Last Call for 9.7.21 — 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

The new Gaming Compact is no longer on the horizon. It’s here. And the Seminole Tribe of Florida wants everyone to know.

Channel surfing Floridians will soon start running across a 30-second ad produced by the Tribe spreading the word about the new Compact and touting it as “safe, legal and trusted.”

The ad campaign is more than a simple PSA. It launches as outside interests continue pouring millions into political committees to expand gambling in Florida via a series of 2022 ballot questions.

Among them are sports betting heavyweights DraftKings and FanDuel, which hope to strip the Tribe of their exclusive rights to oversee sports betting in the Sunshine State.

“After an overwhelming bipartisan agreement, federal approval, and in line with our state Constitution, a new Seminole Compact is now in effect. A pact guaranteeing billions for the state. Will create thousands of jobs,” the ad narrator says.

On-screen text elaborates on those benefits: The state stands to receive $2.5 billion in guaranteed payments from the Tribe, and the deal is expected to create 2,200 new jobs.

The narrator makes another appeal, saying the Compact “ensures gaming across the state remains under Floridians’ control.”

An everyday Floridian chimes in: “As it should be.”

To watch the ad, click on the image below:


Gov. Ron DeSantis’ approval rating has dive-bombed, according to a new poll conducted by The Listener Group.

The survey found two in five Florida voters believe the Governor has done a good job navigating Florida through the pandemic, and of those, more than half hold an “extremely favorable” view of his performance thus far.

But nearly 57% of those polled think DeSantis’ response has been, at the very least, lackluster. Just over 15% said they held a “very unfavorable” view of how he has handled the pandemic, and another 18% marked down “extremely unfavorable.”

The Listener Group also measured DeSantis’ overall favorability rating. The numbers weren’t much different — the pandemic, after all, hit just a little over a year into his term and has obfuscated some of his early accomplishments.

Still, about 42% said they had a positive view of the Governor, including 21% who said they held an “extremely favorable” one and a further 10% in the “very favorable” camp. The naysayers added up to 57%, with one in six rating him “extremely unfavorable” and 18% rating him “very unfavorable.”

It all adds up to a minus-15 rating — a precipitous drop from The Listener Group’s July 23 poll, which put his overall favorability near 55%.

The poll was conducted Sept. 3-5 with a sample size of 1,144 likely Florida voters. The total includes 469 Democrats, 454 Republicans, and 221 no-party voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


The Florida Sheriffs Association has a message for the people of Louisiana: Backup is on the way.

The statewide group, representing the state’s 67 county sheriffs, is deploying deputies and other resources to the Pelican State to aid post-Ida recovery.

“As Floridians, we know all too well the tremendous impact a historically powerful hurricane can cause to a community, big and small,” FSA President and Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum said. “When we have a neighbor in need, we will be there to respond, assist, and rebuild.”

Though the Category 4 storm spared Florida, the state has been the neighbor in need many times, including in the wake of Hurricane Michael three years ago. Law enforcement from other Gulf Coast states stepped up then, and FSA hasn’t forgotten.

Boots on the ground will handle some of the added duties overwhelming Louisiana’s own law enforcement corps, such as providing security to deter looting, leading search and rescue operations, ensuring cleanup and rebuilding efforts aren’t hindered by public safety concerns, and simply extending a helping hand to residents in need.

“Devastating natural disasters also bring the opportunity for looting and increased dangers, both from the environment and people,” said Pasco County Sheriff and chair of the FSA Task Force Chris Nocco.

“This response is one of many reasons why the Florida Sheriffs Task Force was built, and sheriffs’ offices from every county in our state have prepared and trained for emergency situations. We will be there to support the communities devastated by Hurricane Ida as they recover from this storm, both physically and mentally.”

Evening Reads

They weren’t born yet when their dads died on 9/11. The loss shaped their lives.” via Brittany Shammas and Michael S. Rosenwald of The Washington Post

‘An emotional hellscape’: Frayed nerves for the teachers of unmasked students” via Anemona Hartocollis of The New York Times

The U.S. expected an economic takeoff. It got a September slowdown.” via Eric Morath and Theo Francis of The Wall Street Journal

Two school districts, and two radically different approaches to managing the pandemic” via Moriah Balingit and Hannah Natanson of The Washington Post

Michael K. Williams was more than just Omar from The Wire. He elevated Black identity onscreen.” via Aja Romano of Vox

The plan to stop every respiratory virus at once” via Sarah Zhang of The Atlantic

Kevin McCarthy really doesn’t want the Jan. 6 Committee to see those phone records” via Daniel Strauss of The New Republic

Ida could be catalyst for debt ceiling deal” via Peter Cohn of Roll Call

Abortion foes play a dangerous game in encouraging vigilantes to snoop on neighbors” via Diane Roberts of the Florida Phoenix

Universities say they want more diverse faculties. So why is academia still so White?” via J. Nathan Matias, Neil Lewis Jr. and Elan Hope of FiveThirtyEight

Just say it: The health care system has collapsed” via Vishal Khetpal of Slate

One woman’s mission to rewrite Nazi history on Wikipedia” via Noah Cohen of WIRED

Quote of the Day

“All the speculation about me is purely manufactured.” — Gov. Ron DeSantis, on rumors he will run for President in 2024.

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