Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
If Attorney General Ashley Moody gets her way, the proposed alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue won’t get off the ground.
Earlier this year, the two carriers announced an agreement to coordinate their operations — including routes and flight schedules — in New York and Boston.
The U.S. Department of Transportation signed off on the agreement under former President Donald Trump. But the Justice Department under President Joe Biden alleges that the deal is a “de facto merger” in those markets.
Moody agrees, and on Wednesday, she joined the DOJ antitrust complaint, saying that the team-up would harm those flying to and from Florida. The planes leaving La Guardia and Logan have to land somewhere, and frequently it’s the Sunshine State — Miami is an American Airlines hub.
“The airline industry is a highly-concentrated industry. The challenged alliance between American and JetBlue will only increase that concentration and hurt Floridians and Florida’s interests,” she said.
“I am especially concerned with this alliance’s likely effect on smaller, more regional airports in Florida where these two airlines are, at least in one instance, the only two airlines flying routes. Because of these concerns, Florida has joined this bipartisan effort to ensure competition and lower prices for Floridians and those traveling to Florida to enjoy our great state.”
In addition to Florida, Attorneys General from Arizona, California, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia have signed onto the DOJ complaint.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce announced Wednesday that Senate President Wilton Simpson will be among the speakers at its 2021 Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum.
Simpson will address Florida’s business community during a discussion on “Building a Post-Pandemic Florida” during the Oct. 27-28 event at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando.
“Senate President Wilton Simpson is a proven leader dedicated to championing free enterprise, planning for the opportunities and challenges that come with Florida’s future growth, and safeguarding our state’s continued competitiveness,” said Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson. “His leadership aims to keep Florida, Florida, while advancing the policy necessary to grow Florida to be the 10th largest economy in the world by 2030.”
The Florida Chamber, which awarded Simpson its “Most Valuable Legislator” award earlier this year, said the Trilby Republican had shown leadership on issues such as COVID-19 liability protections and cuts to the commercial rents tax.
Simpson makes for three top state leaders who are confirmed for the Future of Florida Forum speaker list. Last week, the Florida Chamber announced that Moody would headline a segment titled “Preserving a Crime-Free Environment for Florida Business to Thrive.” It previously announced that Gov. Ron DeSantis would be the distinguished lunch keynote on the forum’s first day.
Simpson, Moody and DeSantis are among 80 speakers who will address the state’s business leaders during the Future of Florida Forum. The two-day event will be focused on how business leaders are engaging in the Florida Chamber’s Six Pillars Framework and the 39 goals of the Florida 2030 Blueprint.
More details and registration information for the 2021 Future of Florida forum are available online.
“The sad, predictable limits of America’s ‘economic recovery‘” via Emily Stewart of Vox
“Not getting vaccinated to own your fellow libs” via Eoin Higgins of The Atlantic
“‘Writing on the wall’ at prominent appeals court supports Gov. Ron DeSantis’ pandemic agenda” via Noreen Marcus of the Florida Bulldog
“New state rule: If student is exposed to COVID-19, parents decide whether they quarantine” via Jeffrey S. Solochek and Ana Ceballos of the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times
“GOP lawmaker files Texas-style bounty-hunter abortion bill in Florida Legislature” via Michael Moline of the Florida Phoenix
“DEP: Piney Point cleanup could take years to complete” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics
“The first plaintiffs to sue under the Texas abortion ban are as ridiculous as the ban itself” via Matt Ford of The New Republic
“Manny Diaz wants to ‘review’ existing non-COVID-19 vaccine mandates” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics
“Latin American migration, once limited to a few countries, turns into a mass exodus” via Juan Montes, Ryan Dube and Kejal Vyas of The Wall Street Journal
“Universities tout high rankings, low tuition in push for additional funding” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics
“Hollywood’s curious 4Chan connection” via Eriq Gardner of The Hollywood Reporter
“My time with Kurt Cobain: Befriending a rock star isn’t necessarily as cool as you’d think.” via Michael Azerrad of The New Yorker
Quote of the Day
“(Republicans) have made it abundantly clear by banning masks in schools and refusing to apply for money to help hungry kids that they don’t actually care about children’s lives.” — Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, on the anti-abortion bill filed in the state House.
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