October 2, 2022

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
First Shot
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard might be a boon to Charlie Crist.
The Governor’s Democratic challenger raised $1 million in 48 hours, which Crist’s campaign credits to the sustained national attention DeSantis received after sending two planes of migrants from Texas to the wealthy Massachusetts community Wednesday. More than half of the contributions came from first-time donors.
“It must have seemed like a no-brainer for Governor Ron DeSantis: own the libs, change the subject from abortion, and catch up to Governor Greg Abbott in appealing to extremist voters for whom the cruelty is the point. But he actually shot himself in the foot,” Crist campaign Communications Director Samantha Ramirez said in an email to reporters.
Crist, a former Governor and Congressman, has tried to focus his message on abortion but did take time to pillory DeSantis for the move, calling it “inhumane.” He has also demanded that all documents about the flights be made public.
Of course, the $1 million raised is hardly a dent in the $110 million lead DeSantis has in cash on hand.
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In other good news for Democrats, Florida gas prices fell 3 cents last week to an average of $3.42 per gallon, the lowest average since Feb. 1.
It marked the third consecutive week of decline. Prices have now fallen 20 cents since Aug. 27.
However, what’s not good news for Democrats is the source of the declining prices.
“Crude oil and gasoline futures finished the week slightly lower than the week before, on ongoing concerns that a global recession and potential U.S. interest rate hike could stifle global fuel demand,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesperson for AAA — The Auto Club Group. “This should enable gas prices to slip even lower this week.”
On Friday, the price of U.S. crude oil settled at $85.11 per barrel. That’s $1.68 per barrel less than the week before.
The most expensive metro market in Florida is currently West Palm Beach-Boca Raton at $3.62 per gallon. The Tallahassee and Miami areas round out the top three at $3.52 and $3.48, respectively.
The least expensive markets are in the Panhandle, led by Pensacola and Crestview-Fort Walton Beach at $3.20 each, followed by Panama City at $3.28.
Evening Reads
—“Ron DeSantis ‘exceeded’ authority in flying migrants from Texas, Democratic lawmakers say” via Ana Ceballos of the Miami Herald
—“Judge prefers a trial for DeSantis’ removal of Tampa prosecutor” via Lawrence Mower and Sue Carlton of the Tampa Bay Times
—“DeSantis ad spotlights mother whose son was killed in auto accident with illegal immigrant driver” via Paul Steinhauser of Fox News
—“DeSantis holds a 23-to-1 cash advantage on Charlie Crist” via Jacob Ogles of Florida Politics
—“GOP’s election-year standing with independents at risk” via Thomas Beaumont of The Associated Press
—“Lindsey Graham’s abortion ban is dividing GOP Senate candidates in swing states” via Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux of FiveThirtyEight
—“Raphael Warnock should trounce Herschel Walker. His campaign knows it won’t be that easy” via Chris Smith of Vanity Fair
—“Rick Scott still wants ‘the facts’ about Hunter Biden controversies” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics
—“Marco Rubio sees ‘massive disconnect’ between elites, ‘real world’” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics
—“Florida Chief Justice Carlos Muniz’s tour for abortion opponents provokes concerns about court bias at critical moment” via Noreen Marcus of the Florida Bulldog
—“Florida second only to Texas in banning school books as number of bans rises, report finds” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics
—“Judge won’t step down from Parkland mass shooting case” via Rafael Olmeda of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
—“The royal corgis made an appearance during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession and are still very much alive” via Kelsey Weekman of BuzzFeed News

Quote of the Day
“If Stacey Abrams were to win, that would spark refugees out of Georgia to Florida.”
— Gov. Ron DeSantis on the Erick Erickson show discussing the Georgia gubernatorial race.
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