Last Call for 6.13.24 — 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

After nearly two years, the Walt Disney Co. has started to give contributions to politicians.

After the Monday deadline for campaign filing for April and May passed, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts was listed as providing contributions to several political committees. The company provided more than $87,000 to several Florida politicians, both Democrats and Republicans.

The company was once one of the biggest financial contributors to politicians in the state, donating more than $2 million at the beginning of 2022. However, this changed when the company’s previous CEO, Bob Chapek, announced his opposition to the Parental Rights in Education Act. Dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” it restricted classroom instruction of gender identity and sexual orientation and was pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.  

This resulted in DeSantis stripping Disney of its special district status, and members of Disney and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board entered a legal battle over Disney’s claims of being political targets. The parties reached a settlement in March.

Disney’s exit from this political battle has resulted in resuming contributions to Florida politicians and political committees this spring. The largest contribution has been over $28,000 to Democratic state Rep. Dan Daley.

Disney also contributed $16,000 to People Above Politics, an affiliate of Republican state Rep. Demi Cabrera, as well as $10,000 each to Citizens for Solutions, chaired by state Sen. Jason Brodeur, and to Republican state Sen. Joe Gruters.  All three politicians voted in favor of the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”  

Evening Reads

—“Republican National Committee prepares for a convention Donald Trump may not attend” via Matt Dixon of NBC News

—“Trump returns to Capitol Hill and whips up Republican lawmakers, a first meeting since Jan. 6 attack” via Lisa Mascaro of AP News

—“New survey shows U.S. Senate race in Florida is getting closer via Mitch Perry of Florida Phoenix

—“171,000 traveled for abortions last year. see where they went.” via Molly Cook Escobar, Amy Schoenfeld Walker, Allison McCann, Scott Reinhard and Helmuth Rosales of The New York Times

—“Supreme Court rejects bid to trademark ‘Trump Too Small’” via Adam Liptak of The New York Times

—“Why Hunter Biden’s guilty verdict probably won’t affect the 2024 election” via Nathaniel Rakich of FiveThirtyEight

—”USDA revises Florida citrus harvest projections for improved crop via Drew Dixon of Florida Politics

—“Campaigns can now see what you watch on TV. It’s changing everything  via Maggie Severns of NOTUS

—“Why I am done with being a ‘former CNN reporter’via Chris Cillizza of So What

—“Russian ships near Florida? A brief history of military conflicts here.” via Gabrielle Calise of the Tampa Bay Times

Quote of the Day

“Why go to Columbia and be treated like that when you can go to [a university] in Florida? We’re the Harvard for the unwoke now.” 

— Gov. Ron DeSantis in an interview discussing the Columbia University protests and Florida’s status as the top-ranked state in higher education.

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 are included, just in case the Cocktail Codex fell into the well.

Florida’s citrus farmers got some good news, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture revising its monthly seasonal production forecast upward. Time to bust out an orange crush cocktail to taste the sweetness provided by our home-state farmers.

Disney and its Governing Board have officially hammered out an agreement to spend billions in the next two decades, including the ability for Disney to construct another theme park. There are plenty of Disney-themed cocktails for you Disney fanatics jumping for joy at the possibility of a fifth park.

It’s that time of year that scallop harvesters have been waiting for, as the bay scallop season finally arrives this weekend. Those shelled treats pair well with white wines, so bust out a bottle when you’re done diving for dinner.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

The final round of the U.S. Open is scheduled to be played Sunday at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina (9 a.m. ET, USA, switching to NBC beginning at noon ET).

Defending champion Wyndham Clark has not fared well in major championships since his win last year. He failed to make the cut at the Masters and PGA Championship after finishing tied for 33rd at the British Open last July.

Scottie Scheffler, the world’s No. 1 ranked player and the winner of the Masters this year, will try to become the first golfer since Brooks Koepka in 2018 to win multiple majors in the same season. Scheffler won last week at The Memorial, his fifth PGA Tour win of the season.

Rory McIlroy and PGA Championship winner Xander Schauffele are also top picks to win the title.

Another ongoing story in the game is the balance between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf. Eight LIV golfers qualified by past performance in majors or rankings in the World Golf Rankings: Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Cameron Smith, Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson, and Adrian Meronk.

Two more made their way into the field via regional qualifying: David Puig and Dean Burmester.

Several big names on the LIV tour failed to earn a spot in the field, including Sergio Garcia.

Though he did not qualify through conventional means, Tiger Woods was granted a special exemption into the U.S. Open.


Last Call is published by Peter Schorsch, assembled and edited by Phil Ammann and Drew Wilson, with contributions from the staff of Florida Politics.

Guest Author

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