Last Call for 6.7.23 — 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

Ricky Polston is leaving his job as General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer at Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state-backed insurer announced.

“The former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice was presented with an opportunity he felt was best for him and his family at this stage of what has been an exemplary legal career,” Citizens President and CEO Tim Cerio wrote in a news release, calling the departure “bittersweet.”

He added, “During his brief tenure here at Citizens Ricky has become a respected counsel and trusted adviser to me and other members of the Executive Leadership Team.”

Cerio said Polston would finish out the month at Citizens before heading to the Shutts & Bowen law firm. Ken Tinkham will take over as Acting General Counsel and Chief Legal Counsel upon Polston’s exit.

Polston served on the Florida Supreme Court for 14 years. He resigned in March, though he was eligible to serve at least eight more years on the bench before facing mandatory retirement. On March 29, a couple days before he hung up his robes, the Citizens board voted unanimously to hire him as General Counsel.

“When the stars align, best stay out of the way,” board Chair Carlos Beruff said at the time. 

But the stars didn’t align for long, as Polston will have held the Citizens job for only about three months after he exits on June 30. 

“My decision was not an easy one. During my time with leaders and employees from across the company, I have been amazed at the team’s level of professionalism, dedication, and enthusiasm,” Polston said in a statement shared by Cerio.

“I understand and fully appreciate the critical role Citizens plays during these challenging times in the Florida property insurance market. Citizens’ policyholders and the people of Florida are in good hands.” 

Evening Reads

—“I know why Disney is fighting Ron DeSantis” via Sean Griffin for The New York Times

—“Gov. DeSantis defends sending migrant flight to California” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

—”DeSantis’ approval rating has collapsed” via Ewan Palmer of Newsweek

—“At border security roundtable, DeSantis discounts bad 2024 polls” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

—”How confusion about pronouncing his name could matter for DeSantis” via Nathan L. Gonzales of Roll Call

—”Mike Pence is starting his presidential campaign from a historically bad position” via Geoffrey Skelley of FiveThirtyEight

—“Chinese citizens file emergency motion to block Florida law; say they’ll face financial harms and stigma” via Mitch Perry of the Florida Phoenix

—”Joe Biden nominates Charlie Crist for U.N. Ambassador role” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics

—“Firing Chris Licht won’t fix CNN” via Peter Kafka of Vox

—”America’s long, strange history of UFO whistleblowers” via Marina Koren of The Atlantic

Quote of the Day

“Today, in what can only be described as a bogus and deeply troubling effort to use the power of government to ‘get’ Trump, I fulfilled a legal obligation to testify in front [of] a federal grand jury and I answered every question honestly.”

Taylor Budowich, after federal grand jury testimony about classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

Bill Day’s latest


Breakthrough Insights



Last Call is published by Peter Schorsch, assembled and edited by Phil Ammann and Drew Wilson with contributions from the staff of Florida Politics.

Staff Reports

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