Last Call for 5.29.24 — 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

We know for many of you that the upcoming Atlantic Hurricane Season won’t be, as they say, your first time at the rodeo.

But even the most seasoned Floridians can use a reminder on how to prepare for the storm season that begins June 1. To that end, Spectrum Bay News 9 and Spectrum News 13 have each prepared hourlong specials, dubbed “Storm Season 2024,” featuring tips on how to best prepare and flashbacks (who doesn’t like those?) on the 20th anniversary of the historic 2004 season in which Florida was hit by Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.

Spectrum Bay News 9’s special will be co-hosted by Spectrum Bay News 9 Chief Meteorologist Mike Clay and anchor Jorja Roman. It will examine how areas of Tampa Bay and the Nature Coast were impacted by Hurricane Idalia in 2023 and how they are preparing for this year’s storms as they continue to recover. 

Spectrum News 13’s special, hosted by Spectrum News 13 Chief Meteorologist Bryan Karrick and anchor Julie Gargotta, will explore the damage caused by the four hurricanes of 2004 in Central Florida and what has changed since.

Karrick and his team of certified meteorologists will also examine how more recent hurricanes, including Ian and Nicole, have impacted Floridians’ lives through stories on property insurance issues, flood mitigation, and the rebuilding of homes along the coast.

Spectrum Bay News 9 is available on channel 9 in Tampa Bay, Spectrum News 13 can be seen on channel 13 in Central Florida, and both networks are available on the Spectrum News App on mobile, Xumo Stream Box, and Roku and Apple devices.

Evening Reads

—”Once a Sheriff’s deputy in Florida, now a source of disinformation from Russia” via Steven Lee Myers of The New York Times

—“The real ‘deep state’” via Franklin Foer of The Atlantic

—”Florida civics training links ‘cancel culture’ to mass murder” via Judd Legum of Popular Information

—”Florida state Senate ratings” via Dave Trotter of Voting Trend

—”Ron DeSantis offered to cut funding for roads to pay for his state militia” via Jason Garcia of Seeking Rents

—“They took children: The hidden legacy of Indian boarding schools in the United States” via Dana Hedgpeth and Sari Horwitz of The Washington Post

—”How much happiness can your salary buy? Researchers can’t agree” via Joe Pinsker of The Wall Street Journal

—”How a 4-hour video about Disney’s failed ‘Star Wars hotel’ took over the internet” via EJ Dickson of Rolling Stone

Quote of the Day

“I’ve had a really successful time here. There’s a reason why we need to make this place more famous, and film is the way to do that. It reaches the world. So, it’s very important that we keep this film industry nurtured here and bring it back.”

— Director Michael Bay, on Miami-Dade’s film and entertainment office, which got a boost this year after County Commissioners approved a new rebate program to attract productions.

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.

There’s apparently a niche listicle genre for tasty pairings of fast food and cocktails. We’d try a La Remedia alongside a Chick-fil-A spicy chicken sandwich, but as U.S. Sen. Rick Scott says, fast food prices are through the roof.

Orlando mega lawyer John Morgan earned The People’s Margarita for coming out in support of the proposed constitutional amendment legalizing recreational pot.

Pour Michael Bay a Roadhouse Rita for championing the return of film to Miami Dade County. We’re talking the 2024 Roadhouse with Jake Gyllenhaal by the way, which was mostly filmed in the Dominican Republic, but parts of the film were also shot in Florida.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

Struggling Rays look to turn around slump

The Tampa Bay Rays continue a three-game series with the Oakland A’s after dropping the first meeting yesterday (6:50 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Sun).

Tampa Bay (26-29, 4th in the American League East), has lost seven of their last 10 games and sit 4.5 games out of the AL wild-card race.

This series should offer Tampa a chance to build momentum. Oakland has been outscored by 60 runs this season. Only the Chicago White Sox have a worse run differential in the AL this season. But in the first game of the series, Oakland shut out the Rays 3-0 as four A’s pitchers allowed Tampa just three hits.

Ryan Pepiot (3-2, 3.98 ERA) gets the start for the Rays. He can become the first Tampa Bay starter and second pitcher to earn his fourth win of the season. Oakland is scheduled to send rookie Joey Estes (1-1 7.47) to the mound for his fourth start of the season.

The Rays continue to struggle at home. Tampa has won just one of the seven games on the current homestand. With two games remaining before Tampa goes on the road, the Rays need to find ways to beat teams in the bottom half of the league like the A’s if they are going to be in a position to make a run at a wild card spot at the end of the season.


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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