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Last Call for 7.6.20 — 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

As Election Day nears, EDF Action Votes plans to start hitting President Donald Trump for his environmental policies.

The political committee is launching an ad titled “Hoax” highlighting the impacts of climate change in Florida and calling out Trump for his lack of action on the threat it poses.

“Florida’s climate crisis is getting worse. Our summers are getting hotter. And our experts agree — NASA, scientists, even our military leaders know climate change is real,” a narrator says in the 30-second ad.

The spot features headlines on climate change in Florida interspersed with video of Trump describing is as a “hoax.”

EDF Action Votes said the ad will begin airing in the Tampa media market Tuesday. The reasoning: Tampa is the biggest media market in Florida, the biggest presidential swing state.

The ad buy is part of the $1.7 million TV ad reservation the group announced last month.

“Florida’s health and economy can’t afford another four years of Donald Trump. He puts polluters first, ignores science, and thinks climate change is a joke,” EDF Action President Joe Bonfiglio said.

“The stakes of this election are extremely high. We are doing everything we can to defeat Donald Trump in November, so we can make the progress necessary to address the looming climate crisis.”

EDF pointed to polling that shows climate change among the top concerns for Florida voters — two-thirds say it’s a serious problem and 70% say the government isn’t doing enough to address it. The data, EDF says, paints Trump’s environmental policies as a serious political liability in the Sunshine State.

To watch the video, click on the image below:


A month ago, Florida A&M University College of Law was set to welcome back students in the fall.

The institution’s board of trustees had hammered out a plan, including rigorous testing, contact tracing, a face mask mandate and offering a hybrid of online and in-person classes. The State University System Board of Governors swiftly approved it during a meeting late last month.

But the virus’ resurgence has given FAMU Law second thoughts. On Monday, it announced it won’t offer on-campus classes in the fall semester after all.

“While we recognize that this is a shift in direction, we have made this decision because we believe it is in the best interest of our students, faculty and staff,” FAMU Law Dean Deidré Keller said.

The about-face came after the College of Law Reopening Task Force examined the facts, including current outbreak numbers, the influx of students moving to Central Florida, health risks, student concerns, class sizes, classroom sizes, and the actions of public schools, universities and colleges.

“We’ve concluded that given the current trends, there is a significant possibility of circumstances evolving such that online instruction becomes necessary at some point during the semester,” Keller said.

The decision impacts about 500 current and incoming students. Students, faculty and staff will get more details on the transition to online instruction in the coming days, including during virtual town hall meetings set for July 9.

“The timing of this communication is intended to give students, faculty, and staff as much notice of the change as possible,” Keller said, “because the College of Law and University are committed to all of our law students receiving a quality legal education experience in the online environment.”

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 203,376 FL residents (+6,300 since Sunday)

— 3,071 Non-FL residents (+36 since Sunday)


— 2,662 Travel related

— 61,609 Contact with a confirmed case

— 2,588 Both

— 136,517 Under investigation


— 16,045 in FL


— 3,880 in FL

Unemployment numbers

As of Sunday:

Total claims: 2,848,445

— Confirmed unique claims: 2,633,886

— Claim verification queue: 206,860

— Claims processed: 2,427,026

— Claims paid: 1,629,218 (+2,227 since Thursday)

Total paid out: $8.8 billion (+$100 million since Thursday)

Evening Reads

Joe Biden unveils Florida leadership team” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida

Life on the Vice-Presidential shortlist” via  of the New York Times

Florida Democratic Party among those receiving Paycheck Protection Plan money” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

Nikki Fried tells national audience ‘We’re in serious trouble in the state of Florida’” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics

6,336 new COVID-19 cases in Florida on Monday” via staff of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

On lighter testing, Central Florida logs 802 new COVID-19 cases” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

Plastic barriers and ‘mask breaks’ — Florida school districts get creative with plans to reopen schools” via Daniella Brown of the Florida Phoenix

Restarting sports in virus-deep Florida was the worst of miscalculations” via Jim Souhan of the Star-Tribune

Lawsuit challenges Jacksonville mask requirement” via Steve Patterson of Florida Times-Union

Anthony Sabatini’s latest hateful rhetoric draws attack on Kerry Kriseman, cancer survivor” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

Baseball’s return in peril after World Series Champs close camp” via Brandon Kochkodin of Bloomberg

Quote of the Day

“I want us to be in May. I want us to be in early June. We want to get back to that for sure. I think we’ve stabilized at where we’re at.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, on the rising coronavirus positivity rate.

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Written By

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 Orlando Rising and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also 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.

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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

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Phone: (727) 642-3162
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St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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