Last Call for 3.22.22 — 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 some Disney employees staging a walkout over Florida’s parental rights in education bill, recent polling suggests most Floridians might not be on their side.

According to a poll conducted for Floridians for Economic Advancement, 52% of Floridians believe schools should not teach students in kindergarten through third grade about sexual orientation. Only 36% say, yes, it should be taught.

But critics of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill say the poll misses the mark.

While pollsters asked Floridians about the plain language of the bill, Orlando Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani told Florida Politics it’s what isn’t mentioned in the bill that matters. The bill could prevent teachers from displaying pictures with their same-sex spouses or prevent a kid from talking about their same-sex parents, she feared.

Like the text between the lines, what’s unsaid in the measure is what Eskamani called homophobic and transphobic comments from the bill’s sponsors and supporters. Those should be fair game for pollsters, she said.

“Let the voter know the intention of those who have filed this bill because it doesn’t exist in a black and white setting. It doesn’t exist in a vacuum,” Eskamani said.

The polling, conducted March 17-20, followed a similar nationwide Morning Consult/POLITICO poll last week that found similar majorities favoring a ban on teaching sexual orientation or gender identity up to third grade and limiting it from fourth grade on. However, a less-discussed part of the bill allowing parents to sue school districts if they believe classes violated the rules polled 40%-44%, with the larger share opposing that proposition.

One tidbit in the Floridians for Economic Advancement that also breaks in favor of Democrats and the #WeSayGay crowd is that while 54% of Floridians polled said the United States is moving in the right direction, 65% said Florida is on the wrong track.

Evening Reads

Another COVID-19 wave is looming” via Rachel Gutman of The Atlantic

Move over March Madness, it’s Veto Season” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics

Disney employees stage a walkout over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill” via Katie Rice of the Orlando Sentinel

After ‘parental rights’ bill dispute, some Democrats want Leadership Blue event pulled from Disney” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics

Ron DeSantis: Disney walkout protesters favor ‘injecting sexual instruction’ in children” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

Gov. DeSantis signs bill requiring financial literacy courses for new high schoolers” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics

Nikki Fried frames phishing attack as example of larger cybersecurity problem” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

DeSantis tipped balance in Tampa Bay state Senate race. Is it a trend?” via Romy Ellenbogen and Emily L. Mahoney of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. DeSantis proclamation: Sarasota swimmer who lost to transgender athlete ‘rightful winner’” via Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

House candidates play musical chairs in redrawn Central Florida contests” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics

How St. Peter’s became this year’s Cinderella” via Josh Planos of FiveThirtyEight

Quote of the Day

“The NCAA is basically taking efforts to destroy women’s athletics. They’re trying to undermine the integrity of the competition, and they’re crowning somebody else the women’s champion.”

— Gov. Ron DeSantis before proclaiming Sarasota-born Emma Weyant the NCAA women’s 500-yard freestyle swimming champion over trans woman Lia Thomas.

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