Last Call for 6.8.21 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

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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

Rebekah Jones, shortly after announcing on her brand-new Instagram account Tuesday that she intends to run for U.S. Congress against Matt Gaetz in Florida’s 1st Congressional District, walked back that announcement a few hours later.

“One of the reasons I held off on making any final decisions about running for office was because I hoped the criminal justice system would remove Matt Gaetz from Congress on its own. That is taking a very long time and none of it is certain, especially because the rich and powerful play by their own rules,” Jones, in a video posted to the Instagram account, Insubordinatescientist, said.

It was a curious move for Jones who lives in Maryland. She had not filed campaign paperwork as of Tuesday afternoon. By the time she walked back the announcement a few hours later, it seemed as if she only made it to draw attention to the Gaetz investigation.

“I had hoped that someone in the Republican Party would step up and Primary him, and I’ve yet to see that happen. And so, if it takes me going home to Florida to run against Matt Gaetz, then I will do it. If it means getting one child sex trafficker out of office, you’re damn right I’ll do it,” Jones said in the video.

Federal investigators are still looking into whether Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old, which he denies.

By that afternoon she said she hoped someone else would run but if not “well, November 2022 is a long way away.”

The video posted to Instagram came after Jones was suspended from Twitter on Monday. She said she was suspended after she posted the same article too many times.

In a different Instagram post on the new account, Jones thanked Gov. Ron DeSantis — normally she is a vocal critic of the Republican Governor — for signing a law allowing people to sue social media companies for banning them. The tongue-in-cheek thank you came in a late Monday night posting.

Evening Reads

From appetizers to tuition, incentives to job seekers grow” via Nelson D. Schwartz of The New York Times

You are now free to move about the cosmos … if you can afford it” via Christian Davenport of The Washington Post

The secret IRS files: Trove of never-before-seen records reveal how the wealthiest avoid income tax” via Jesse Eisinger, Jeff Ernsthausen and Paul Kiel of ProPublica

How America fractured into four parts” via George Packer of The Atlantic

Why it’s so hard to poll people about the death penalty” via Galen Druke, Nate Silver, Sarah Frostenson and Nathaniel Rakich of FiveThirtyEight

Earmarks list for states in U.S. House infrastructure bill tops $5.7B, including FL projects” via Laura Olson of the Florida Phoenix

5 years after Pulse shooting, Florida has seen few gun reforms” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel

This Miami apartment building is evicting all of its 200 tenants in 60 days” via Rene Rodriguez of the Miami Herald

Homeless moving out of hotel as coronavirus cases plummet” via Susannah Bryan of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

As PPP loan program ends, Tampa Bay small businesses’ haul nears $10 billion” via Jay Cridlin of the Tampa Bay Times

Quote of the Day

“Hiding facts doesn’t change them.” — FEA President Andrew Spar, opposing the expected ban of critical race theory.

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