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Pinellas Legislative Delegation tackles agenda listen

12/03/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Because of Florida’s budget shortfall, Democratic Rep. Rick Kriseman has called on the state Legislature to increase the tax on cigarettes. Today Democratic Rep. Darryl Rouson went a step further and suggested that smoking paraphernalia sold in tobacco shops should also be taxed.

“The idea is, if you’re going to tax tobacco, tax cigarettes, then why not tax tobacco products such as these pipes that we all know are a charade? If the owners of these institutions are telling us that people ar...

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House Speaker Sansom urged to choose a job listen

12/03/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Florida Democratic Chairwoman Karen Thurman today called for House Speaker Ray Sansom to step down as Speaker, or leave his controversial new job at Northwest Florida State College.

Her call comes after several Florida newspapers have charged the new speaker with a gross conflict of interest for his role in providing funding this year for his new employer.

The St. Petersburg Times reported last week that Sansom has been able to provide more than $25 million to his alma mater, formerly...

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Survey on women's views of the election published listen

12/03/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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As part of its nonpartisan Every Woman Counts campaign to engage women in the political process, Lifetime Networks today announced the results of a national poll of women on the historical presidential election and its impact on the future of female political leadership.

The poll found that two-thirds of all women polled said that President-elect Barack Obama should not consider gender at all when appointing his Cabinet and should focus just on qualifications, while 27 percent said he shou...

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Advocates call on City Council to reject TECO franchise listen

12/03/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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A day before the Tampa City Council is scheduled to vote on a new 25-year franchise agreement between the city and Tampa Electric Co., critics of the plan called today for Council members to press for a better deal.

Dr. Warren Clark, pastor of First United Church of Tampa, said delaying a vote on the franchise agreement with TECO for at least six months would allow for several provisions to make TECO executives move toward cleaner energy alternatives.

Steven Breslow is the energy chair...

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Pinellas DEC race - Part 3 listen

12/03/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Last night in Tampa, Hillsborough County Republicans elected Deborah Cox-Roush to be their new Chairperson.

Meanwhile, Pinellas County Democrats will vote for a new chairman tomorrow night.

Ramsey McLaughlin, Mark Hanisee and Jack Killingsworth are the candidates.

Tonight, we speak to Jack Killingsworth, who was just on the ballot in Pinellas County last month challenging longtime incumbent Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark. He lost.

Killingsworth is an electrical engineer; h...

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Hillsborough County legislative delegation OKs predatory towing bill listen

12/02/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The 12 state representatives and four state senators who represent parts of Hillsborough County agreed today to support a bill to curb the practice of predatory towing. Democratic Rep. Michael Scionti sponsored the bill that now heads to Tallahassee for consideration by the House and the Senate.

In their meeting at the Plant City campus of Hillsborough Community College, the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation unanimously supported the bill. If passed, it would give the county’s Pub...

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Consumers challenge utilities to produce more clean energy

12/02/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday)
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Good afternoon,

Welcome to WMNF’s Radioactivity program. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up today: this week several important issues about electric utilities will be the subject of public meetings.

Later we’ll hear about the Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearings in Levy County about the proposed new nuclear plants that Florida Progress wants to build there.

But first, the Tampa City Council this Thursday takes up the issue of renewing the Tampa Electric franchise agreement. The 25-year con...

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Pinellas DEC Race - Part II listen

12/02/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Thursday night Pinellas County Democrats are voting for new officers.

We’re featuring the race for chair on the Evening News.

Tonight we speak with Mark Hanisee. He started out as a Republican, supporting Ronald Reagan while in Student Government.

In 1996, he ran for State Representative in Tampa, then worked as a lobbyist to get the Indigent Health care program in Hillsborough County. For the last year, he has served as treasurer for the Pinellas County Democratic Executive Commi...

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Friendship Trail Bridge to permanently close? listen

12/02/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Early last month, inspectors closed the Friendship Trail Bridge, which runs between Tampa and St. Petersburg, after determining the span has seriously deteriorated.

Engineers said at the time that steel tendons that underpin the span are corroding, breaking the concrete and dropping chunks into Tampa Bay.

The closure is a blow to those cyclists, joggers and inline skaters who use it to work out.

But today, some members of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (...

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Mel Martinez won't seek second term listen

12/02/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez stunned the political world today when he announced that he will not seek re-election in 2010.

Speaking in his hometown of Orlando, Martinez said he wanted to spend more quality time with his family. Martinez said he had spoken earlier in the day with Gov. Charlie Crist.

Recent polls had shown the Cuban-born senator to be vulnerable as he faced re-election. No Democrat has been mentioned more frequently to oppose him than Florida Chief Financial Offi...

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Hillsborough Democrats elect new officers listen

12/02/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Last month, Hillsborough County Democrats voted for Barack Obama for President, and knocked out key Republicans Buddy Johnson and Brian Blair in local elections.

Still high off that success, last night an overflow crowd of Hillsborough Democrats voted to elect Pat Kemp their new chairperson. She defeated Brandon-based consultant James Randolph.

Kemp has been involved in county politics for two decades, while Randolph is not as well known, working in eastern Hillsborough. But in his br...

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Localshops1.com holds a talent show in Gulfport

12/01/08 Concetta DeLuco
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Though rain may have cancelled most of the performances that were scheduled for a children’s talent show in Gulfport on Sunday, it did not dampen the spirits of Localshops1.com, the organizers for the event. The Gulfport-based website is devoted to the promotion of independent, local businesses in the Tampa Bay area.

David Knoll a local Gulfport singer, serenaded the crowd with an original song about localshops1.com. The audience consisted mostly of parents and the owners of the neighborin...

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Ramsey McLaughlin on why he wants to be Pinellas DEC Chairman listen

12/01/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tonight in Tampa, local Democrats will choose a new chairperson to run the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee. The race is between current Vice Chair Pat Kemp and Brandon businessman James Randolph.

Tomorrow, Hillsborough Republicans will choose their new leader. Deborah Cox-Roush, the current special events coordinator for the local party, is expected to win that position.

And on Thursday, Pinellas County Democrats will vote for their new chairperson.WMNF will fea...

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Huckabee comes to Tampa to sell books, 2012 candidacy? listen

12/01/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Although the seemingly endless presidential campaign finally ended last month, political junkies are already contemplating who might run again for the Republicans in 2012.

One man who looks like he’s ready for another go at it is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who was in Tampa the day after Thanksgiving.

Huckabee was in Hyde Park Village in South Tampa signing copies of his new book, Do The Right Thing: Inside the Movement That’s Bringing Common Sense Back to America.

National...

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Book details meetings between Lincoln and Douglass listen

12/01/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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In the new book written by historian John Stauffer, called, Giants, the Harvard professor writes about the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, and specifically, three meetings between the two.

Lincoln was of course, the country’s 16th president who led measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery.

Douglass was one of the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement.

WMNF spoke with Professor Stauffer about his book last month. Stay tuned for the second part ...

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