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Last Call for 8.12.20 — 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

BREAKING — The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) announced the appointment of Tampa Republican Rep. James Grant to serve as the state’s Chief Information Officer. In his new role, Grant will lead the Florida Digital Service (FLDS), which aims to transform the delivery of government services to Floridians through design and technology.


The Florida Education Foundation on Wednesday named 13 statewide ambassadors for the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative.

FCDI is a program aimed at elevating civic knowledge, skills and disposition for middle and high school students through speech and debate.

The ambassadors will work to boost FCDI in their regions by implementing monthly tournaments, coordinating local leaders, fostering student growth and guiding them toward a statewide tournament being planned in the spring.

In June, the initiative announced 60 schools across 29 Florida school districts that were chosen to participate in phase one of the program.


Pauline Buis, Niceville High School, Niceville

Katrina Brownsberger, Bruner Middle School, Fort Walton

— Dr. Kellie Roberts, University of Florida, Gainesville

Marna Weston, Oak Hall School, Gainesville

Danielle Lucas, Robinson High School, Tampa

Apryl Taylor, Osceola County School for the Arts, Kissimmee

Robin Fieler, Colonial High School, Orlando

Randall Martinez, Lake Highland Preparatory School, Orlando

Traci Lowe, Suncoast High School, Palm Beach

Paul Gaba, Wellington High School, Wellington

Carol Cecil, G. Holmes Braddock High School, Miami

Renea Moss, Miramar High School, Miramar

“I commend these passionate local educators for helping to lead the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative,” Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said.

“Together, they bring a combination of unique backgrounds, decades of experience and knowledge that will help a generation of students become great citizens. The Florida Civics and Debate Initiative is a terrific opportunity for Florida to boost high school students’ civics knowledge, so when they transition to college, career and life, they will be ready to advocate for themselves and become active in their local community, our state and the nation.”

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 545,040 FL residents (+536,981 since Tuesday)

— 5,861 Non-FL residents (+50 since Tuesday)


— 4,109 Travel related

— 163,796 Contact with a confirmed case

— 4,237 Both

— 372,898 Under investigation


—31,947 in FL


— 8,898 in FL

Evening Reads

Kamala Harris’ selection as VP resonates with Black women” via The Associated Press

Harris selection settles Orange County Democrats” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

Harris wants U.S. to give Americans $2,000 a month during pandemic, a contrast with Joe Biden’s measured approach” via Jeff Stein of The Washington Post

Joe Gruters, Anthony Sabatini make cameo in anti-Trump ad” via Drew Wilson of Florida Politics

The nation wanted to eat out again. Everyone has paid the price.” via Jennifer Steinhauer of The New York Times

The other way Donald Trump could destroy the next presidency” via Rebecca Friedman Lissner of The Atlantic

Steven Mnuchin’s latest overture to Nancy Pelosi goes nowhere and relief talks stall again” via Erica Werner and Jeff Stein of The Washington Post

Amendment 3 would suppress black representation in Florida, new report says” via Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times

Irv Slosberg shamelessly tries to save campaign using daughter suffering from PTSD” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

Facts are not attacks: With one week left, let’s set the record about HD 81 straight — Michael Weinstein, here’s your chance to do so” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

Orange County Commission races intensify as Election Day approaches” via Jason Garcia and Stephen Hudak of the Orlando Sentinel

Accuracy of U.S. coronavirus data thrown into question as decline in testing skews drop in new cases” via @CNBC

Why is it hard to get a rapid COVID-19 test? The machines are in short supply” via Sarah Krouse and Sharon Terlep of The Wall Street Journal

Gov. Ron DeSantis COVID-19 approval rating falls as schools reopen” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

Grim Reaper lawyer emerges with mobile billboard: ‘Killing Florida with his stupidity,’ Ron DeathSantis” via Issac Morgan of the Florida Phoenix

Florida adds 8,109 coronavirus cases to push total infected past 550,000” via Tiffini Thiesen of the Orlando Sentinel

South Florida crosses 240K total COVID-19 cases, records another 47 deaths” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

‘This is no longer a debate’: Florida sheriff bans deputies, visitors from wearing masks” via Tim Elfrink of The Washington Post

Quote of the Day

“Congratulations are in order for Florida attorney Kathryn Kimball Mizelle on her appointment today to the federal bench, and much appreciation to President Trump for this strong appointment. It is certainly a moment of great pride to see such a qualified and principled Floridian called upon for this esteemed position of service.” — House Speaker José Oliva, on Trump’s intent to nominate Kimball Mizelle to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

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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
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

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