Last Call for 10.31.22 — 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

Florida TaxWatch has named the office of Attorney General Ashley Moody its State Agency of the Year.

TaxWatch presented Moody with the TaxWatch Productivity Award Monday morning. The state finance watchdogs credited the Attorney General’s Office with combating human trafficking and securing more than $3 billion from major players in the opioid epidemic.

“This is such a prestigious honor for our agency, and I am grateful for all of our hardworking public servants who wake up every day ready to fight to protect Floridians,” Moody said. “We strive to serve the public and be good stewards of taxpayer funds. I hope this award reaffirms to all Floridians that we take this role very seriously and will always work to do the most good with the state resources entrusted to our agency.”

Originally known as the Davis Productivity Awards and more recently the Prudential Productivity Awards, the TaxWatch Productivity (or TPA) is a more than 30-year-old nationally unique program, according to TaxWatch.

“As a trusted government watchdog and the ‘eyes and ears’ of taxpayers for over 40 years, Florida TaxWatch understands the value of highly productive state employees and managers better than most,” TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro said. “We recognize that, without them, critical functions of government would certainly falter, taxpayers would pay the price, and ultimately, the greatness of Florida would be diminished. For that reason, we are extremely grateful to Attorney General Ashley Moody and the many other 2022 Florida TaxWatch Productivity Award winners, and we congratulate them for all they have done and continue to do to bring about real, lasting improvements in our great state. You cannot have a great workforce without great leadership!”

Presenting sponsor Kyra Solutions and co-sponsors AvMed, Capital Health Plan, the Florida Council of 100 and the State of Florida helped present the award.

“The state employees we honor today, and the thousands we have honored in the past, represent the very best of government service to Florida’s taxpayers,” said Florida Council of 100 President and CEO Bob Ward.

Evening Reads

—“Charlie Crist casts ballot in St. Petersburg as Democrats trail early voting numbers” via Emily L. Mahoney of the Tampa Bay Times

—“Supreme Court seems open to ending affirmative action in college admissions” via Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow of The Washington Post

—“‘Caution is key!’: Rick Scott warns ‘drug cartels’ targeting Halloween candy” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

—“Halloween candy: no, fentanyl will not be in your kids’ trick-or-treat bags” via Oscar Gonzalez of CNET

—“Outraged officials condemn antisemitic messages appearing in Florida” via Lisa J. Huriash and Susannah Bryan of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

—“A QAnon Democrat? Fierce 2022 warfare erupts in deep-blue California” via Ken Bensinger of The New York Times

—“Ohio Representative mourns his niece, Anne Gieske, who was killed in South Korea” via Cameron Knight of the Cincinnati Enquirer

—“Tracing the dollars in Florida’s political money puzzle” via Tristan Wood of City & State Florida

—“Senate GOP ad paints Joy Goff-Marcil as radical extremist in closing days of SD 10 campaign” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

—“Broward Republican lawmaker’s response to attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband: ‘Maybe now they’ll get tough on crime.’” via Anthony Man of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

—“Hialeah man accused of beating Republican canvasser now faces additional felony charge” via David Ovalle of the Miami Herald

—“Wellington dad sues middle school for ‘homosexual indoctrination’” via Josh Miller of The Florida Standard

—“Disney gives $1 million to support FAMU journalism school” via Katie Rice of the Orlando Sentinel

—“Florida Politics’ annual snarky guide to Halloween safety” via Florida Politics

Quote of the Day

“Gov. (Ron) DeSantis rejects attempts to scapegoat the Jewish community — it has no place in Florida.”

— DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin on the spate of antisemitic demonstrations.

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