Last Call for 6.27.18 — 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

Calder Race Course is seeking a tax break from the state’s Department of Revenue on its slot machines, records show.

The department, in response to a public record request, on Wednesday released a copy of the petition Calder’s attorney, James M. Ervin Jr. of Tallahassee, filed June 20.

The Miami Gardens track, which no longer runs live horse racing, now does business as Calder Casino, offering about slots and electronic table games.

It leases 122 of its 1,100 slot machines from vendors, the petition says, paying both state and local tax. State law caps taxes collected on the first $5,000 worth of “tangible personal property.”

Calder is asking for each of its three slots leases to be considered separately to fall under the $5,000 cap, instead of as a whole “single sale,” easing its tax burden.  

“Each of the three supplied invoices detailing the leasing of slot machines meets the requirements of a single sale,” the petition says.

Those invoices, however, were not disclosed because Calder claimed a “trade secrets” exemption for them under the state’s public records law.

“Given the high cost of slot machines, the implications of the $5,000 surtax limitation represent a substantial and material value to the petitioner’s business,” the filing says.

A copy of the petition is here.

Evening Reads

With Supreme Court vacancy, Donald Trump’s 2016 Mar-a-Lago pledge again looms large” via George Bennett of the Palm Beach Post

Florida gets another chance to make case in ‘water war’” via Lloyd Dunkelberger of the News Service of Florida

Immigration bill brokered by Miami Republicans fails” via Alex Daugherty of the Miami Herald

In welcoming Hispanic leader support, Rick Scott offers mixed messages on refugees” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

Rick Scott, Cabinet delay decision on hiring new OFR head” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics

Documents: Putnam office staffers admitted inappropriate, sexually charged behavior” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida

DGA chairman: Florida high on ‘national priority list’” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida

State: Controlled burn sparked Florida fire that destroyed 36 homes” via the Florida Times-Union

These Puerto Ricans who fled Hurricane María’s destruction built a community at a Super 8 in Kissimmee. Now, they have to leave it.” via Bianca Padró Ocasio of the Orlando Sentinel

How Florida ignited the heroin epidemic” via the Palm Beach Post

Quote of the Day

“We have to think: What if you are coming from Puerto Rico? What of the challenges of Nicaragua, the challenges of Venezuela, the challenges of the Cubans coming here? We are the melting pot. We are the best melting pot in the world.” — Gov. Rick Scott, after endorsements from Orlando-area Hispanic leaders for his U.S. Senate run.

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights

Wake Up Early?

The Florida Association of Counties will continue its annual conference, with events including a workshop titled, “Running for Higher Office: What You Need to Know.” A panel discussion is expected to include former Secretary of State Sandra Mortham; state Rep. Kathleen Peters, a Treasure Island Republican; and former lawmakers Steve Geller and Nancy Detert. Speakers on other panels during the day are expected to include state Rep. Kristin Jacobs, a Coconut Creek Democrat; state Sen. Darryl Rouson, a St. Petersburg Democrat; and Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg. Panels start at 8:15 a.m., Hyatt Regency Orlando, 9801 International Dr., Orlando.

The state university system’s Board of Governors will consider confirmation of the reappointments of Mark Rosenberg as president of Florida International University and Donal O’Shea as president of New College of Florida. The board will also vote on an annual performance funding allocation for the universities. That’s at 10:30 a.m., University of Central Florida, Fairwinds Alumni Center, 12676 Gemini Blvd. North, Orlando. Also, call-in number: 1-888-670-3525. Code: 4122150353.

The Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to release its weekly opinions at 11 a.m.

The state Statue Location Selection Committee will discuss where a statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith will be displayed after it is returned to Florida. A likeness of Smith has long represented Florida in the National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. But Florida lawmakers this year approved replacing the statue of Smith with a statue of civil-rights leader and educator Mary McLeod Bethune. That’s at 2 p.m., R.A. Gray Building, 500 South Bronough St., Tallahassee.

A campaign fundraising event is slated for U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, who is running for re-election in Congressional District 16. That’s at 5:30 p.m., 835 Longboat Club Road, Longboat Key.

Republican gubernatorial candidates Adam Putnam and Ron DeSantis are slated to take part in a Fox News debate that will be part of the Republican Party of Florida’s “Sunshine Summit.” That’s at 6:30 p.m., Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, 6000 West Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee.

Republican Nicolas Kimaz, who is seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, in Congressional District 22, will hold a campaign event in Broward County. That’s at 7 p.m., JB’s on the Beach, 300 N.E. 21st Ave., Deerfield Beach.

Sen. Daphne Campbell, a Miami Democrat, will be honored during the Female Development World Organization’s annual Protect the Children Gala Dinner. That’s at 7:30 p.m., The Venue, 2345 Wilton Dr., Fort Lauderdale.

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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