Last Call for 12.29.20 — 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

With the second wave of stimulus checks landing soon, scammers are on the prowl, Attorney General Ashley Moody warned.

Moody this week reminded Floridians to be mindful of common schemes used to dupe people out of their money, and specifically urged the elderly to keep their guard up.

“Scammers are always looking for new opportunities, like the passage of another round of federal stimulus, to rip off consumers. The new round of economic relief and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 create the perfect storm for fraudsters trying to make a dishonest dollar,” Moody said.

“Another round of stimulus payments may also provide scammers with more ammo to concoct these schemes,” she added in a video.

Moody invited Floridians to peruse the “Scams at a Glance” webpage to learn more about current schemes and get tips on how to avoid falling victim to them.

Common signs of a scam include high-pressure tactics, too-good-to-be-true offers, threats of loss if the victim doesn’t take immediate action, and requests for immediate payment by wire transfer, credit, prepaid debit, or gift cards.

Pandemic-related scams include false charities, unsolicited calls and texts requesting personal information, and people going door-to-door impersonating CDC representatives.

Citing reports that some assisted living facilities had intercepted their residents’ checks. The page clarifies that stimulus payments are meant for the resident — not the facility caring for them — regardless of whether they receive care through Medicaid.

Coronavirus Numbers

Positive cases:

— 1,270,063 FL residents (+11,748 since Monday)

— 22,189 Non-FL residents (+327 since Monday)


— 10,922 Travel related

— 484,558 Contact with a confirmed case

— 13,767 Both

— 760,816 Under investigation


— 62,142 in FL


— 21,718 in FL

Evening Reads

Donald Trump lashes out at ‘weak and tired’ Republican congressional leadership” via John Wagner of The Washington Post

Pandemic reshapes U.S. employment, speeding changes across industries” via Danny Dougherty and Eric Morath of The Wall Street Journal

How the pandemic has been devastating for children from low-income families” via Dan Levin of The New York Times

Where year two of the pandemic will take us” via Ed Yong of The Atlantic

In a pandemic 2020 when nothing was normal, sports endured — with wins and plenty of loss” via The Washington Post

Gov. Ron DeSantis to let Miami murderer serve sentence in Italy. Prosecutors object.” via David Ovalle of the Tampa Bay Times

What’s next for Florida’s Val Demings after a breakout 2020?” via Steve Contorno of the Tampa Bay Times

Conservative cred, Trump loyalty touted by Kelly Loeffler in struggle to hold her seat and GOP-controlled Senate” via Laura Olson of the Florida Phoenix

Amid pitched reelection battles, Georgia’s Republican Senators warm to fatter COVID-19 relief checks” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Jimmy Patronis appoints Julie Jones as Deputy Chief Financial Officer” via Jason Delgado of Florida Politics

Court to weigh shielding ex-lawmaker from suit” via Jim Saunders of News Service of Florida

Jeff Brandes again wagers on legalized sports betting” via Kelly Hayes of Florida Politics

Police deaths rose in Florida, nationally in 2020 — most from COVID-19” via Jeff Weiner of the Orlando Sentinel

‘Life’ itself: the story behind the iconic sculpture of Jacksonville’s Memorial Park” via Matt Soergel of The Florida Times-Union

Sex, drugs and pickleball: What a 24-year-old filmmaker learned about growing old in The Villages” via Ben Crandell of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Quote of the Day

“Stop calling yourself pro-family if you won’t support $2,000 direct payments for those struggling in this COVID crisis.” — U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a vote on larger stimulus checks.

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