Last Call for 6.27.22 — 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

In an interview aired Monday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio spoke with Spectrum News 13 Orlando about his race against U.S. Rep. Val Demings and his issues with the Biden administration’s handling of U.S. oil production, among other things.

The interview was conducted after the Florida Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Rubio over Demings, a former Orlando Police Chief.

“I can tell you why they decided to endorse me,” Rubio said, “because when police officers were in trouble, when they were being criticized, when their cars were being set on fire, when efforts in Congress were made not just to demonize police departments but to defund them, I was on their side and she went into hiding.”

He went on to criticize comments Demings has made about legislation that would allow individuals to sue police officers for misconduct.

“I think what makes it worse is that she used to be in law enforcement. She should know better, but because her party is controlled by radical anti-police elements and because she wanted to be picked as Joe Biden‘s Vice President, she decided that she would use the credibility she should have had from being a police officer to attack police officers,” he theorized.

Rubio also slammed the Biden administration over the rising price of gasoline and other commodities and pitched increased domestic oil production and reduced government spending as a way to counter inflation.

“Producing more American oil, providing more production of American oil is critical to bringing down inflation. The second is not pouring more government money into the economy right now. That is actually what hypercharged the current inflation we have. More money chasing less goods equals higher prices. Biden put 1.9 trillion dollars into our economy last April,” he said.


Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis recognized PTSD Awareness Day by raising awareness on the mental health challenges that first responders face and the need to provide them with PTSD benefits.

Last week, Patronis filed an amicus brief in support of a Brevard County firefighter who was unlawfully denied insurance coverage related to PTSD benefits.

“As Florida’s State Fire Marshal, it is my duty to remind everyone that PTSD within the community of first responders in Florida is very real. While protecting our communities, these heroes are constantly exposed to unthinkable tragedy that puts them at a high risk for PTSD,” Patronis said.

“Just last week, we recognized the one-year anniversary of the Surfside tragedy. This was a disaster on a mass scale and it will live with our first responders forever. It’s tragedies like this that these heroes carry with them, whether you see it or not. In Florida, we value our first responders and we take care of these men and women because they take care of us.

“We must take every opportunity to stand with our first responders and make sure that they are receiving the proper care and benefits that they deserve. My office will continue to look for opportunities to fight for the well-being of these heroes every single day.”

 In 2018, CFO Patronis advocated for PTSD legislation relating to benefits for first responders who are struggling with PTSD. He worked with numerous stakeholders through the rule-making process in 2019 and was successful in seeking legislative ratification of the rules providing PTSD benefits, including PTSD education requirements for Florida’s first responders.

Evening Reads

—“Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill protecting churches from emergency lockdowns” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

—“DeSantis builds national profile out of Donald Trump’s view” via Max Greenwood of The Hill

—“DeSantis is the big winner of the Jan. 6 hearings” via Matt Lewis of the Daily Beast

—“Val Demings pushes back against Marco Rubio’s ‘defund the police’ allegations” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel

—“One button could have ‘saved more lives’ in Florida condo collapse” via Patricia Mazzei and Mike Baker of The New York Times

—“With ‘Stop WOKE Act’ imminent, judge denies request to halt law” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

—“Florida denying more concealed carry applications under Nikki Fried than GOP predecessors, data shows” via Tristan Wood of City & State Florida

—“Kelli Stargel mailer suggests she has DeSantis’ endorsement. She doesn’t.” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics

—“Roe is the new Prohibition” via David Frum of The Atlantic

—“Making sense of the political theater over gas prices” via Rebecca Leber of Vox

—“Mike Pence leans in on abortion, as Trump, other potential 2024 candidates are more cautious” of The Washington Post

—“We looked to the Supreme Court to protect our rights; now, it is taking them away” via Diane Roberts of the Florida Phoenix

Quote of the Day

“Much ink has already been spilled over such weighty questions. This Court recognizes, however, that these questions are not purely academic. Their answers have very real consequences for students, teachers, parents — indeed, for all Floridians.”

— U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, denying an injunction blocking the “Stop WOKE Act.”

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