Last Call for 11.18.20 — 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

Ashely Moody and a coalition of attorneys general struck a $113 million agreement with Apple on Wednesday regarding the tech giant’s decision to throttle iPhone performance.

Through an investigation, Moody and more than 30 attorneys general discovered that Apple in 2016 slowed iPhone performance to remedy an ongoing battery issue that would shut down certain phones.

Impacted phone models included the iPhone 6, 7 and SE. Court filings suggested millions of users were affected.

The attorneys general allege that Apple’s decision to throttle the performance of consumers’ iPhones led to Apple profiting from selling additional iPhones to consumers whose phone performance Apple had slowed.

“Countless Floridians depend on their iPhones daily for necessary professional and personal communication and pay significant fees for this service. It is essential that a widespread and trusted service provider such as Apple provide accurate and reliable information about performance issues and viable options if service is disrupted,” Moody said.

“I am proud of this action that will require Apple to be more transparent to consumers and hold them accountable for their actions that negatively impacted many Floridians.”

Under the agreement, Apple will pay the Florida Attorney General’s Office $5.1 million. In addition to the payment, Apple must also provide information to consumers about iPhone battery health, performance and power management.

The judgment requires the information to be posted on its website, in update installation notes and in the iPhone user interface itself.

The multistate agreement comes shortly after Apple entered into another proposed agreement resulting from class action litigation related to the same issue. That agreement requires Apple to pay up to $500 million in consumer restitution.


While the presidential transition and the Georgia Senate runoffs are grabbing the headlines, state governments across the country are pivoting to prepare for a new dynamic between Washington and statehouses.

McGuireWoods Consulting has been tracking key state contests and ballot initiatives nationally and is sharing its expertise on what to expect in this new era.

The firm is led by former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges, who has a deep grasp of an increasingly purple region of the country.

“The transition is an important time for a new administration to begin developing its initial priorities,” Hodges said. “It’s also an opportunity for stakeholders to advance issues to be included in a new administration’s initial priorities.”

McGuireWoods’ Michael Reynold is also offering perspective. Reynold served as Deputy Director of Policy for Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, where he oversaw major legislative initiatives and advised on finance, transportation, health care, technology, procurement and administrative issues.

Virginia’s Governor race in 2021 is the next big election battleground.

“Now is the perfect time to build relationships with newly elected governors and state legislators,” Reynold said. “New officials want to hear from stakeholders and how their policies and legislation will impact your business. We encourage companies to develop thoughtful messages that can be coupled with an aggressive outreach plan: it will yield positive results in the months and years to come.”

Other key sources at McGuireWoods include Scott Binkley, former Executive Director of the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association, and Mona Mohib, a senior Capitol Hill adviser who serves as a prime liaison with Democratic state and local elected officials nationally.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 892,352 FL residents (+7,727 since Tuesday)

— 12,896 Non-FL residents (+198 since Tuesday)


— 8,282 Travel related

— 341,297 Contact with a confirmed case

— 9,475 Both

— 533,298 Under investigation


— 52,637 in FL


— 17,949 in FL

Evening Reads

How the Joe Biden administration will tackle travel” via Scott McCartney of The Wall Street Journal

Many GOP Governors are straddling a thin line, affirming neither Donald Trump’s claims of fraud nor Biden’s victory.” via Rick Rojas, Campbell Robertson and Will Wright of The New York Times

Trump’s TV mogul dream: Playing out several paths” via Alex Weprin of The Hollywood Reporter

Jeb Bush urges Biden to ‘heal the wounds’ of the ‘divided country’” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Marco Rubio forecasts tough slog for Biden nominees” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

The pandemic safety rule that really matters” via Rachel Gutman of The Atlantic

It’s time to hunker down” via Zeynep Tufekci of The Atlantic

Cancel Thanksgiving” via James Hamblin of The Atlantic

The world is never going back to normal” via Anne Applebaum of The Atlantic

New Pfizer results: Coronavirus vaccine is safe and 95% effective” via Katie Thomas of The New York Times

These South Florida hospitals will be among the first with the COVID-19 vaccine” via Lisa J. Huriash of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

A COVID-fighting tool is buried in your phone. Turn it on.” via Geoffrey Fowler of The Washington Post

FDA allows first rapid virus test that gives results at home” via Matthew Perrone of The Associated Press

Legislators could limit COVID-19 lawsuits” via Christine Sexton of The News Service of Florida

Online CARES portal closes after 30 minutes; 15,000 residents apply for $1,000 stimulus check” via Joe Pedersen of the Orlando Sentinel

Sorry, but our Governor is acting as crazy as a Raid-sprayed roach” via Diane Roberts of the Florida Phoenix

State to allow students to utilize remote learning during 2021 spring semester” via Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics

Florida lawmakers may limit COVID-19 business lawsuits” via Christine Sexton of The News Service of Florida

The often-unsung heroes of education deserve a living wage now” via Andrew Spar of the Florida Phoenix

Fearful of COVID lawsuits, jittery school officials buy new — and frequently costly — insurance policies” via Jo Napolitano of The 74

Loews bought back $195 million in stock while laying off 2,000 employees from Orlando hotels” via Trevor Fraser of the Orlando Sentinel

Quote of the Day

“I do think that given what’s occurred in the Senate over the last four years under President Trump, there’ll be a lot less deference given to presidential appointments, because there was zero deference given to President Donald Trump’s appointments.” — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, predicting an uphill battle for Joe Biden’s appointments.

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