Last Call for 5.9.19 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

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

First Shot

Orlando attorney and entrepreneur John Morgan got in the first and last words in a Twitter squabble over former Democratic candidate for Gov. Andrew Gillum’s campaign cash.

According to Division of Elections records, “Forward Florida” — Gillum’s political committee — left over $3 million in the bank as of election night.

That left some supporters and commentators complaining that the unspent funds could have fueled the ex-Tallahassee mayor over the top last year in his general election contest with now GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“I have an idea! You’re sitting on over $3M raised to elect you Gov.,” Morgan tweeted Thursday.

“Let’s take that money and use it ALL to pay the financial restitution now owed by freed felons to vote. This poll tax is unconscionable. They paid a price & are now being asked to pay again.”

Gillum responded: “We’ve committed all funds & money we are raising to registering & reengaging 1 million voters to beat @realDonaldTrump in 2020. Join us. Or use your sway with @RonDeSantisFL to get it vetoed.

“Appreciate you. #ForThePeople,” then he signed off with a fist bump emoji.

“Andrew, I have no ‘sway’ with @GovRonDeSantis. All of my sway is in your $3.5M bank account,” Morgan tweeted back.

“You lost by 30K votes and kept the money from people who trusted you so that you can now go around the state with a staff preparing your next run. And didn’t use it to win!!”

Morgan added: “I will tell you that is a huge mistake. Your donors are very disappointed. This is a huge ethical lapse. Give it to charity not to yourself. #PoliticsAreAllTheSame”

Evening Reads

Ground zero for Donald Trump 2020 campaign: Florida” via Marc Caputo of POLITICO

Judge demands unredacted Mueller report in Roger Stone case” via Darren Samuelsohn

Democrats’ tolerance of anti-Semitism exposes their intolerance” via Rick Scott for National Review

Truth takes a beating at Donald Trump rally in Panhandle” via The Associated Press

Amendment 4 leader says new law slows, but doesn’t stop, ex-felons from voting” via Steve Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel

Ben Albritton pleased by child welfare wins, optimistic about de-licensing future” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Is Florida agriculture under attack by state political leaders?” via Gary Cooper via Southeast AgNet

South Florida population growth slows for a second year, Census data shows” via Aric Chokey of the Sun-Sentinel

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is now the star cop in Florida politics. Who is he, and how did he get there?” via Kathyrn Varn of the Tampa Bay Times

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge plunged into Tampa Bay 39 years ago” via Jamal Thalji of the Tampa Bay Times

Quote of the Day

“It probably won’t take 122 years for the Democrats to regain a House majority, as it took the Republicans before Dan Webster. It’ll just seem that long.” — Tallahassee Democrat columnist Bill Cotterell, on the GOP’s two-decade-plus control of the Florida Legislature.

Bill Day’s Latest


Breakthrough Insights

Wake Up Early?

State political candidates and committees face a Friday deadline for filing reports showing finance activity through April 30.

Democratic presidential candidate Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, is slated to speak to the Capital Tiger Bay Club. That’s at 11:30 a.m., Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, 505 West Pensacola St., Tallahassee.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release an updated forecast for Florida’s citrus-growing season at noon.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz and Clean PACE Executive Director Guy McClukan will hold a news conference to highlight the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in Florida. That’s at 1:30 p.m., Stephen P. Clark Government Center, 111 N.W. 1st St., Miami.

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.

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