Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
PUBLIX CLARIFIES: WE SUPPORT PUTNAM, NOT THE NRA
Florida grocery chain Publix took to Twitter on Tuesday to clarify to customers that the company’s backing of Republican Adam Putnam doesn’t mean it supports the National Rifle Association. The tweets came after the Tampa Bay Times reported that Publix, the heirs to its founder and its current and former leaders have donated $670,000 to Putnam in his gubernatorial race, a show of support that is unprecedented in the history of Florida’s largest private company. In the aftermath of the shooting at a Parkland high school, Putnam has repeatedly drawn criticism from gun reform activists for declaring himself a "proud NRA sellout" and for opposing the state’s new, stricter gun purchase laws.
COLUMN: REALLY, PUBLIX? ADAM PUTNAM IS WHO YOU’RE BACKING?
At a time when Americans are repelled by the nasty partisan politics encroaching into every corner of our lives, Publix has entered the fray of the Florida governor’s race. It’s a misguided move. Food and politics don’t mix well. But, as the Tampa Bay Times reported, the loved supermarket icon, its heirs and past and present leaders are bankrolling the campaign of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam at unprecedented levels. They’re endorsing and subsidizing no saint, Fabiola Santiago writes.
RICK SCOTT HAS NOW SPENT $8 MILLION ON TV
Rick Scott’s campaign this morning released another Spanish-language TV ad, bringing his total spending to more than $8 million in just over a month, an astounding figure, especially when compared with how much Bill Nelson has spent: $0. It’s the third ad released this week for an overall buy of $3.2 million, and means Scott has eclipsed the $6.5 million in spending Nelson made in his entire first campaign for Senate in 2000.
WHOLE FOODS SHOPPERS IN FLORIDA FIRST TO GET AMAZON PRIME DISCOUNTS
Floridians with Amazon Prime accounts are the first shoppers who can score discounts at Whole Foods across the state, the organic grocer announced today. While Amazon — which owns Whole Foods — plans to unroll the Prime discounts across the country by the summer, Tampa Bay and the rest of Florida can get 10 percent off sale items and exclusive deals starting today. There are 27 Whole Foods locations across Florida, including three local locations: two in Tampa and one in Clearwater.
CAMERAS STILL HIGH, BUT BUCS STAFF SAFE ON THE GROUND
There are inherent dangers that come with football, some with long-accepted risk of injury or even worse. That’s not just players on the field who could give or take a hit to the head or neck. It’s a team’s video staffers who, for decades, were precariously perched 50 feet above, just to record practice. The Bucs got a little bit safer last week, embracing a new technology that takes away nearly all risk by keeping their people safely on the ground.