Last Call for 10.16.23 — 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

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Jason Brodeur and Rep. Doug Bankson is earning effusive praise from one of their former colleagues.

The Central Florida Republicans filed twin bills (SB 186/HB 115) that would create a work group comprised of health care experts, family members, or caretakers of patients diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy to find out more about this relatively unknown disease and advocate for quicker diagnoses of those suffering and often misdiagnosed.

The legislation’s title: “The Justo R. Cortes Progressive Supranuclear Act.”

Justo Cortes is the father of former state Rep. Bob Cortes, who represented parts of Seminole and Orange counties from 2014 through 2018. The elder Cortes suffers from progressive supranuclear palsy and his health and quality of life have declined significantly over the past five years. Bob Cortes approached Brodeur, who said he was previously unaware of the “critical need.”

“But after learning more and hearing of the health care challenges his family has suffered due to his father’s disease, this simple step of creating a policy work group is one way that we can attack a deadly disease, and I hope that someday we can bring permanent relief to those families affected by it,” Brodeur said.

According to the former Representative, Justo Cortes now requires round-the-clock care and is being helped by his wife of 65 years, his three children, and others who share the responsibility of providing a better quality of life for him.

“My father has always been my hero and the person who made me the man I am today,” Bob Cortes said. “To see him not being able to walk or do the most basic activities we all take for granted breaks my heart. I plan to be by his side always to help him live his life while fully enjoying the things most important to him. He gave me life, and I will hold his hand until the day God calls upon him to join him.”

He added, “I wish to thank sponsors Sen. Brodeur and Rep. Bankson for filing this bill and the support they have provided to their constituents on an issue that does not receive the attention it needs and one that may help many others suffering from this disease in silence. I am grateful for their actions as this means to me and my family more than they will ever know.”

Evening Reads

—“Ron DeSantis says Palestinians in Gaza are ‘all antisemitic’ and U.S. should refuse refugees” via Neil Vigdor of The New York Times

—”Money has been a problem for DeSantis’ campaign. Is it still?” Emily L. Mahoney and Teghan Simonton of the Tampa Bay Times

—”Texas Sheriff hasn’t forgotten about Ron DeSantis’ ‘unlawful’ anti-migrant stunt” via Caleb Ecarma of Vanity Fair

—”‘DeSantis Airlines’ brings Americans from Israel to Tampa, Orlando” via Jeffrey Schweers of the Orlando Sentinel

—“In truth, there are no easy answers in this conflict” via Diane Roberts of the Florida Phoenix

—”How to understand Egypt’s role in the Israel-Hamas conflict” via Ellen Ioanes of Vox

—”New power player in abortion politics: Yelp” via Tessa Stuart of Rolling Stone

—”Race isn’t real, science says. Advocates want the census to reflect that.” via Sydney Trent of The Washington Post

—”How Taylor Swift saved movie theaters” via David Sims of The Atlantic

Quote of the Day

“Hamas is responsible for whatever happens in Gaza. Not what Israel has to do. They don’t have a choice. They have to go in and completely annihilate Hamas.”

— U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, on the Israel-Hamas war.

Put It on the Tab

Look to your left, then look to your right. If you see one of these people at your happy hour haunt, flag down the bartender and put one of these on your tab. Recipes included, just in case the Cocktail Codex fell into the well.

We’re not saying Gov. Ron DeSantis’ NFL jinx is real, but we’re also not ruling it out. Either way, he gets a Bad Juju.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan is officially backing U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan for House Speaker, so if you’re on the Hill, there’s nothing classier than a Buckeye — just remember to stir, not shake.

Sen. Ben Albritton is about to become Senate President-designate Ben Albritton. Show him some love with an Heir Apparent, but only one or two — we don’t want him to be late to the ceremony tomorrow morning.

Rep. Fabián Basabe made headlines for something completely unrelated to staffer drama. Dole out some positive reinforcement with a Kudos Coolade.

The last time pump prices dipped, we suggested ordering a Gasoline for your favorite drive. That’s still an option, but the truck drivers may prefer celebrating the three-month low with a Turbo Diesel.


Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

7 p.m. — Florida Panthers @ New Jersey Devils


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


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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