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Last Call for 1.7.20 — 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

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign’s creative choices for rally venues in Florida are running into occasional, um, complications.

The latest is the Keep America Great rally featuring Vice President Mike Pence planned for Jan. 16 at the Valencia Lakes clubhouse in Wimauma. 

Valencia Lakes is a private, medium-size, retirement community. 

And it’s gated.

That means many if not most of the attendees will have to be bused in. Not all Valencia Lakes residents are pleased.

“Evidently, the HOA Board of Directors only agreed to allow Pence to speak after the campaign threatened a lawsuit if Pence wasn’t allowed to speak,” charged resident Rich Kinkade. “Many of the Valencia Lakes residents are opposed to allowing the rally.”

In a memo, the Valencia Lakes association advised that this isn’t its idea.

“At the behest of a member of the Association, the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign requested that the Association make our common area facilities available for a political rally on January the 16th, 2020. This is the first time that the Association has faced this type of request. The Board immediately conferred with legal counsel regarding the request … the association is bound by the requirements of the HOA Act,” the memo states.

Valencia Lakes did not respond to Florida Politics Tuesday and Pence’s campaign said they do not comment on procedures.

This comes days after Freedom From Religion Foundation demanded the IRS investigate whether Jesus King International Ministry, the Miami church that hosted Trump’s Evangelicals for Trump rally last Friday, violated the church-and-state ban on partisan politics.

Pence’s second Jan. 16 stop also is at a church, Nación de Fe in Kissimmee.

Evening Reads

2 more Chinese nationals arrested at Florida Navy base” via The Associated Press

Michael Bloomberg bets early — and big — on Florida” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO

Florida Republicans’ voter suppression scheme may backfire” via Mark Stern of Slate

A year ago in January, Ron DeSantis became Gov. DeSantis: What do you think about his first-year record?” via Michael Moline of the Florida Phoenix

Florida has a new plan to rid schools of Common Core, but it’s a secret” via Emily Mahoney and Jeff Solochek of the Tampa Bay Time

Legislature, Chamber of Commerce oppose adult-use marijuana proposal” via Samantha Gross of the Miami Herald

Lawmaker combines ‘accountability’ and ‘compassion’ in drunken-driving bill” via James Call of the Tallahassee Democrat

Florida hospitals will lose $70.4M in Medicaid payments” via Alexandra Glorioso of POLITICO Florida

Florida, Motorola Solutions fail to reach statewide P25 deal as Dec. 31 deadline passes” via Donny Jackson of IWCE

Brightline reaches milestone: More than 1 million riders in a year” via David Lyons of the Sun-Sentinel

115 caskets found on Zion Cemetery land owned by Richard Gonzmart” via Paul Guzzo of the Tampa Bay Times

Quote of the Day

“The discussion we’re having in Florida is about treating all student-athletes the same and making sure that we are not restricting one group of athletes because they’re more valuable and their activity is more valuable than another. I don’t think that any conservative would be in support of that.” — House Speaker Jose Oliva on allowing college athletes to profit off their names and likenesses.

Bill Day’s Latest


Breakthrough Insights

Wake Up Early?

The Revenue Estimating Conference will discuss Public Education Capital Outlay funding. It meets at 9 a.m. in the Knott Building.

The Broward County legislative delegation will meet with officials from city governments and the county school district to discuss school safety officers. The meeting will be held at 3 p.m. in the Broward County Main Library, 100 South Andrews Ave., in Fort Lauderdale

Sen. Bobby Powell and Rep. Matt Willhite will hold a town hall meeting in Royal Palm Beach to discuss the upcoming 2020 Legislative Session. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Royal Palm Beach Culture Center, 151 Civic Center Way.

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