Morning Report: Ill-timed poll asks, Rick Baker or Billy Young Jr. for Congress?

Which GOP candidate should fill the House seat held for 22 terms by Rep. Bill Young — Rick Baker? Frank Hibbard? Or, Billy Young, the late Congressman’s son?

The National Republican Congressional Committee is apologizing today for phoning voters in Florida’s District 13, as Young’s family marked the passing of the 82-year-old Congressman, who died last week.

The funeral for Young is today in Largo, with a public viewing held Wednesday in Largo.
The NRCC began polling voters Wednesday night about possible Republican candidates to succeed Young in the House. According to Saintpetersblog, Karen Prill of the NRCC said that the timing of the telephone poll was “an unfortunate mistake.”

Congress closes to mourn Bill Young: Congress is shutting down Thursday to allow members to attend the funeral for Congressman Bill Young.

According to the Washington Times, closing down business is a symbol of respect for Young, the senior member of the House.

The Defense Department was flying members to Tampa to attend the service. They were scheduled to return to Washington, D.C., late in the evening Thursday. There have been no cost estimates for the flight.

A Who’s Who list of national leaders will be among the 6,000 mourners expected to turn out for the 1 p.m. funeral at the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks Beach. They include:

• House Speaker John Boehner;
• Gen. James F. Amos, Marine Corps commandant;
• Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.;
• Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J.;
• Former Defense Secretary Gordon England.

On Wednesday, up to 1,000 people attended a public visitation for Young at the C.W. Bill Young Armed Forces Reserve Center in Pinellas Park. They included University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and state Rep. Darryl Rouson.

More problems for Universal Health Care: Former executives with bankrupt Universal Health Care, headquartered in St. Petersburg, are facing more financial troubles.

The Department of Financial Services is asking that they return millions of dollars in bonuses they received in 2012. The state contends that the former executives received a total of $4.5 million in bonuses and other income as Universal Health Care headed into bankruptcy, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

The executives include former CEO Ashkay Desai and Jeff Ludy, who was vice president. The Florida Department of Financial Services is the court-appointed receiver for bankrupt Universal Health Care.

Desai — UHC’s founder and a Snell Isle resident — was an activist in the state Republican Party prior to the collapse of his company, which faces allegations of fraud and a federal investigation.

According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Desai is being investigated for allegedly taking kickbacks from vendors, an accusation he denies.

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