News & Public Affairs

Thursday April 24, 2014


Republican David Jolly faces Libertarian Lucas Overby and Democrat Alex Sink for the Pinellas County Congressional seat.

photo by Janelle Irwin, WMNF file photo 2014

Libertarian and Republican debate while contending for Pinellas congressional seat

Congressional candidates David Jolly and Libertarian Lucas Overby agree on a lot of issues, but not on whether or not to normalize relations with Cuba. Jolly, a Republican, has said he supports the current restrictions on trade and travel with the island country. During a debate I moderated Tuesday night for the Disston Heights Neighborhood Civic Association in St. Petersburg, Jolly said there are some circumstances in which he’d support lifting the longstanding trade embargo.

Alex Sink, t...

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Fifty years after Gideon and the right to counsel, public defenders are overworked

In the U.S. every person accused of crime has the right to legal representation. That’s thanks to a landmark 1963 Supreme Court decision in a case called Gideon versus Wainwright. The rights solidified in Gideon were celebrated last night at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport.

Stetson Law professor and Dean Emeritus Bruce Jacob was working for the Attorney General of Florida in 1963. Jacob was assigned the task of writing the legal brief and arguing this [landmark case](http:...

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Ronnie Duncan at a TBARTA meeting in 2010

photo by Kate Bradshaw, WMNF News

Conservative transportation group calls for resignation of TBARTA chair

A conservative transportation group is calling for the resignation of the chair of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority. Ronnie Duncan has assumed a leadership roll in the political action group Yes for Greenlight behind a campaign pushing a one penny sales tax transit referendum in Pinellas County. Sharon Calvert with Citizens Organized for Sound Transportation wrote a letter to Duncan yesterday and copied all other members of the board as well as Governor Rick Scott who re-a...

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Holocaust survivor and childhood friend of Anne Frank, Eva Schloss tells her story of loss and survival during World War I.

photo by Janelle Irwin

An inside look at the story of a Holocaust survivor and friend to Anne Frank

Moist eyes filled the Palladium Theater in downtown St. Pete Monday night as Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss spent more than an hour telling her story. Schloss, the childhood friend and step-sister of Anne Frank, retold her experience from her pre-occupation days in Holland through the liberation of Auschwitz where she and her mother survived several close calls.

“And people waited there – there were low barracks with pipes going and they looked up, but nothing happened, no water came. Th...

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Matt Schwartz

Big oil makes a move into Florida panther habitat

Today on Last Call Rob Lorei interviews Executive Director of South Florida Wildlands Association Matt Schwartz. An oil boom is rapidly taking shape in the southwest corner of Florida. The source for that gas would be a proposed oil well located approximately 3/4 of a mile west of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. South Florida Wildlands Association (SFWA) joined local residents unhappy at the prospect of an oil well so close to rural homes and ir...

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Lucas Overby, Libertarian

photo by Seán Kinane / WMNF News

Meet Florida's 13th Congressional District candidates: Libertarian Lucas Overby

Monday is the deadline to register to vote in the Pinellas County special Congressional election to fill the seat vacated by the death of U.S. Representative Bill Young.

Between now and the March 11 election we’re playing interviews of all the candidates, Also running are Republican David Jolly, Democrat Alex Sink and write-in candidate Michael Levinson.

We interviewed Lucas Overby...

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The Urban Cafe will take a look at issues surrounding Divorce

The Urban Cafe will take a look at issues surrounding Divorce.

In the U.S., divorce rates have been rising since the beginning of the 20th century, and especially since the 1970s, when no-fault divorce was instituted. Some experts contend that the easing of divorce laws have helped make marriage stronger by rooting it more deeply in personal choice, although it does little to give people the skills needed to work out the inevitable difficulties that arise in marriage.

We will explore a...

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Dr. Steffie Woolhandler

New study reveals lack of Medicaid responsible for over a thousand deaths

For a second year in a row it looks like the Florida legislature will continue to reject Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Medicaid expansion was designed to provide health insurance coverage for people who live just over the poverty line.

A study just released by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the City University of New York finds: The number of deaths attributable to the lack of Medicaid expansion in opt-out states are at between 7,115 and 17,1...

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Clean water activists to take their fight to stubborn Tallahassee Republicans

Environmental groups are supporting a pledge signed by more than 2,000 people so far asking the state to stop over consumption and privatization of Florida's water supply.

The groups also want legislation that promotes proactive behaviors instead of reactionary ones - an act Cathy Harrelson says would ultimately save money.

But many lawmakers are pushing back against water regulations including House Speaker Will Weatherford and Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Harrelson joins us on the ...

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Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist

photo by Janelle Irwin/WMNF News (2012)

Republicans fire back at Crist for saying Floridians are dying without Medicaid expansion

Former Governor Charlie Crist is causing a stir with comments Friday morning on MSNBC. He criticized Governor Rick Scott and the Republican-led Florida Legislature for not accepting funds for Medicaid expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act. He cited information from a labor union saying six people died in the state each day because they lacked the expanded health coverage.

“And I am told by friends at [SEIU] that means that six people in Florida die every day as a result of that....

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