Last Call for 4.10.18 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics


Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Citrus news is getting to be a broken record: The latest report by U.S. Department of Agriculture holds Florida orange production “steady” with a slight decrease in grapefruit production, according to a Tuesday news release.

The USDA’s March report estimates Florida orange production for 2017-18 to remain at 45 million boxes, a 35 percent decrease over last season and the lowest crop size in more than 75 years.

Before Hurricane Irma, Florida was expected to produce about 75 million boxes of oranges this season, according to private estimates.

Florida grapefruit production went down 650,000 boxes to 4 million boxes, a decrease of 49 percent over last season. There was a small increase in Florida specialty fruit, which includes tangerines and tangelos.

“After a season of crisis, our industry finds hope in a new bloom, a new crop, disaster relief on the horizon and the opportunity a new season brings,” said Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus.

After Irma, Congress passed federal disaster recovery relief as part of a larger spending bill in February. In April, the USDA announced it will begin implementing disaster payments of up to $2.36 billion in response to 2017 hurricanes and wildfires.

Evening Reads

Rick Scott mostly fulfills promise to create 700,000 jobs in 7 years” via Allison Graves of PolitiFact

Federal complaint alleges Scott’s PAC illegally skirted fundraising restrictions” via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times

Trump-endorsed Ron DeSantis says he’d have vetoed gun law, removed Sheriff Scott Israel” via Anthony Man of the Sun-Sentinel

Betsy DeVos calls Florida a ‘bright spot’ in test results via Caitlin Emma of POLITICO

Donald Trump nominates two for U.S. District Court in Florida” via Alex Leary of the Tampa Bay Times

FEMA faulted for failed hurricane-aid contracts, including some with St. Cloud company” via The Associated Press

Steny Hoyer sought to clear Florida primary field” via Marc Caputo and Heather Caygle of POLITICO

That driver is jamming traffic — he’s probably filming a campaign ad” via Reid Epstein of The Wall Street Journal

Airbnb announces 40th county tax agreement with Charlotte” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

How developers discovered Tampa’s ‘best-kept secret’” via Nick Madigan of The New York Times

Quote of the Day

“Time and time again, they went to his house — how many times? Twenty, thirty times? — and chose to do nothing. Because the policy was, ‘we don’t want to get this individual in the justice system, it’s not good for statistics.’” — Republican congressman and candidate for Governor Ron DeSantis, on Broward law enforcement officials’ response to Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz before February’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights  

Wake Up Early?

The Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Board of Governors is scheduled to meet in Central Florida. That’s at 9 a.m., Sheraton Orlando North, 600 North Lake Destiny Dr., Maitland.

Staff members for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio will hold “mobile” office hours in Osceola and Clay counties. That’s at 9 a.m., Advance Senior Center, 2260 East Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee and 10 a.m., Penney Farms Town Hall, 4100 Clark Ave., Green Cove Springs.

Attorney General Pam Bondi will hold a National Crime Victims’ Rights Week ceremony “to recognize outstanding individuals who have assisted crime victims in Florida.” That’s at 10 a.m., Cabinet meeting room, The Capitol, Tallahassee.

Sen. Dorothy Hukill, a Port Orange Republican, will take part in a Building Homes for Heroes “Hero’s Home Celebration.” That’s at 11 a.m., address available from Hukill’s office.

Sen. Aaron Bean, a Fernandina Beach Republican, will address the Rotary Club of West Jacksonville and discuss the 2018 legislative session. That’s at 12:30 p.m., Florida Yacht Club, 5210 Yacht Club Road, Jacksonville.

Members of the Lake County legislative delegation will take part in a town-hall meeting about the 2018 legislative session. Expected to take part are four Republicans: Sens. Kelli Stargel of Lakeland and Dennis Baxley of Ocala; and Reps. Larry Metz of Yalaha and Jennifer Sullivan of Mount Dora. That’s at 6 p.m., Tavares Civic Center, 100 East Caroline St., Tavares.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

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