Last Call for 12.1.22 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

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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 Trend has named Yolanda Cash Jackson as Floridian of the Year.

Jackson helped lead the charge to place a sculpture of Mary McLeod Bethune in the National Statuary Hall Collection. In July, officials unveiled the statue, making the educator and civil rights activist the first African American to represent any state in the national collection.

The effort began in 2016 amid a backlash against Confederate symbols following the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina. Then-Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill removing one of Florida’s two delegates, Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, from the national collection, and after the push from Jackson and others, lawmakers chose Bethune as Smith’s replacement.

Of course, Jackson’s achievements go far beyond securing Bethune’s immortalization on Capitol Hill. She is an accomplished attorney and lobbyist who has represented the state’s three private historically Black colleges and universities: Bethune-Cookman University, Florida Memorial University and Edward Waters University. Among other achievements, she also successfully secured a place for Black farmers in Florida’s medical marijuana industry.

Former State Sen. Arthenia Joyner, who was the fifth Black woman lawyer and is the longest practicing Black woman lawyer in Florida history, called Jackson a “pioneer.” With high praise like that and a growing list of achievements, Jackson is a fitting honoree for Floridian of the Year.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis still holds the top spot among some bookies predicting who will win the presidency in 2024, but President Joe Biden has retaken the No. 2 slot from former President Donald Trump, according to Empire Stakes.

DeSantis overtook Trump in the New York betting site’s metrics following Republicans’ disappointing performance on Election Night. Now, Trump has continued falling and Biden has floated to second despite his poor favorability ratings.

Empire Stakes gives DeSantis a 31% chance, Biden a 22% chance and Trump a 20% chance at winning the 2024 race.

Evening Reads

—“Joel Greenberg sentenced to 11 years in prison for sex trafficking, other crimes” via Martin E. Comas of the Orlando Sentinel

—“Florida divests $2B from BlackRock as movement against woke investing matures” via Renzo Downey and Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

—“Ron DeSantis sidesteps yet another Donald Trump question” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

—“Andrew Warren’s chief of staff undercuts argument in DeSantis lawsuit” via Lawrence Mower of the Tampa Bay Times

—“High court to rule on Joe Biden student loan cancellation plan” via Mark Sherman of The Associated Press

—“Did redistricting cost Democrats the House?” via Nathaniel Rakich and Elena Mejia of FiveThirtyEight

—“Friends to the left of him, critics to the right: Kevin McCarthy’s stuck in the chase” via Olivia Beavers and Jordain Carney

—“Rick Scott claims ‘Judeo-Christian values’ should drive immigration decisions” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

—“George LeMieux predicts growth will make Florida an economic powerhouse — and a Republican one” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

—“PPP firms gave selves loans, bought Porsche, $8M home, says report on COVID-19 loan fraud” via Ben Wieder of the Miami Herald

—“‘The more you submit, the more we get paid’: How fintech fueled COVID aid fraud” via Tony Romm of The Washington Post

—“A two-time CEO’s advice to Disney’s Bob Iger” via A.G. Lafley for The Wall Street Journal

Quote of the Day

“If Larry (Fink) and his friends on Wall Street want to change the world, they should run for office, start a not-for-profit and go donate to the causes they care about. But using our cash — the state of Florida’s cash — to fund BlackRock’s social-engineering projects isn’t something Florida ever signed up for.”

— Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis on divesting from BlackRock.

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