Last Call for 10.19.21 — 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

Three fraudulent websites attempting to steal Floridian’s driver’s license information were shut down Tuesday by Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The scam sites asked Floridians to send personal information over text message, claiming that the data is needed to print a new driver’s license that displays vaccination status. The websites even prompted targets to upload images of their driver’s licenses.

While Moody succeeded in shutting down three scam websites, she warned Floridians to be on the lookout for the scammers to pop up with a new website.

“I am grateful for the quick action of my attorneys and FDLE to identify and shut down these fraudulent websites, but our work here is far from over,” she said.

“Please remain vigilant, and if you encounter one of these fake driver’s license update websites, report it immediately. By quickly reporting these scams, we can ensure the websites are shut down to help better protect Floridians’ personal information.”

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry Rhodes assured drivers that his department doesn’t print vaccination status on licenses and has no plans to start — especially via text.

“If you receive a text asking for this information, it is a scam. With only the information on your driver’s license, scammers can create many fraudulent financial accounts. Please do not respond to these texts and do not click on the links contained in the text message,” he said.

Moody said Floridians can avoid falling victim to this scam and others by refusing to send personal information to unknown numbers and not posting pictures of vaccination cards or driver’s licenses online.

Floridians can stay up to date on emerging COVID-19 related scams via Moody’s Consumer Alert webpage.

Evening Reads

Top House bean counter: After bullish year, Florida’s early fiscal signs are even better” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

The economic rebound is still waiting for workers” via Ben Casselman of The New York Times

Federal judge tosses one of the challenges to Seminole Gaming Compact” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

In secret vaccine contracts with governments, Pfizer took hard-line in push for profit, report says” via Adam Taylor of The Washington Post

Gov. DeSantis won’t say if he’ll get Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel

Senator: Legislature needs to take a ‘hard look’ at Citizens Property Insurance Company in 2022” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics

Some school districts sold on strict mask mandates are now softening their policies” via Danielle J. Brown of the Florida Phoenix

Joe Gruters expects Florida GOP to pick up seats in Congress” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

Texas’s anti-abortion law is back at SCOTUS. Here’s what’s different this time around.” via Ian Millhiser of Vox

Republicans push for medical marijuana telehealth return” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

Florida kids still lead all ages in positivity as COVID cases fall” via Ian Hodgson of the Tampa Bay Times

Quote of the Day

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. I have no idea if that money is actually coming or not. We won’t know until it’s sitting in the bank account, so we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.” — House Budget Chief Jay Trumbull, on $4.4B in federal funds expected to hit state coffers by May.

Bill Day’s Latest

Breakthrough Insights


Staff Reports


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn