Last Call for 8.29.19 — 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

Welcome back to “Last Call,” where we’re all hurricane, all the time. (Well, bearing in mind this is the last PM newsletter of the week.)

Here’s a quick roundup of where things stand late Thursday afternoon on Hurricane Dorian:

— The AP reported the now-Category 1 storm is “expected to strengthen into a potentially catastrophic Cat 4 with winds of 130 mph and slam into the U.S. Monday somewhere between the Florida Keys and southern Georgia — a 500-mile stretch that reflected the high degree of uncertainty this far out.”

“If it makes landfall as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane, that’s a big deal,” University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy told The Associated Press. “A lot of people are going to be affected, a lot of insurance claims.”

— Gov. Ron DeSantis visited the National Hurricane Center in Miami where he received “a full briefing on Hurricane Dorian,” his press office said. He also stopped in at emergency operations centers in Brevard and Duval counties.

“Due to Hurricane Dorian’s uncertain projected path, I am expanding the state of emergency to include all 67 counties throughout Florida,” he said.

“All residents, especially those along the East Coast, need to be prepared for possible impacts. As it increases strength, this storm has the potential to severely damage homes, businesses and buildings, which is why all Floridians should remain vigilant. Do not wait until it is too late to make a plan.”

— Attorney General Ashley Moody extended the Price Gouging Hotline for consumers in all 67 counties. State law prohibits “excessive increases in the price of essential commodities, such as food, water, hotel rooms, ice, gasoline, lumber and equipment,” during an officially declared emergency.

“I have extended Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline to all 67 counties in an effort to prevent gouging, so Floridians can afford essential items now. Please report gouging to my office by calling (866) 9NO-SCAM or download our new reporting app.”

In related news:

— The Department of Environmental Protection announced it had postponed Friday’s meeting of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force (set for Gainesville) till further notice.

— Miami Herald reporter Joey Flechas tweeted that the “city of Miami has notified dockless electric scooter companies that they must pick up their scooters by noon tomorrow. This will be a test of vendor compliance to a rule that’s supposed to prevent these things from becoming projectiles in a storm.”

— Bloomberg News reported that President Donald Trump “canceled a trip to Poland this weekend because Hurricane Dorian is poised to strike Florida, according to two people familiar with the matter.”

— And, in perhaps the most chilling update of all, the Weather Channel confirmed that Jim Cantore “is on his way to Florida to cover Hurricane Dorian.”

Evening Reads

Twitter blasts Donald Trump after saying Hurricane Dorian could be ‘one of the biggest’” via Janelle Irwin of Florida Politics

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is in the projected path of Hurricane Dorian” via Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times

Ron DeSantis ‘confident’ Florida’s ready for Dorian, despite Trump’s raid of FEMA” via David Smiley of the Miami Herald

Kionne McGhee to DeSantis: Suspend tolls during Dorian” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Floridians, millennials are least likely to evacuate for storm, study finds” via Josh Fiallo of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida’s ‘cash register justice’ leaves many felons still ineligible to vote despite passage of Amendment 4” via Claire Goforth of the Florida Bulldog

School districts lose another round in court challenge of HB 7069” via Jeff Solochek of the Tampa Bay Times

‘Chaos’: Politics mires Miami Dade College search for new leader” via Andrew Atterbury and Gary Fineout of POLITICO

My apologies to Broward Judge Ernest Kollra, slapped for answering my question” via Rosemary O’Hara of the Sun-Sentinel

Hurricane Dorian moves FSU vs. Boise State game to Tallahassee” via Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times

From Disney openings to a Rolling Stones concert: Labor Day Weekend events at risk because of Dorian” via Ron Brackett of the Weather Channel

Publix made a Hurricane Dorian cake. Some shoppers aren’t happy.” via Gabrielle Calise of the Tampa Bay Times

Quote of the Day

John Morgan suffers from what I like to call the ‘Massa’ mentality. A condition where your wealth and ‘supremacy’ deludes you into thinking that you own people.” — Former Democratic nominee for Gov. Andrew Gillum, escalating his Twitter fight with Orlando mega-attorney Morgan, of whom he also said, “He may own many slaves, but I am not one of them.”

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights

Wake Up Early?

[Ed. Note — Events may be canceled or postponed because of the storm.]

The Associated Industries of Florida’s annual Florida Water Forum will conclude with discussions of issues such as a preview of the 2020 legislative session. That’s at 8:30 a.m., Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando, 6601 Adventure Way, Orlando.

The 1st District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission will continue interviewing candidates for two seats on the Tallahassee-based appeals court, which hears cases from across North Florida. The openings were created when former 1st District Court of Appeal judges Allen Winsor and T. Kent Wetherell were confirmed to federal judgeships. Interviews start at 8:30 a.m., 1st District Court of Appeal, 2000 Drayton Dr., Tallahassee.

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases, including a dispute about whether the Florida Highway Patrol can be held liable in the 2012 death of a woman in a crash on Interstate 75. That’s at 9 a.m., Florida Supreme Court, 500 South Duval St., Tallahassee.

The Department of State’s Division of Elections will hold a rule-making workshop related to changes made by the Legislature to the petition-gathering process for proposed constitutional amendments. That’s at 9 a.m., R.A. Gray Building, 500 South Bronough St., Tallahassee. Call-in number: 1-888-585-9008. Code: 659459077.

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

Sign up for Sunburn