Last Call for 11.13.23 — 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

Attorney General Ashley Moody asked the Florida Supreme Court to toss a proposed constitutional amendment to protect abortion access last month. Now, the committee backing the measure is presenting its counterarguments.

In her submission to the court, Moody trashed the language used in the amendment proposed by Floridians Protecting Freedom as “one of the worst I have seen.” She says voters would be confused by the term “viability.”

Moody warned that if the amendment is successful, the supposed ambiguity in the ballot wording would allow abortion rights advocates to argue it was more expansive than most voters would have thought when they ticked the box.

Viability is when a fetus can survive outside of the mother, with or without artificial support. Most fetuses reach viability somewhere between 20 weeks and 28 weeks of gestation. Time frame nuances aside, the sponsoring committee Floridians Protecting Freedom said Moody’s argument was flaccid. 

In a court filing, the committee said the term “viability” is often used when discussing abortion rights and that voters “can be trusted to know what it would mean to live in a world limiting government interference with abortion before viability.”

The Florida Supreme Court review focuses on whether proposed constitutional amendments align with the state’s single-subject requirement and that the ballot summary given to voters is not misleading.

In addition to the court’s approval, sponsoring committees must gather 891,523 verified voter signatures — a number tied to 8% of the overall turnout in the last presidential election — for the amendment to be placed on the 2024 ballot.

As of Monday evening, the state Division of Election showed Floridians Protecting Freedom had 491,892 verified signatures.

Evening Reads

—”Is Joe Biden toast?” via Russell Berman of The Atlantic

—”Nikki Haley will launch a $10M ad campaign to try to overtake Ron DeSantis in the GOP primary” via Steve Peoples of The Associated Press

—“Iowa Republicans passing on DeSantis suggestion to hold satellite caucus in Florida” via Mitch Perry of the Florida Phoenix

—”Haley, DeSantis try to capitalize on Tim Scott exit from GOP primary race” via John McCormick and Eliza Collins of The Wall Street Journal

—”The other warning Republicans should heed from this year’s elections” via Christian Paz of Vox

—”Could gambling’s expansion make South Florida the new Vegas?” via Shira Moolten of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

—“Baby boomers are buying up all the houses” via Rachel Siegel of The Washington Post

—”A Monster’: Super meth and other drugs push crisis beyond opioids” via Jan Hoffman of The New York Times

—”Can All Children’s Hospital afford $261 million in damages?” via Christopher O’Donnell of the Tampa Bay Times

—”Joni Mitchell’s legacy is just beginning” via Angie Martoccio of Rolling Stone

Quote of the Day

Nikki Haley’s momentum and path to victory are clear. The same can’t be said for Ron DeSantis, who, even with a decent showing in Iowa, can’t afford a cup of coffee at the Red Arrow diner in New Hampshire and is a mere tourist in South Carolina.”

— Haley campaign manager Betsy Ankney, announcing the candidate’s Iowa and New Hampshire ad blitz.

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 would love to raise a Farewell Fizz to U.S. Sen. Tim Scott for his “bold ideas” now that he’s exiting the GOP presidential primary.

If the bartender stocks mezcal, the Governor needs a Tobacco Road follow-up to help him digest his low poll numbers in North Carolina.

Pink doesn’t drink booze, but she does dole out books by the thousands. Here’s a list of tasty mocktails that the singer may enjoy.

Sen. Darryl Rouson and Rep. Lindsay Cross would enjoy a couple of Good Farmers for their bills expanding the definition of “urban agriculture” to include new commercial agricultural uses.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

7 p.m. — FIU Panthers @ Miami Hurricanes

8 p.m. — Stetson Hatters @ Houston Cougars


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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