Last Call for 12.20.22 — 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.

Ed. Note — As a (very eventful) 2022 winds down, Sunburn will be taking a break until the new year. We are giving our industrious staff extra time to enjoy the holiday, a reward for all their work to bring you the latest in Florida politics. Sunburn will return to inboxes fresh and rested on Jan. 3, 2023.

Please, follow for breaking news.

And to you, our loyal fans — thank you for a wonderful 2022! Happy holidays, and have a safe, prosperous new year!

First Shot

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has lost a member of the FLHSMV family.

Executive Director Terry Rhodes and Florida Highway Patrol Director Colonel Gene Spaulding released a statement Tuesday mourning the death of retired FHP Colonel David H. Brierton Jr.

“It is with deep sorrow that we share the passing of Retired Colonel David H. Brierton Jr.,” the pair said in a statement. “Colonel Brierton was a valued member and leader of the Florida Highway Patrol for more than 32 years and served as the 11th Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. He will be truly missed by the entire FHP and FLHSMV family. We send our deepest condolences to the Brierton family — please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”

Brierton began his career with FHP in 1983 as part of the 69th Recruit Class and served the residents and visitors of Florida for more than 32 years. He began his career in Miami-Dade, serving as a Trooper and a Sergeant.

In 1989, he was promoted to Lieutenant and relocated to Bradenton before being promoted to captain in 1993 and returning to south Florida where he supervised operations in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

In 2003, he was promoted to Major and assigned to FHP Headquarters in Tallahassee, where he supervised Investigations and Professional Compliance. In 2006, he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel and charged with oversight of Patrol Operations, Investigations, Contraband Interdiction, Emergency Operations, and Homeland Security. He was appointed Colonel in 2011 and retired in 2015.

Before joining FHP, Brierton served in the Army as a military police officer.

Evening Reads

—“Ron DeSantis directs $7 million to infrastructure projects in rural towns” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics

—“The prosecution of Donald Trump runs into some serious First Amendment troubles” via Alan Z. Rozenshtein and Jed Shugerman for The Atlantic

—“Trump taxes: House panel mulls releasing long-sought returns” via Josh Boak, Meg Kinnard and Brian Slodysko of The Associated Press

—“Joe Biden aides brace for GOP’s looming Afghanistan probe” via Yasmeen Abutaleb and Dan Lamothe of The Washington Post

—“In accidental leak, U.S. told Cuba that potential deportees fled island fearing persecution, torture” via Syra Ortiz Blanes, Michael Wilner and Nora Gámez Torres of the Miami Herald

—“What’s in and what’s out of Congress’ $1.7T spending bill” via Caitlin Emma and Anthony Adragna of POLITICO

—“Five Proud Boys (or ex-Proud Boys) on trial in D.C. related to Jan. 6 attack; two are from Florida” via Mitch Perry of the Florida Phoenix

—“Florida insurance department has lost its top three regulators” via Christine Sexton of Florida Politics

—“Unequal Futures: Florida’s universities admit far fewer students from low-income areas” via Annie Martin and Leslie Postal of the Orlando Sentinel

—“Angie Nixon ‘strongly considering’ leaving Florida House for Jacksonville City Council run” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

—“Rays to split spring training at Disney, Tropicana Field” via Freida Frisaro of The Associated Press

—“33 cool charts we made in 2022” via FiveThirtyEight

—“Arctic blast to bring South Florida temperatures cold enough to freeze iguanas” via Shira Moolten of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Quote of the Day

“I think we ought to leave it to the Department of Justice to deal with these issues. Ultimately, who’s going to decide these issues is the voters. We know the former President is running again, and the voters are going to have a choice to make a decision.”

— Sen. Rick Scott on whether the charges alleged by the Jan. 6 Committee against former President Donald Trump amount to crimes.

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