts.


LIVE UPDATES: Trump hosts Japan’s Shinzo Abe in Palm Beach County

Some held a cloth banner that read, “The Power of the People is Stronger than the People in Power.” Others held signs indicating their displeasure with the president’s stands on the environment and his appointment of controversial nationalist Steve Bannon as a political advisor, whom Trump’s critics say is pulling the strings in the White House.

“Welcome President Bannon,” read a sign held by Mary Anna Eaton of Boynton Beach.

“He certainly doesn’t belong in the White House,” Eaton said of Bannon. “He’s a white supremacist. He’s a white nationalist. He certainly has no good intentions for our country.”

Other protesters felt the same way about Trump.

PHOTOS: First lady Melania Trump, Akie Abe tour Morikami Gardens

Susy Fliegelman drove from Miami to join the protestors.

“There are about 600 reasons why I’m here,” she said. “He’s ignoring us. He’s ignoring the people. It’s just awful.”

Tracy Segal of Palm Beach Gardens said voters need to be vigilant throughout Trump’s presidency.

“We need to do whatever we can,” she said. “We need to stay awake. It’s not like I think it’ll make a big difference standing here, but I think the more he hears that people are watching what he’s doing and care, the better.”

Some who turned out Saturday morning weren’t impressed by the protesters, who, at one point, shouted into a megaphone: “The people, united, can never be divided.”

“They’ve got, like 10 people,” a passerby said. “What are they united in?”

A motorist registered his displeasure with the protesters by rapidly accelerating as he approached them, his large truck emitting a dark cloud of smoke. The driver did that again when he passed journalists covering the president’s appearance.

Photos: Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on Palm Beach

Trump’s motorcade traveled down Donald Ross Road to Trump National, where he stayed for 5-1/2 hours.

Nancy Eberle of Palm Beach Gardens and Eddie Radut of Jupiter stood and waited about 3 hours for a glimpse of the president.

As the president’s motorcade drove past them on its way to Trump International in West Palm Beach, they were rewarded.

Trump smiled and waved vigorously as his limousine drove past them.

“This is probably the first and last time I would see the president,” Radut said. “Why not do it?”

For Eberle, who had sung the president’s praises as she waited to see him, getting a wave — and a brief recording and picture of his motorcade — had special meaning.

“My dad is ill, and I wanted to get the picture of the motorcade for him,” Eberle said. “He’s 79 years old. He is so pro-Trump. He’s a military man, and he’s happy with what Trump will do for veterans.”

By the time Trump emerged from Trump National, the protesters were long gone. And they weren’t much in evidence at Trump International, where the president’s golfing day was to draw to a close.

Exclusive photos: Donald Trump’s Palm Beach wedding

Secret Service agents discreetly ringed the course. At entrances, large black vehicles — occupied by large men with large guns — were the only indications that, within the high hedge walls of Trump International, was the president of the United States.

bannon-protestor