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Republicans keep pushing for offshore oil drilling listen

07/11/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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President George Bush urged Congress today to open offshore waters and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska to oil drilling.

In comments to reporters following a meeting with his economic team at the Department of Energy, Bush said one of the main reasons for high gas prices is because demand for crude oil is exceeding supply.

Bush blamed Democrats in Congress for blocking drilling off the coast and in ANWR, and pressed House leaders to address rising oil prices before...

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Martinez bashes Obama on immigration reform

07/11/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tomorrow John McCain and Barack Obama will appear in San Diego before the National Council of La Raza, the nation's largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization.

In anticipation of that event, McCain today released a new ad targeting Hispanics that will air in English, in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez said, contrary to reports, McCain has not distanced himself from the comprehensive immigration bill Martinez helped craft in the Senate.

Mc...

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Al-Arian finally closer to freedom? listen

07/11/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Yesterday, a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia, order Sami Al-Arian released on his criminal contempt charges, but refused to block immigration authorities from detaining him before he is to be deported.

The U.S. government agreed to "expeditiously" deport Al-Arian in 2006, once he finished serving his criminal sentence in a terrorism support case. He was arrested in 2003.

But over the past couple of years, as he served his time for pleading guilty to one charge of materially suppor...

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Rick Perlstein discusses 'Nixonland'

07/11/08 Mitch E. Perry
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday)

Rick Perlstein is the author of the new book, Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America.

In 2001, he published Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus. It won the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award for history. It appeared on the best books lists that year of the New York Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune.

Perlstein spoke to WMNF today from Chicago.

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Advertisers oppose tax-swap amendment listen

07/10/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Today the Tampa Bay Advertising Federation held a luncheon meeting to discuss the tax-swap amendment that will be on November’s ballot. Amendment 5 calls for a 25 percent reduction in property taxes. But local advertisers are concerned that up to $11 billion in new taxes would have to be raised, hurting their businesses.

If Amendment 5 passes, Floridians will no longer pay the Required Local Effort (RLE) portion of their property tax that goes toward funding schools. But the tax-swap ame...

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Rezoning could kill Rays' ballfield plan listen

07/10/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The St. Pete City Council began the process today of making it harder for the Tampa Bay Rays to ever build a stadium on waterfront property.

Last month, the team announced it was killing its plan for a a $450-million referendum for a ballpark at the current site of Progress Energy Park at Al Lang Field.

The Rays say they will try again, and say nothing’s off the table in terms of a new site to replace Tropicana Field.

But Councilman Jeff Danner went ahead today with a resolution...

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S.C. governor: Energy conservation should begin at home

07/10/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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With the respective party conventions more than six weeks away, speculation about vice presidential nominees for John McCain and Barack Obama will no doubt continue into August.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s announcement that he will marry Carole Rome early next is considered a boost for his VP chances by some political analysts.

Others being mentioned as possible running mates for McCain include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jendhal and South Carolina Gov. Mark San...

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Secrecy surrounding Jabil incentives questioned listen

07/09/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Last month the St. Petersburg City Council approved $12.7 million in incentives for Jabil Circuit even though the deal was so secret that there was no public notice of what was being decided.

Today, WMNF spoke with City Council member Karl Nurse, who is requesting a public workshop to come up with ways the city can be more open despite a state law that forbids disclosing information about secret economic development negotiations with companies.

The council will vote on July 24 whether ...

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USF forms climate steering committee listen

07/09/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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In April, The University of South Florida joined the American College & University Presidents Climate Committee (ACUPCC), a group focused on reducing the impact that member schools have on the global climate. USF has recently established a Campus Sustainability Steering Committee to help meet ACUPCC goals.

Sharon Hanna-West is a lecturer on ethics and sustainability in USF’s Department of Management. She is a member of the sustainable steering committee at USF and co-chair of the climate...

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Pinellas tourism board discusses Rays ballpark listen

07/09/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Although the pressure is off on making any immediate decisions, the Pinellas County Tourism Development Council today was still talking about the Tampa Bay Rays and a new ballpark to replace Tropicana Field.

Two weeks ago, the Rays opted to cancel plans for a possible referendum in November in St. Petersburg that would have asked local residents whether they approved using the waterfront for a new park. Questions about a lack of parking, and having an open air facility, gave many residents...

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2 Democrats challenge Diaz-Balarts in Miami-Dade listen

07/09/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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A new poll in Miami-Dade shows two Democratic challengers making a serious run at GOP incumbents Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart.

The unpopularity of the Iraq war and President Bush, as well as scandals that saw some GOP congressmen go to jail, allowed Democrats to regain Congress in the 2006 elections.

Democrats think they can make even more inroads this November. In the Miami-Dade area, considerable resources have been expended to take on three longtime Republicans – Ilena Ros-Lehtin...

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Clinton, Obama supporters still at odds listen

07/09/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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After Hillary Clinton joined Barack Obama at a campaign event in Unity, New Hampshire, late last month, some Democrats worried that the bitter race for the nomination would leave the party split. Today, there are indications that tension still exists between supporters of the two candidates.

The New York Times reported today that several donors to Obama are balking at helping pay off Clinton’s campaign debt, said to be more than $20 million.

The Times reports that so far Obama don...

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Foreclosure Assistance event in Tampa on Saturday listen

07/09/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the two biggest U.S. mortgage finance companies. But there are growing concerns that the companies may not have enough capital to weather the biggest housing slump since the Great Depression.

Concerns that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may need more capital were heightened this week after Lehman Brothers released a report saying a new accounting rule may require the companies to raise $75 billion.

Freddie Mac shares dropped 18 percent after the report was is...

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Healthcare for America Now launched listen

07/08/08 Concetta DeLuco
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Health Care for America Now, a new coalition group, held a press conference today at the Joe Chillura Courthouse Square in downtown Tampa to unveil their new national campaign for healthcare reform. The group is organizing to assure that quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans will be the first order of business addressed by the next president.

Bill Newton, executive director of the Florida Consumer Action Network, said the campaign calls for the government to establish and enfor...

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Closed primaries scrutinized in Pasco, Hillsborough listen

07/08/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Unlike many other states, Florida has a system of closed primaries, only registered members of a political party are allowed to vote in that party’s primary election. The exception is when there are no other candidates running for a seat, in which case all voters can vote in a primary race that will determine who wins the election.

But some people are accusing last-minute write-in candidates of disenfranchising thousands of voters by closing what would have been an open primary. This sc...

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