Last Call for 4.9.24 — 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

Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson on Tuesday put out the call for nominations for this year’s Agriscience Education Leadership Program.

The Agriscience Education Leadership Program provides agriculture education to classroom teachers, who can pass it on to their students. School districts or trainees are not charged.

“By investing in our teachers, we are investing in the future success of our state, and the Agriscience Education Leadership Program is a unique opportunity that allows educators to step outside of the walls of the classroom and experience the full breadth of Florida agriculture,” Simpson said in a news release.

“Agriculture and related industries are important components of the lives of all Floridians, and I’m confident that the participants in this program — and their students — will benefit from understanding how this industry impacts their everyday lives and the role it plays in ensuring Florida’s future.”

Simpson is seeking nominations from each county school district for up to three middle or high school agriscience or science teachers. Teachers accepted into the program will participate in three separate agribusiness tours and leadership development sessions throughout the 2024-2025 school year.

The deadline for nominations is May 1, 2024. FDACS is accepting nominations online.

Evening Reads

—”What’s behind the latest right-wing revolt against Mike Johnson” via Li Zhou of Vox

—“Almost no one is happy with legal weed” via Jane C. Hu of The Atlantic

—”Another red-blue divide: Money to feed kids in the summer” via Jason DeParle of The New York Times

—“Swing states see newcomers as Americans move from blue to red counties” via Tribune News Service

—“The deeply silly, extremely serious rise of ‘Alpha Male’ Nick Adams” via Ben Terris of The Washington Post

—“Legislation in Florida would ban local workplace heat protections; Arizona just approved measures” via Mitch Perry of the Florida Phoenix

—“Older Floridians are going back to work as life gets less affordable” via Lauren Peace of the Tampa Bay Times

—“Universal Orlando gives legislators $168K in freebies, gets millions in tax breaks” via Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel

Quote of the Day

“If you do the crime, you do the time.”

— Gov. Ron DeSantis, signing the ‘porch pirates’ bill.

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.

Your local package thief doesn’t deserve a Wrecked Pirate, but it might help make the extra penalties Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law go down a bit easier.

Given her stance on the Biden administration’s latest student loan forgiveness plan, Ashley Moody is one of many state Attorneys General who would take a Pony Up.

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik earned himself a Club Tropicana for endorsing the Tampa Bay Rays’ Historic Gas Plant District redevelopment plans.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

Marlins looking to snap out of slump in New York

It’s been a miserable start to the season for the Miami Marlins. It doesn’t look to get any easier as they continue a series at Yankee Stadium tonight (7:05 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Florida).

The Marlins’ (1-10) sole victory this season came on Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals. The win ended a nine-game losing streak to start the season. Yesterday, the losing resumed in a 7-0 shutout by the Yankees. The hapless start matches the worst opening of a season in the Marlins’ history.

Miami’s struggles have included a punchless offense (they’ve been held to two runs or fewer in five of 11 games) and poor pitching (losing six of 11 games by three runs or more).

The Yankees (9-2) have matched the best 11-game start in franchise history. A win tonight against the Marlins would give New York its best start since 2003 and would match the 1922 and 1949 teams. The 1922 team won the American League pennant and included Babe Ruth in the lineup in the last season before the team moved into the old Yankee Stadium. The 1949 team won the World Series and had a roster that included Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, and Joe DiMaggio.

The series concludes tomorrow, but Miami has no relief in sight. After the trip to the Bronx, the Marlins return home to face division-leading Atlanta. 

Also tonight:

7 p.m. — Columbus Blue Jackets @ Tampa Bay Lightning

7 p.m. — Ottawa Senators @ Florida Panthers

7:30 p.m. — Miami Heat @ Atlanta Hawks

9:38 p.m. — Tampa Bay Rays @ Los Angeles Angels


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.

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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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