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Last Call for 10.19.20 — 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

Attorney General Ashley Moody recognizes International Charity Fraud Awareness Week by encouraging Floridians to double-check that the organizations they donate to are aboveboard.

ICFAW is a yearly observance focused on preventing charity fraud and ensuring donations go to intended causes. This year’s observance comes at a time when many Floridians want to lend a helping hand to those impacted by the pandemic and recent hurricanes on the Gulf Coast.

But with charitable giving being of utmost need, scammers are as prevalent as ever.

“2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenges, but as a fifth-generation Floridian, I know that when disaster hits our state, we stand united to help our neighbors. As we all do our part to help those impacted by COVID-19 and Hurricane Sally, please remember to take steps to ensure donations go toward providing the relief and support you intend,” Moody said.

“In recognition of International Charity Fraud Awareness Week, I am sharing tips and resources to help Floridians give with their heads along with their hearts — to prevent charity fraud and help ensure donations help those in need, not those trying to exploit good-hearted Floridians.”

Moody has a long list of tips to help Floridians avoid grifts. First and foremost, she recommends givers check out organizations on Charity Navigator and scan for red flags on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Check-A-Charity list, which is available online or by calling 1 (800) HELP-FLA.

Other tips include avoiding solicitors; checking the identity of recipients for online donations; being wary of charities operating under a name similar to another organization — some phony charities use familiar-sounding names to try and pass as legitimate. Donors are also encouraged to visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Alert webpage.

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Cities and towns across the state celebrate Florida City Government Week, an annual campaign sponsored by the Florida League of Cities.

The weeklong event, held yearly since 1990, is aimed at raising civic awareness and engagement by educating residents on the roles and functions of city governments and how they directly impact them.

“Local government is the government closest to the people, yet so many residents are unaware of everything that cities do and provide for them each day,” said FLC President and Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz. “Florida City Government Week focuses on this by engaging and educating residents regarding the work of local government. All this week, cities, towns and villages throughout the state will showcase and celebrate the many wonderful things they do.”

This year, the theme of the week is “My City: I’m Part of It, I’m Proud of It.” As the name implies, the campaign encourages cities to celebrate what makes their individual city, town or village great.

To do so, municipalities plan various events and activities throughout the week, including city hall open houses, volunteer projects, citywide contests and more. Cities are also planning virtual events and activities this year due to COVID-19.

This year’s campaign also encourages cities to incorporate tools and resources from “Building Stronger Cities,” the League’s new initiative from President Ortiz, which officially launched earlier this month.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 747,183 FL residents (+1,691 since Sunday)

— 9,544 Non-FL residents (+16 since Sunday)

Origin:

— 6,531 Travel related

— 279,431 Contact with a confirmed case

— 6,990 Both

— 454,231 Under investigation

Hospitalizations:

— 47,053 in FL

Deaths:

— 16,222 in FL

Evening Reads

Donald Trump goes after Anthony Fauci, tries to buck up his campaign team” via Jill Colvin of The Associated Press

Trump’s den of dissent: Inside the White House Task Force as coronavirus surges” via Yasmeen AbutalebPhilip RuckerJosh Dawsey and Robert Costa of The Washington Post

Francis Rooney: ‘No doubt’ Joe Biden has the better coronavirus approach” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Governor’s Office mulls reducing COVID-19 reporting, but decision isn’t imminent” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

COVID-19 death toll tops 16K as hospital visits drop; new cases, positivity rates increase” via Florida Politics

The hidden factors that could produce a surprise Trump victory” via David Siders of POLITICO

2016 sequel? Trump’s old attacks failing to land on Biden” via Jonathan Lemire and Jill Colvin of The Associated Press

Biden and packing the Supreme Court — the dirty little secret Dems don’t want to reveal” via Marco Rubio for Fox News

Democrats brace for Republican ‘army’ in Florida voting wars” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO

Florida voters get up before dawn — and wait — to vote early” via Aaron Leibowitz and David Smiley of the Miami Herald

Orange County elections office website goes down on first day of early voting” via Caroline Glenn and Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel

Poll: Julie Jenkins grows lead over incumbent Jackie Toledo to nearly 10 points” via Janelle Irwin of Florida Politics

Jennifer Webb leads Linda Chaney by nearly 10 points in HD 69” via Janelle Irwin of Florida Politics

Drake Buckman holds 4-point lead over Fiona McFarland in HD 72” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Mystery donor spends $180K on Florida political mail” via Matt Dixon of POLITICO Florida

Quote of the Day

Donald Trump basically decided to take a match and just torch 20 years of Republican work down here. Voters who have traditionally voted by mail for 20 years now don’t have confidence in it.” — Democratic strategist Steve Schale, on Florida mail and early voting trends.

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