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Last Call for 1.14.19 — 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

Lest this story about the state’s newest Supreme Court justice gets lost in the coverage, we’re repeating it here with a “Friends”-esque title, “The One Where Robert Luck Gets Clobbered in his Own Courtroom.”

Asked to describe “significant cases” he presided over as a judge for his Supreme Court application, one case Luck mentioned was a 2015 prosecution of a man charged with “battering a person over the age of 65.”

During a hearing, the defendant “rushed up from his seat and jumped at me. He and I tumbled down the steps of the bench, and as I was laying on the floor, (he) was on top of me, punching my head,” Luck wrote.


“My bailiff eventually ripped (him) off of me. I got up, dusted off my robe, fixed my chair, which had been knocked down, took my place on the bench, and dictated what had happened into the record. I then entered an order recusing myself from the case.

“Despite the bleeding and bruising, I declined medical attention and refused to file a workers’ compensation claim.

“Hearing about the incident in Tallahassee, then-Chief Justice Jorge Labarga wrote me this note: ‘I want to commend you for the professionalism you displayed in handling what must have been a very disturbing situation. Your coolness and understanding was exemplary.’”

In other news, Florida’s first Solicitor General, Tom Warner, died Friday, according to a statement from Attorney General Ashley Moody.

The position was created at the request of then-Attorney General Bob Butterworth in 1999 to serve under the Attorney General. The position “oversees civil appeals involving the State and has the authority to decide whether the State should appeal a case,” among other duties.

“Tom Warner not only took on this role and established the significant functions for the Office of Solicitor General, he trail-blazed in many successful cases while representing the State of Florida,” Moody said in a statement. “Tom Warner’s many years of public service has left a great mark on our state. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

Evening Reads

Palm Beach used to be a nice town for billionaires. Then Trump came along.” via Roxanne Roberts of The Washington Post

Ex-lawmakers ‘scrambling and looking’ for lobbying gigs” via Theodoric Meyer of POLITICO

Thanks but no thanks, Rick Scott” via Diane Roberts for The Florida Phoenix

Ron DeSantis names Miami appellate judge Robert Luck to Florida Supreme Court” via David Ovalle of the Miami Herald

DeSantis plane problem refuels debate” via Jim Turner of the News Service of Florida

Nikki Fried to hire cannabis director and tweak gun permit process” via Ana Ceballos of the Naples Daily News

Fried taps Miami Democrat Barzee Flores for Deputy Commissioner” via Samantha Gross of the Miami Herald

Florida restored voting rights to former felons. Now the GOP wants to thwart reform.” via The Washington Post editorial board

Senate preps sports-betting bill under terms of Amendment 3” via Arek Sarkissian of POLITICO Florida

Pinellas tourism leader David Downing resigns” via Mark Puente of the Tampa Bay Times

Quote of the Day

“I feel hopeful about survival and about my ability to continue serving my constituents of Florida’s 20th Congressional District and the nation.” — South Florida U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, disclosing that he is under treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights

Wake Up Early?

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation will start a two-day insurance “summit,” with speakers including Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and GOP state Sen. Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg. That’s at 9 a.m., Augustus B. Turnbull Florida State Conference Center, 555 West Pensacola St., Tallahassee.

The Martin County legislative delegation is scheduled to meet. That’s at 9 a.m., Indian River State College, Chastain Campus, Wolf Technology Center, 2400 S.E. Salerno Road, Stuart.

The Lee County legislative delegation will meet as it prepares for the 2019 session. That’s at 9 a.m., Florida SouthWestern State College, Nursing Building, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers.

The Broward County legislative delegation will meet and focus on topics such as juvenile justice, criminal justice, transportation, economic development, the environment and growth management. That’s at 9:30 a.m., City of Sunrise Civic Center Theater, 10610 West Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise.

The Lake County legislative delegation will meet. That’s at 1 p.m., Lake-Sumter State College, Leesburg Campus, 9501 U.S. 441, Leesburg.

Orlando Democratic House members Carlos Guillermo Smith and Anna Eskamani will push for increased funding for arts and culture during a town-hall event. That’s at 3 p.m. Orlando Repertory Theatre, 1001 E Princeton St., Orlando.

The Brevard County legislative delegation will meet as it prepares for the 2019 session. That’s at 5 p.m., Palm Bay City Council chamber, 120 Malabar Road S.E., Palm Bay.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will hold a meeting about Hurricane Michael recovery efforts. That’s at 5:30 p.m., Gulf Coast State College, Gulf/Franklin Campus, Building A, 3800 Garrison Ave., Port St. Joe.

Written By

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.

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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

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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