Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
Lawmakers’ financial disclosures for 2018 continue to trickle in — even from those who are no longer in the Legislature.
Former state Rep. Halsey Beshears, a Monticello Republican, left in January after Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed him secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
And state Rep. Danny Burgess, a Zephyrhills Republican, gave up his seat after DeSantis asked him to become executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Beshears’ disclosure shows a net worth of $715,228, including his 30 percent stake in the family-owned Tiera Cielo corporation, worth close to $483,000.
“The Jefferson County native has a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida, and his business interests include commercial properties, wholesale agriculture, and bicycle equipment,” the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
Burgess meanwhile claims a net worth of negative $300,287, primarily because of student loan debt over $281,000.
His predicament and others’ were documented last year in a South Florida Sun-Sentinel report, “State political candidates owe millions in student loan debt.” Burgess was No. 1 among sitting lawmakers and challengers with the highest amount of student debt, then around $288,000.
In other highlights, one lawmaker filed her 2018 federal tax return as part of her disclosure.
Democratic state Rep. Anna Eskamani (net worth: $10,337) attached a copy of her 1040 form, showing $84,056 in earnings and $11,796 in tax owed. She wound up owing the feds $174.
As to including her tax return, “I thought it saved me more time than filling out the rest of the form — it also seems to be the most transparent option, which I always prefer,” she said via Twitter.
“Florida is climate change ‘ground zero.’ So why isn’t it a presidential campaign hot topic?” via Hannah Morse of the Daytona Beach News-Journal
“Joe Biden blasts Donald Trump’s ‘racist invective’ in immigration plan rollout” via Marc Caputo of POLITICO
“Jay Inslee announces ‘Freedom from Fossil Fuels’ plan at Everglades stop” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics
“Beto O’Rourke talks up veterans’ issues in Tampa, but makes no mention of ‘war tax’” via Janelle Irwin of Florida Politics
“Presidential contender Steve Bullock in Tampa Tuesday to raise cash” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics
“Ron DeSantis says Trump can override the Air Force to bring Space Command to Florida” via Chabeli Herrera of the Orlando Sentinel
“DeSantis’ vetoes hit Southwest Florida higher education, public safety” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics
“Judicial Nominating Commission chair resigns, claims Governor’s Office interfered with independence” via Dave Berman of Florida Today
“Ron Rubin alleges ‘pay-to-play’ conspiracy in lawsuit” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida
“A lesson on open records from Red Cross” via Craig Pittman of the Tampa Bay Times
“Gutted lives: Victims of Eastpoint fire still picking up the pieces one year later” via Jeff Burlew of the Tallahassee Democrat
Quote of the Day
“If everything is in compliance (at the food establishment), or (the infected employee) did not work while contagious, there is little to no threat to customers.” — Florida Dep’t of Health spokesperson Emerson George, on the latest hepatitis A outbreak in the state.
Bill Day’s Latest
Wake Up Early?
The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board will meet in Pinellas County at 9 a.m., Tampa Bay Water, 2575 Enterprise Road, Clearwater.
Vice President Mike Pence will appear in Miami to announce a “Latinos for Trump” coalition as part of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign at 10 a.m., DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center, 711 N.W. 72nd Ave., Miami.
Craig Fugate, who served as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Florida Division of Emergency Management, will speak to the Economic Club of Florida. That’s at 11:15 a.m., FSU Alumni Center, 1030 West Tennessee St., Tallahassee.
Attorney General Ashley Moody will speak at the 2019 Florida Police Chiefs Association summer conference and awards luncheon. That’s at 11:45 a.m., Saddlebrook Resort, 5700 Saddlebrook Way, Wesley Chapel.
Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke will be at an AFT Votes Town Hall event in South Florida. That’s at 4:30 p.m., Cagni Park Gymnasium at North Miami Middle School, 700 NE 137th St, North Miami.
An array of South Florida lawmakers will discuss the 2019 Legislative Session during a town-hall meeting at the Urban League of Broward County. That’s at 6 p.m., Urban League of Broward County, 560 N.W. 27th Ave., Fort Lauderdale.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democratic presidential candidate, holds a fundraiser in Tampa. That’s at 6 p.m., address available upon RSVP at stevebullock.com.
Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith, Amy Mercado and Eskamani, all Orlando Democrats, will hold a town hall meeting to discuss the 2019 Session. That’s at 6:30 p.m., Acacia Banquet Hall, 1865 North Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.
House Republican Leader Dane Eagle of Cape Coral is slated to discuss the 2019 Session during a meeting of the Cape Coral Republican Club. That’s at 7 p.m., Personal Touch Catering, 1530 Santa Barbara Blvd., Cape Coral.