Last Call for 12.7.22 — 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

Breaking: Rep. Joe Harding has been indicted on federal wire fraud and money laundering charges. Read more here.


Florida House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell traveled to the White House to discuss reproductive rights with other state legislative leaders and officials from President Joe Biden’s administration.

The White House invited around 50 Democratic state lawmakers from 31 states to visit this week to talk about policy on a variety of Democratic priorities.

In a meeting focused on abortion access, Driskell, who last month assumed control of the House Democratic caucus, said a woman’s medical decisions should be between her, her family and her doctor, and that politicians should not be involved.

“What we’ve done here in Florida, and in too many states across the country, is strip away personal freedoms and the right for individuals to make choices about their own bodies,” Driskell said. “Rather than providing the kind of circumstances that actually make people’s lives more stable and more prosperous, we’ve passed laws that have inserted the judgment of politicians into the most intimate decisions of heart and home.”

Driskell, a Black lawyer from Tampa, noted that the country’s maternal mortality rate is higher than that of any other wealthy country.

“The numbers are far more abysmal for Black and Hispanic women,” Driskell said. “Today’s roundtable not only moved us closer to strategies for re-establishing a baseline right to reproductive freedom for all Americans, but it also allowed us to raise awareness regarding the current maternal health crisis.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s 15-week abortion ban ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. Since then, Biden has hoped Congress would pass national protections for abortion access. So far, it seems like an unlikely ask.

“More than anything, I want to see all Americans have the freedom to lead a healthy, prosperous, and safe life, and I am encouraged that the Biden- (Kamala) Harris administration’s priorities are similarly aligned with that vision,” Driskell said. “I look forward to partnering with the Biden administration and legislative leaders across the country to secure bodily autonomy and reproductive justice for all Americans nationally.”

Evening Reads

—“Joe Gruters announces bid for RNC Treasurer” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

—“Analysis shows Ron DeSantis’ map kept Jax seat red, but cost GOP a shot at a Tampa seat” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

—“Drop in Republican turnout means a bigger win for Raphael Warnock” via Adrian Blanco, Kevin Uhrmacher and Kati Perry of The Washington Post

—“U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to reject robust reading of ‘independent state legislature’ theory” via Zach Montellaro and Josh Gerstein of POLITICO

—“‘Am I not a person?’ Florida Supreme Court ponders police anonymity under Marsy’s Law” via Jeff Burlew of the Tallahassee Democrat

—“Florida’s Surgeon General repeats opposition to COVID-19 vaccines” via Cindy Krischer Goodman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

—“DeSantis announces return of Michelle Branham to Elder Affairs” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics

—“Doral accepts Donald Trump’s preservation deal. And other golf courses could be next” via Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald

—“Republicans Corey Simon and Jason Shoaf to steer education budget, goals in Legislature” via James Call of the Tallahassee Democrat

—“Tampa lobbyists pushed for state law on Tampa wastewater discharges” via Charlie Frago of the Tampa Bay Times

—“Conservative organization sues school board over sex ed curriculum” via Zac Howard of The Florida Standard

—“Winner of Sunny Isles Beach Mayor runoff could change as rejected ballots are cured” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics

Quote of the Day

“In America, we adhere to the rule of law, and as such, Rep. (Joe) Harding is presumed innocent and will have the opportunity to plead his case before a court.”

— House Speaker Paul Renner on his decision to temporarily remove Harding from his committee assignments.

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Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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.

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Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
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