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Last Call for 7.15.19 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

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

First Shot

First, a program note: Sunburn, Florida’s premier morning newsletter of politics and policy, is on a short summer hiatus. It will return next week.

Florida NOW (National Organization for Women) is making another push to amend the U.S. Constitution with the Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA. That includes a postcard campaign aimed at legislators, including House Speaker José Oliva.

Florida NOW also plans an “ERA Equality Day of Action” Aug. 26, with an 11 a.m. news conference in the Capitol outside the Governor’s Office.

“Some state lawmakers do not think it’s necessary to constitutionally guarantee the equal rights of women,” the group said in a fundraising email received Monday. “To convince them otherwise requires a multi-prong approach.”

The organization explained it has made 5,000 postcards supporting the ERA, which is “designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex.” The measure, first introduced in 1923, “seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment and other matters,” according to its website.

Up until 1977, the amendment received 35 of the 38 state ratifications it needs. “Postcards will be addressed to targeted members of the Legislature who have stood in the way of equality in the past,” the email says. “Each will be signed and mailed by individual voters to show how women are paying attention.”

Those “targeted” include Oliva, state Rep. and Civil Justice Subcommittee chair Bob Rommel of Naples, Senate President Bill Galvano, and state Sen. and Judiciary Committee chair David Simmons of Longwood. All are Republicans.

“We’ve created a fundraiser to help pay for the postage of these postcards, so all someone has to do is fill out the return address, sign and mail it,” it says. “These first 5,000 are for an initial blitz campaign before committee meetings start in September. Any funds raised above the first $1,300 will go toward additional postcard postage.

“It is long past time for Florida to put women on the agenda and ratify the ERA.”

Evening Reads

Nancy Pelosi announces resolution condemning Donald Trump for racist tweets” via POLITICO

Huge turnout is expected in 2020. That’s not necessarily good for Democrats” via The New York Times

How ‘returning citizen’ Desmond Meade helped restore voting rights to Florida’s ex-felons” via Fast Company

As hate incidents rise, states require teaching the Holocaust” via PEW Stateline

Democrats put Florida election law on trial” via POLITICO Florida

Jeffrey Epstein will remain jailed as judge mulls bail” via The Associated Press

The Ron DeSantis record: Bold promises clash with cold reality” via Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

With new hemp law, ‘sniff and search’ goes up in smoke” via The Palm Beach Post

The quick, unexpected fall of Spanish River High’s principal” via The Palm Beach Post

‘One of the least affordable places to live.’ Broward grapples with housing crisis” via The Miami Herald

Researchers to look for more graves at Florida reform school” via The Associated Press

From Jeff Bezos to today’s NASA engineers, Apollo 11 inspired a generation to go to space” via The Orlando Sentinel

How Matt Gaetz became Trump’s favorite Congressman” and “Matt as hell: A roundup of Gaetz’s most outrageous remarks” via Mother Jones

Quote of the Day

“We need to explore a lawsuit to recover the monies given in trust to @AndrewGillum and now in a slush fund. Thank God for Florida that @GovRonDeSantis won.” — John Morgan, Orlando attorney/entrepreneur/political donor and activist, tweeting about Gillum, the former Democratic gubernatorial nominee who moved campaign cash into a nonprofit that doesn’t have to disclose its finances.

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Wake Up Early?

Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, will speak as part of a multiday Automated Vehicles Symposium in Central Florida. The symposium plenary session starts at 8 a.m., with Brandes scheduled to speak at 8:15 a.m., Orlando World Center Marriott, 8701 World Center Dr., Orlando.

A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal will hear arguments about the Florida House’s attempt to intervene in a high-stakes case about medical marijuana. That’s at 9 a.m., 1st District Court of Appeal, 2000 Drayton Dr., Tallahassee.

The state’s Early Learning Advisory Council will meet at 9 a.m., Hilton Tampa Downtown, 211 North Tampa St., Tampa.

A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal will hear arguments in a long-running battle about whether state lawmakers properly carried out a 2014 constitutional amendment that required spending on land and water conservation. That’s at 2 p.m., 1st District Court of Appeal, 2000 Drayton Dr., Tallahassee.

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