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Last Call for 6.1.20 — 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

Gov. Ron DeSantis had been quiet about George Floyd’s killing, and the national unrest that followed, until Monday afternoon.

“Florida has zero-tolerance for violence, rioting and looting. George Floyd’s murder was appalling, and the Minnesota perpetrators need to be brought to justice, but this cannot be used as a pretext for violence in our Florida communities,” DeSantis said in prepared remarks.

The statement comes after a turbulent Saturday, which saw many Florida cities respond with curfews and a comparatively mild Sunday.

“I am in constant contact with state and local leaders, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida National Guard and the Florida Highway Patrol. We have devoted significant resources, including the mobilization of 700 Florida National Guard soldiers who are specially trained to support law enforcement. I have also worked with FHP to coordinate more than 1,300 sworn Florida Highway Patrol troopers to support local law enforcement efforts. We will continue to do everything necessary to keep residents safe.”

The Governor went on, listing off a score of officials he’s been in contact with since protests ignited, ranging from sheriffs and mayors all the way to the president.

“I thank these leaders for their continued partnership and efforts to keep Floridians safe,” he concluded.


Twitter may have let Rep. Anthony Sabatini off the hook for his AR-15 tweet, but Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried isn’t giving up so easily.

Fried, a Democrat, sent a letter to House Speaker José Oliva and Speaker-Designate Chris Sprowls asking them to reprimand the Howey-in-the-Hill Republican.

Sabatini’s tweet included a photo of a rifle, presumably his, accompanied by the text “Attention potential ‘protesters’ coming near Lake County, Florida This is an AR-15 — this will be a very common sight upon illegal entry at any Lake County business — FYI!”

Though Sabatini claims otherwise, many Democrats, including Fried, have interpreted the tweet as an attempt to incite violence.

Fried wants there to be consequences, writing that chamber “rules state that members of your chamber shall serve ‘with integrity in the public interest’ and ‘by personal example and by admonition to colleagues whose behavior may threaten the honor of the lawmaking body,’ shall be ‘respectful of the confidence placed in the member by the other members and the people,’ and shall perform ‘at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity … of the House’ and ‘at all times in a manner that promotes a professional environment in the House …’

She contends a Sabatini has failed on all counts.

“As Speaker of the House and Chair of the Rules Committee, I call upon you to admonish Rep. Sabatini for his detrimental conduct through whatever means appropriate, including censure and removal of committee assignments, according to House Rules 15.9 and your judgment,” Fried concluded.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 55,415 FL residents (+651 since Sunday)

— 1,415 Non-FL residents (+16 since Sunday)


— 2,131 Travel related

— 25,959 Contact with a confirmed case

— 2,030 Both

— 25,295 Under investigation


— 10,231 in FL


— 2,460 in FL

Unemployment numbers

As of Sunday:

Total claims: 2,247,126

— Confirmed unique claims: 2,022,979

— Claim verification queue: 228,119

— Claims processed: 1,794,860

— Claims paid: 1,066,846 (+13,536 since Thursday)

Total paid out: $3.97 billion (+$230 million since Thursday)

Evening Reads

Donald Trump slams governors as ‘weak,’ urges crackdown on protests” via Jonathan Lemire, Zeke Miller and Alan Suderman of The Associated Press

William Barr: Law enforcement must ‘dominate’ streets amid protests” via Michael Balsamo of The Associated Press

A flight to space. A fight in the streets. Americans search high and low for hope.” via Dan Zak of The Washington Post

8 minutes and 46 seconds: How George Floyd was killed in police custody” via Evan Hill, Ainara Tiefenthäler, Christiaan Triebert, Drew Jordan, Haley Willis and Robin Stein of The New York Times

The double standard of the American riot” via Kellie Carter Jackson of The Atlantic

National Guard troop levels reach historic high amid pandemic and protest” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics

‘Can we hunt them down?’ Matt Gaetz proposes antifa aggression” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Prison officials delay releasing federal inmates into home confinement, ‘thumbing their nose’ at judges and Congress” via Laura Cassels of the Florida Phoenix

Forecasters start hurricane season watching a storm with ‘high’ chance of development” via Michelle Marchante of the Miami Herald

Still no word from Gov. DeSantis about the George Floyd unrest” via Michael Moline of the Florida Phoenix

Floridians who have exhausted state unemployment may be eligible for more weeks of pay under new federal program” via Caroline Glenn of the Orlando Sentinel

They made ends meet before coronavirus. Now they’re the ‘new poor.’” via Divya Kumar of the Tampa Bay Times

‘Waiting room’ latest hurdle for frustrated jobless seeking benefits” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Tom Lee says Senate ‘isn’t the best fit for me’” via Jim Turner of News Service of Florida

Danny Burgess stepping down at Veterans Affairs Department, running for Senate” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Two Democrats focus campaigns on helping small businesses” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

COVID-19 arrival slashes tourism numbers” via Jim Turner of News Service of Florida

Quote of the Day

“George Floyd’s death was criminal, as were the actions of officers who could have intervened. Peaceful protests continuing across our country are an appropriate and important part of our American tradition, which I support as a means for voices to be heard when enough is enough.” — Senate President Bill Galvano, on the Floyd protests.

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