Monday, November 20, 2017
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  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

As election mounts, Bill Nelson leans into letter writing mode

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Sen. Bill Nelson has become a letter-writing machine, issuing what seems to be daily missives to legislative and Trump administration officials. "Nelson calls on …" his news releases begin.

Today, Nelson's office sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urging "tough economic sanctions on the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro."

The issues, ranging from FEMA's hurricane response to demands for an investigation into the South Florida nursing home deaths, are not trivial.

But the activity also shows that the Democrat is using every available resource as he settles into election mode.

Nelson has used letters and Senate floor speeches to jab at his expected rival, Gov. Rick Scott, over the nursing home deaths.

Yesterday, Nelson sent a letter to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta urging his agency to fix issues with the state's unemployment website, citing "several" constituent complaints about being unable to apply for disaster unemployment assistance.

"Nelson calls on feds to step in over state's handling of unemployment website," read the email sent to reporters.

UPDATE: A state agency spokeswoman says Nelson's claim is not true.

"The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is committed to offering assistance to those impacted by Hurricane Irma. Nearly 34,000 Floridians have applied for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, and the application process is fully functioning."

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Published: 11/20/17