Last Call for 8.10.22 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

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

First Shot

The American Federation of Teachers has donated $500,000 to Charlie Crist’s campaign for Governor.

“I am incredibly grateful to receive the support from teachers and educators both in Florida and nationally. It is deeply meaningful that our campaign’s single largest donation comes from the teachers who are working so hard to give our kids a bright future,” Crist said.

“Under Ron DeSantis, Florida’s schools, teachers, staff, parents and children are suffering. With the first day of school less than two weeks away, 9,000 positions remain unfilled. Instead of addressing this crisis, including by paying our teachers better, this Governor is waging culture wars on our schools. When I am Governor, we’ll take the politics out of our classrooms, and make sure our kids have the freedom to learn.”

The national support comes after the Crist campaign cultivated support from several state and local education groups, including the Florida Education Association, the Democratic Public Education Caucus of Florida, the United Teachers of Dade and others.

In a news release, Crist’s campaign said that other national interests are donating to the campaign following recent polling that shows Crist would be competitive in a General Election against DeSantis.

The poll cited was conducted by Progress Florida and Florida Watch. It found 47% of registered voters intend to vote for DeSantis while 44% intend to vote for Crist. The same poll found DeSantis leads Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor, 49%-43%.

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Fried has released a new ad attacking rival Crist on his criminal justice record.

The ad, posted to Twitter and running on TV, features Fried walking along the exterior fence of the Leon County Jail and saying that, unlike Crist, she will “fight for people, not prisons.”

“Want to know the difference between me and Charlie Crist? It’s not just that I’m pro-choice and he’s pro-life. Look at our records on criminal justice,” she said.

“While I was a public defender fighting to keep innocent Floridians out of jails like this, he was passing mandatory minimums during the racist war on drugs. People are still in jail today because of it. And worse, he’s never apologized.”

The ad at one point features a newspaper clipping of Crist’s GOP-era nickname “Chain gang Charlie,” alongside other headlines and article highlights from his first stint as Governor advocating for convicts to serve a higher percentage of the prison term they receive at sentencing.

To watch the ad, please click the image below:

Evening Reads

—“Donald Trump declines to answer questions in New York deposition, invoking his right against self-incrimination.” via Ben Protess, Jonah E. Bromwich and William K. Rashbaum of The New York Times

—“What kind of criminal case is the Justice Department building against Trump?” via Jay Weaver and Michael Wilner of the Miami Herald

—“Marco Rubio says FBI sowing more discord than Russia after Trump raid” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

—“Latest Lincoln Project ad stokes presidential paranoia, suggests snitch sparked Mar-a-Lago raid” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics

—“Congress just passed a big climate bill. No, not that one.” via Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic

—“Some 40 years ago, 1 female from Florida was elected to the U.S. Senate. Will Val Demings be #2?” via Issac Morgan of the Florida Phoenix

—“Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried argue over who can best take on Ron DeSantis” via Steven Lemongello of the Orlando Sentinel

—“Fried campaign touts poll showing her within 7 points of Crist” via Gray Rohrer of Florida Politics

—“Economists agree deficit in state health insurance trust fund is bigger than previously thought” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics

—“Florida reverts back to two monkeypox vaccine doses as infections climb” via Arek Sarkissian of POLITICO Florida

—“How a Canadian influencer targeted this Florida bar for its drag shows” via Ana Ceballos of the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times

—“Open Congressional District 15 seat draws 5 ambitious Democrats” via The Ledger

—“Disney beats quarterly expectations, Disney+ soars to 152 million subscribers” via Todd Spangler of Variety

Quote of the Day

“The FBI’s actions, less than three months from the upcoming elections, are doing more to erode public trust in our government institutions, the electoral process, and the rule of law in the U.S. than the Russian Federation or any other foreign adversary.”

— U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

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