Last Call for 6.17.19 — 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

A Canadian company wants to avoid having to get a license in Florida to offer its “global electronic platform” to buy and sell “digital assets.”

Coinsquare filed a petition for declaratory statement, noticed in Monday’s edition of the Florida Administrative Register, with the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR).

“Digital assets” includes “non-securities (e.g., bitcoin and ether) and those the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has either determined to be securities or has not yet made such a determination,” the petition says.

Bitcoin is perhaps the best-known cryptocurrency, “decentralized digital currency beyond the reach of banks and governments,” as Fortune magazine once defined it.

It relies on a network of users to log and verify transactions without oversight from a central authority.

Coinsquare says it has “filed an application to be registered with the SEC and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as a broker-dealer and ‘alternative trading system.’ ”

Requiring it to also be “licensed as a money transmitter in Florida will result in unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burden on the company,” the petition says.

OFR has previously ruled, for instance, that an Illinois-based company called CoinFlip — which bills itself as America’s “leading bitcoin ATM operator” — doesn’t have to register as a state money transmitter to operate in Florida.

Evening Reads

Battleground Florida: Both parties prepare for 2020 fight” via Zeke Miller of The Associated Press

Donald Trump focuses campaign hopes on Florida” via Alex Leary and Michael Bender of the Wall Street Journal

Trump supporters line up 40 hours before Florida rally” via 10 News

Activists in Orlando say they’ll have thousands to protest Trump visit” via Mitch Perry of the Florida Phoenix

Ron DeSantis announces more money for election security to protect against hacking” via Jim Rosica of Florida Politics

Florida Democrats (still) have an Andrew Gillum problem” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

Weston woman harasses applicants at citizenship clinic in Lauderhill mall” via Naomi Feinstein of the New Times Broward

Puerto Rico’s oversight board strikes $35 billion restructuring deal with commonwealth’s bondholders” via Dawn Giel of CNBC

Miami Republican Daniel Perez wins 2024-26 race for House Speaker” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

Road project complete and paid off? Keep paying the tolls, Influencers say” via Samantha Gross of the Miami Herald

AT&T invests nearly $3.2 billion over 3-year period to boost Florida networks” via Florida Trend

MedMen expands its cannabis retail empire to Florida” via Alicia Wallace of CNN

Quote of the Day

“I don’t want to grind this process to a halt because you gotta dot a hundred different ‘i’s and cross a hundred different ‘t’s.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, on giving back money to counties from a federal grant to protect against elections systems getting hacked.

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights

Wake Up Early?

Voters will go to the polls in special elections in House District 7 and House District 38. Port St. Joe Republican Jason Shoaf and Tallahassee Democrat Ryan Terrell are running in North Florida’s District 7, which opened when former Rep. Halsey Beshears, a Monticello Republican, was appointed secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The district is made up of Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Jefferson, Lafayette, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla and part of Leon counties. Dade City Republican Randy Maggard and Wesley Chapel Democrat Kelly Smith are running in Pasco County’s District 38, which former Rep. Danny Burgess, a Zephyrhills Republican, left to become executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Senate Special Master Dudley Goodlette will hold a final hearing in an appeal by suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. Gov. Ron DeSantis ousted Israel, accusing the sheriff of “neglect of duty” and “incompetence” related to the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Israel requested a hearing from the Senate, which has the authority to remove or reinstate officials suspended by the governor. As special master, Goodlette will hold a hearing and make a recommendation to the Senate. The hearing could last three days. That’s at 9 a.m., 110 Senate Office Building.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce will begin a two-day “Learners to Earners Workforce Summit,” with speakers expected to include Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. That’s at 9 a.m., Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, 14651 Chelonia Parkway, Orlando.

Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil, a Maitland Democrat, will host a “Legislative Town Hall” to discuss the 2019 Legislative Session and provide an update on bills affecting Central Florida. That’s at 6 p.m., Maitland City Hall, 1776 Independence Lane, Maitland.

Reps. Javier E. Fernández, Nicholas X. Duran, and Sen. José Javier Rodríguez will host a “Legislative Town Hall” to discuss the 2019 Legislative Session and provide an update on bills affecting South Florida. That’s at 7 p.m., Riviera Presbyterian Church, 5275 Sunset Drive, Miami.

President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Orlando to formally launch his 2020 reelection campaign. While he will make the announcement in Orlando, Trump has already been holding campaign-style events across the country, including a May 8 rally in Panama City Beach. Trump won Florida during the 2016 election, capturing 49 percent of the vote, while Democrat Hillary Clinton received 47.8 percent. Along with wins in key Midwest states, the Florida victory helped send Trump to the White House. That’s at 8 p.m., Amway Center, 400 West Church St., Orlando.

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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