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

First Shot

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to fly migrants has consumed headlines and chyrons in Florida and across the nation since Wednesday night.

Appropriately, as a national news story, the plan is drawing national discussion, but not everyone is on board. On Tucker Carlson Tonight on Wednesday, Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake gave DeSantis’ implementation a mixed review.

“I’m not a fan of it, Tucker,” Lake said. “I mean, we’re just taking people here illegally who shouldn’t be here, moving them further inland.”

“I actually get a kick out of it,” she continued. “Watching these liberal Mayors just throw their hands up and say, ‘We can’t handle it.’ Because it’s life every day for us in these border states.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist repeatedly characterized the move as inhumane. Meanwhile, the DeSantis campaign hit Crist for ducking questions from reporters asking for his solution to illegal immigration.

State Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Democratic congressional candidate, and her colleagues in the Legislature questioned the funding allocation when Republicans presented it in March. Taddeo reminded the public Thursday that she sounded the alarm then.

“After last night’s news, Republicans can never again claim they stand with the victims of communism,” Taddeo said in a statement. “To take advantage of people fleeing oppressive regimes and use them as political pawns to score cheap points with their Fox News audience and the extreme fringes of their party is cruel and inhumane.”

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, a Republican member of the Florida Cabinet, said decisions at the federal level to “perpetuate” illegal immigration leave Florida with few options.

“There is an old saying that says, ‘You can’t beat something with nothing,’” Patronis said. “That is exactly how I feel about the critics of Gov. DeSantis’ relocation of illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations like Martha’s Vineyard.”

In South Florida, Actualidad Radio host Roberto Rodríguez Tejera likened the move to “one of the worst horrors” of the Cuban dictatorship.

“Truly, this is criminal,” Rodríguez Tejera said. “They are using human beings to advance political points of view. This is what Fidel Castro did when he wanted to clean the Escambray.”

Speaking in Doral, American Business Immigration Coalition Action Florida Deputy Director Maria Corina Vegas said key industries like agriculture and hospitality lack workers.

“Look around you Here, in Doral, where would this city be if not for the blood, sweat and tears of Venezuelan immigrants?”

Evening Reads

—“Ron DeSantis’ defense of Martha’s Vineyard flights prompts more questions” via Ana Ceballos and Lawrence Mower of the Tampa Bay Times

—“White House: DeSantis sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard ‘disrespectful to humanity’” via Alex Roarty and Gillian Brassil of the Miami Herald

—“‘At first they were surprised, just like us.’ Martha’s Vineyard responds to surprise arrival of planeloads of migrants.” via Alexander Thompson, John R. Ellement, Danny McDonald, Samantha J. Gross, Amanda Kaufman, Travis Andersen and Randy Vazquez of The Boston Globe

—“Planeloads of Venezuelan migrants arrive at Martha’s Vineyard airport” via Brooke Kushwaha of the Vineyard Gazette

—“White House announces ‘tentative’ deal to avert rail strike” via Lauren Kaori Gurley and Jeff Stein of The Washington Post

—“Senate delays same-sex marriage vote until after midterms” via Burgess Everett of POLITICO

—“Mortgage rates top 6% for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis” via Ben Eisen of The Wall Street Journal

—“Joe Biden’s monkeypox adviser is managing a virus alongside conservative fascination in his Instagram feed” via Eugene Daniels of POLITICO

—“Medicaid $15 minimum wage takes effect Oct. 1, but providers say they won’t have the money” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics

—“Thousands of Orlando affordable housing units could vanish soon, expert warns” via Trevor Fraser of the Orlando Sentinel

—“State board member: Broward superintendent should be suspended over grand jury and masks” via Scott Travis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

—“School safety grand jury fallout continues with administrators’ exit, alternative discipline centers’ suspension” via Anne Geggis of Florida Politics

—“Demolition planned for Derek Jeter’s former $22.5M Tampa mansion” via Rebecca Liebson of the Tampa Bay Times

Quote of the Day

“The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door, they all of a sudden go berserk, and they’re so upset that this is happening. It just shows you, their virtue signaling is a fraud.”

Ron DeSantis on Democrats’ complaints over his migrant flights.

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