Last Call for 5.13.24 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

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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

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign touted support from a new coalition made up of 550 small businesses from every county in the Sunshine State.

“I’m excited to announce the ‘Small Businesses for Rick Scott’ coalition and honored to have the support of so many job creators from every corner of Florida, spanning all 67 Florida counties. My first business was a donut shop that I bought so my mom could have a job,” Scott said in a news release.

“I know firsthand how difficult it is to run a small business and am lucky enough to have grown up in a country where someone like me, who grew up in public housing, can live the American dream. Unfortunately, the American dream is slipping away from millions of small business owners thanks to the Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spend agenda.”

The “Small Businesses for Rick Scott” coalition launch was paired with endorsements from two pro-business groups: The National Federation of Independent Business and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“No one fights harder for jobs than Sen. Rick Scott and the Florida Chamber of Commerce is proud to endorse his re-election. Sen. Scott was Florida’s jobs Governor, and we were proud to work with him every year to reduce taxes, excessive litigation, and nonsensical regulations, which helped lead to the incredible economic growth we see in Florida today,” said Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson.

“As Senator, he’s continued to focus on reining in wasteful spending and getting government out of the way so local businesses can thrive. We look forward to him continuing to serve as Florida’s voice for jobs and a strong economy in Washington.”

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Jackson Peel is temporarily stepping away from his position as comms director for the House Democratic Office.

In an email to the press, Peel said he will be away from the job through fall to work on a campaign, adding that details on his campaign job will be announced later.

Peel said he plans to return to the House Democratic Office after the election. In the meantime, Deputy Communications Director Joey Arellano will take over as temporary comms director for the House Dems.

Evening Reads

—”Donald Trump leads in 5 key states, as young and non-White voters express discontent with Joe Biden” via Nate Cohn of The New York Times

—”This man has nailed 90% of presidential elections. He thinks Biden will win.” via Chris Cillizza of So What

—“Attack a Democrat charged with corruption? Republicans wouldn’t dare.” via Russell Berman of The Atlantic

—“America’s misunderstood border crisis, in 8 charts” via Nicole Narea of Vox

—”Florida Democrats focus on abortion. Will it work?” via Dave Trotter of Voting Trend

—”Florida Dems want the fight to pass the abortion rights amendment to be intergenerational” via Jackie Llanos of the Florida Phoenix

—”In South Florida, a Democrat’s pitch links abortion, immigration and freedom” via Mel Leonor Barclay of The 19th

—“‘A dangerous political game’: Dems blast María Elvira Salazar for supporting citizenship question on Census” via Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics

—“Gov. Ron DeSantis expands state of emergency for Tallahassee, North Florida” via Jim Rosica of the Tallahassee Democrat

Quote of the Day

“Most people don’t know, but this not knowing is going to have a forever impact on people’s lives.”

— Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried, on the six-week abortion ban.

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.

The plaintiffs and state could use a Late Starter while they wait for court proceedings to get back on track in the Medicaid unwinding trial.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is still in the dark about Donald Trump’s VP decision. In the meantime, he’ll take a Waiting Game

If Rep. Randy Fine gets his way, the closest thing to a dental procedure Fadi Kablawi will be allowed to perform is throwing back a Root Canal.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

Rays open AL East series in Boston

The Tampa Bay Rays open a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox tonight with a chance to climb into third place in the competitive American League East (7:10 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Sun).

The Rays enter tonight’s meeting in Boston a game and a half behind the Red Sox in the division standings. If Tampa sweeps the series, they will leapfrog Boston into third place in the division. 

Tampa has won six of their last nine games but two of those losses came in the just-concluded three-game series against the New York Yankees. Sunday’s finale saw New York slam five home runs against the Rays’ pitching staff in a 10-6 loss. The Rays trailed 6-0 before scoring five in the bottom of the seventh to draw to within a run. But a four-run eighth for the Yankees put the game out of reach.

Boston has been scuttling lately, losing six of 10 games entering the series, although they took the last two games of a three-game set against the Washington Nationals over the weekend. 

This is the season’s first meeting between the Rays and Red Sox. The two teams will rematch in Tampa for a three-game set starting a week from today.

Also tonight:

6:40 p.m. — Miami Marlins @ Detroit Tigers

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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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