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Last Call for 7.15.20 — 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

The pandemic hasn’t stopped U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch from keeping his constituents up to date. It may have even helped.

Deutch, who represents Florida’s 22nd Congressional District, has been broadcasting on Facebook Live every weekday since late March.

“I started doing this so that I could speak directly to my constituents and help them work through the challenges and the confusion of the pandemic. But I also wanted to remind everyone that crises like these bring out the best in our community,” Deutch said.

“From young children starting fundraisers to buy masks for front line workers to local universities finding innovative solutions to stopping the spread, so many individuals and businesses have stepped up to help others in the community. These are the inspirational stories that have helped me and so many of my constituents get through this difficult period together.”

Mixing in good news is a proven formula, and while CBS might not be banging down his door to buy his web series, the congressman is about to hit a milestone.

The broadcast airing at 7 p.m. Wednesday will put him past the 500,000 view mark.

Viewers can tune into Deutch’s nightly update, or watch previous videos, on his Facebook Live page. The broadcasts air at 7 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 5 p.m. on Friday

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Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken plenty of flak for his handling of the coronavirus crisis. Now, his defenders are getting a share, too.

As Florida cases crest past 300,000 Wednesday, left-leaning advocacy group American Bridge 21st Century released a new video taking aim at the state lawmakers who praised the Governor for a job well done.

The video quotes South Florida Reps. Ana Maria Rodriguez, Chip LaMarca, Vance Aloupis and Juan Fernandez-Barquin.

“There was a reference made to Florida that we were going to be the Italy of the United States and I think thanks to Gov. DeSantis’ leadership we avoided that,” Rodriguez said.

In the other snippets, Fernandez-Barquin gives DeSantis’ response a “B+ or A-“; LaMarca says the Governor’s critics should be ashamed; and Aloupis said DeSantis’ approach to reopening “was very thoughtful and deliberative.”

The American Bridge video concludes by stating the lawmakers “wrong about Gov. DeSantis” and they’re “wrong for Florida.”

“Voters won’t forget how these spineless Republican lawmakers pandered to DeSantis — cheering on his reckless rush to reopen while ignoring the risks it posed to their own constituents,” said Katie Parrish, spokesperson at American Bridge 21st Century. “Now, South Florida has become a pandemic epicenter and these Republican lawmakers’ shameless partisanship is costing lives. Floridians deserve better.”

To watch, click on the image below:

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 297,876 FL residents (+10,087 since Tuesday)

— 3,934 Non-FL residents (+96 since Tuesday)

Origin:

— 2,968 Travel related

— 80,534 Contact with a confirmed case

— 2,889 Both

— 211,485 Under investigation

Hospitalizations:

— 19,334 in FL

Deaths:

— 4,626 in FL

Unemployment Numbers

As of Tuesday:

Total claims: 3,088,543

— Confirmed unique claims: 2,877,205

— Claim verification queue: 256,291

— Claims processed: 2,620,914

— Claims paid: 1,709,698 (+15,077 since Monday)

Total paid out: $10.13 billion (+$60 million since Monday)

Evening Reads

How did Florida get so badly hit by Covid-19?” via Ritu Prassad of the BBC

CVS is open so schools should be too, says Marco Rubio” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Can Florida’s Governor admit he was wrong about coronavirus?” via Chris Cillizza of CNN

Stephen Colbert taunts Gov. Ron DeSantis over coronavirus screw-ups” via Ed Mazza of HuffPost

300K+ have tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida as officials report 112 new deaths” via the staff of Florida Politics

More than 10% of Florida’s COVID-19 cases are now in Southwest Florida” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

As Florida farmworkers fell ill, Nikki Fried failed to requisition supplies” via Arek Sarkissian of POLITICO Florida

Most of Florida doing ‘just fine’ in coronavirus fight, says mask foe Anthony Sabatini” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Mask foes shrug off national TV ‘bullies’ poking fun at ‘Crazytown’ Palm Beach County” via Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post

Florida’s unemployment agency fires two call centers that were helping the jobless” via Caroline Glenn of the Orlando Sentinel

Florida GOP doctors Donald Trump tweet to solve mail-in voting problem” via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida

What if you throw a presidential convention but nobody wants to come?” via S.V. Date of HuffPost

Spot a bright comet in night skies now” via Miriam Kramer of Axios

Quote of the Day

“You have to sacrifice a little bit now so that you don’t end up hurting yourself in the future. That’s what apparently our Governor doesn’t understand.” — Sen. Oscar Braynon, calling for the Governor to roll back the state’s reopening.

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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.

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Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
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