Last Call for 12.17.18 — 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

As promised, state gambling regulators have again rewritten an emergency rule governing the drug testing of racing greyhounds.

That’s even as dog racing’s time is short: Voters last month OK’d a constitutional amendment banning betting on live dog racing that becomes effective on the first day of 2021.

Meantime, “there are over 150 performances scheduled in the month of December, over 300 performances scheduled in January, and over 300 performances scheduled in February,” says the rule-making notice from the Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.

In Florida, live dog racing is still conducted at 11 tracks: “In other words, hundreds of racing greyhounds will be racing in the near future.”

The latest language adds “sealing and labeling” and chain of custody standards that were lacking in a previous rule that was largely struck down by Administrative Law Judge E. Gary Early.

A cocaine-in-dogs controversy came to light in Jacksonville in the summer of 2017. That in part spurred the amendment for the 2018 ballot to effectively ban greyhound racing in the state.

Evening Reads

Shocking: Some of the people advising Ron DeSantis contributed to his campaign!” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

Richard Corcoran unanimously appointed Commissioner of Education” via Emily Mahoney of the Tampa Bay Times

Critics want DeSantis to kick off 2 members of education advisory committee” via Diane Rado of the Florida Phoenix

Gwen Graham on loss: ‘It’s painful.’ Yet, she ponders wide-open political future” via Dara Kam of the News Service of Florida

Nikki Fried wants pardon for Groveland 4” via The Associated Press

Jackie Toledo bill would make ‘distracted driving’ a primary offense” via Janelle Irwin of Florida Politics

Aging advocates sue Florida over Medicaid waitlists” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

State may publish more data on heart surgery deaths” via Nel Bedi and Kathleen McGrory of the Tampa Bay Times

Red tide nearly entirely gone from Florida waters” via Fox 4

A tribute to T.K. Wetherell” via Lucy Morgan for the Florida Phoenix

Quote of the Day

“With all due respect, Mr. Corcoran has no professional background in education beyond his intentional efforts to privatize our state’s public education system.” — Orlando Democratic state Rep. Anna Eskamani, on Richard Corcoran as state Education Commissioner.

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights

Wake Up Early?

State analysts are slated to revise estimates of general-revenue taxes, which play a key role in funding Florida’s schools, health care programs and prison system. That’s at 9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.

The Pinellas County legislative delegation will meet as it prepares for the 2019 session. That’s at 9 a.m., St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. North, Seminole.

The Broward County legislative delegation will hold a public hearing and consider local bills. That’s at 9:30 a.m., City of Sunrise Civic Center, 10610 West Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise.

Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis’ Transition Advisory Committee on the Economy will meet in Hillsborough County. The committee is chaired by former House Speaker Will Weatherford. That’s at 1 p.m., University of South Florida Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, 124 South Franklin St., Tampa. A conference call number will be provided at

The Clay County legislative delegation will meet. That’s at 4 p.m., Clay County Commission chamber, 477 Houston St., Green Cove Springs.

The Okaloosa County legislative delegation will meet. That’s at 5:30 p.m., Northwest Florida State College, Room SSC 302, 100 College Blvd., Niceville.

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.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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