Last Call for 10.19.23 — 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

The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s 2023 Annual Meeting & Future of Florida Forum kicks off in Orlando next week.

The Chamber’s marquee annual event will bring more than 70 thought leaders to The City Beautiful to discuss the state’s changing economics, demographics, and politics and how they all bring challenges and opportunities to the Chamber’s goal of growing Florida to a Top 10 global economy by 2030.

The Monday schedule kicks off with a table-setter from Indian River State College EVP of Strategic Initiatives Michael Hageloh, Florida Blue Foundation Executive Director and Florida Chamber Foundation Chair Susan Towler, and Florida Power & Light Co. Executive Director of External Affairs Don Kiselewski.

Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson follows with a segment detailing “where Florida is winning, falling behind, and stuck in neutral.”

The Day One agenda then tackles the first half of the Chamber’s “Six Pillars Framework” — the broad topics where Florida needs to make progress to grow the economy — including Talent Supply & Education, Innovation & Economic Development, and Quality of Life & Quality Places.

One of the top draws on Monday is a keynote from entrepreneurs Chris and Nik Nikic will share how Florida can hit its 2030 goals through the “1% Better Mindset.” The duo will also have an event table set up where attendees can receive a copy of their book.

The Tuesday agenda delves into the other three pillars: Business Climate & Competitiveness, Civic & Governance Systems, and Innovation & Economic Development.

Standout segments include a keynote from Matt Higgins, a serial entrepreneur and repeat “Guest Shark” on the Emmy award-winning TV show “Shark Tank,” who will speak about how Florida’s business community can embrace risk-taking for 2030 success.

Top government officials will also be on hand.

Attorney General Ashley Moody will swing through to speak about how the state is working to keep communities safer and new Commerce Secretary Alex Kelly will provide an update on the state’s economic development outlook.

The Future of Florida Forum will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort, 1 Grand Cypress Blvd., in Orlando. The full agenda and registration details are available on the Florida Chamber’s website.


U.S. Sen. Rick Scott is launching another ad as his 2024 re-election campaign ramps up.

The minute-long ad, “Losing our Country,” sees the first-term Republican rattle off a list of problems and culture war issues facing the nation — from the U.S. military’s botched exit from Afghanistan to rising transgender visibility.

“If Ronald Reagan were here right now, he would say ‘what in the hell have you guys done to my great country?’” Scott says in the ad, saying “hardworking Americans” need to fight to save the country.

He adds, “This is not a fight for the faint of heart. It’s not a fight for the weak. We are losing our country. It’s time to Cowboy up and fight like hell to turn this country around. We can do it. Make no mistake, we will do it.”

Scott’s campaign said the ad is backed by a $3 million media buy — the largest of any GOP Senate campaign this cycle — and it will run in every media market in the state over the next month.

The former two-term Governor will be on the November 2024 ballot, likely going head-to-head with former U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who is the only major Democrat in the race following Phil Ehr’s announcement that he will shift his campaign to Florida’s 28th Congressional District.

To watch the ad, please click the image below:

Evening Reads

—“America’s biggest charities bankrolled RFK Jr.’s anti-vax outfit” via Walker Bragman and Alex Kotch of Rolling Stone

—”Ron DeSantis — remember him?” via Darragh Roche of Newsweek

—”The House has never been Speakerless for so long mid-Session” via Philip Bump of The Washington Post

—”Israel’s long, painful history of hostage crises” via Marin Cogan of Vox

—“How the Palestinian Authority failed its people” via Ghaith al-Omari of The Atlantic

—”How the West — and Israel itself — inadvertently funded Hamas” via Rory Jones, Ian Talley and Benoit Faucon of The Wall Street Journal

—”Time for feds to admit they screwed up classifying Florida’s manatees as less than endangered” via Craig Pittman of the Florida Phoenix

—“Florida leaders blame insurance crisis on lawsuits, but evidence is thin” via Lawrence Mower of the Tampa Bay Times

—”School health screenings plunge in Central Florida under parents’ rights law” via Leslie Postal and Caroline Catherman of the Orlando Sentinel

Quote of the Day

“There’s just no warmth at all. He looks like he’s got a toothache.”

— U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, on DeSantis’ photo ops with Iowa voters.

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.

Gov. Ron DeSantis gets a Turf War for fighting to win over veteran voters in Nikki Haley’s home state.

That barb and others earn Romney ice-cold Haterade. They were funny, though.

Order up a Millionaire for your favorite TV station owners — the big campaign ad buys are landing early thanks to Scott 2024.

Do Florida’s congressional Republicans support a temporary Speaker or not? It’s a Split Decision.

A round of Bury the Hatchets for Florida’s Jewish Legislative Caucus, who appear to have mended their rift.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

7 p.m. — Vancouver Canucks @ Tampa Bay Lightning

7 p.m. — Toronto Maple Leafs @ Florida Panthers

8:15 p.m. — Jacksonville Jaguars @ New Orleans Saints


8 p.m. — Miami Heat @ Houston Rockets 


Noon — UCF @ Oklahoma

3:30 p.m. — USF @ UConn

6 p.m. — UTSA @ FAU

7:30 p.m. — Duke @ Florida State

8 p.m. — Clemson @ Miami

8 p.m. — FAMU @ Texas Southern


1 p.m. — Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8:20 p.m. — Miami Dolphins @ Philadelphia Eagles


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

One comment

  • Larry Gillis, Libertarian (Cape Coral)

    October 19, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    When was the last time any article in “FloridaPolitics” ever mentioned the Libertarian Party of Florida? Are you happy with the “PushMePullYou” dynamic the Republicans and the Democrats are stuck in?

    Politics is not a zero-sum game, guys. You gotta look outside the litterbox. See:

Comments are closed.


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