VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY IN TAMPA TO FUNDRAISE FOR GUS BILIRAKIS-Andrew Stelzer

07/21/06

Vice President Dick Cheney came to Tampa today, for a 500 dollar a head fundraiser for Gus Bilirakis, who is running to replace his father Mike Bilirakis for the district 9 seat in the US House of Representatives. Cheney landed in Tampa around 11am, but hours earlier, about a dozen protestors were gathered on Kennedy Boulevard in front of the Wyndham, to voice their discontent about the vice president.

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Some of the protestors were also upset about the track record of Gus Bilirakis as a state represeatative, and of his father’s performance in Congress.

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Meanwhile inside the hotel…

ACT “Gus is for us, Gus is for us…repeat after me Gus is for us..�

State representative Leslie Waters introduced the elder Bilirakis, and made a guarded reference to his competitor, Democrat Phyllis Busansky

ACT “There is somebody out there who thinks they can be congressman..�

District 9 encompasses much of Northern Pinellas county, and parts of Northern and eastern Hillsborough county, and is expected to be one of the most competitive races in the Novembers election. Gus Bilirakis is resting his hopes on a voting population loyal to his father and supportive if his own years as a state legislator.

ACT-Gus “In Tallahassee I have been independent, I will continue that tradition..�

Gus Bilirakis only for 2 or 3 minutes, and touched on his economic philosophies.

ACT-Gus “What is important is the beliefs..Individuals must control money ..Entrepreneurs…veterans..dangerous world

While roughly 200 people milled around in the ballroom of the Wyndham, Cheney was upstairs, meeting with 18 people who donated $10,000 a piece to the Gus Bilirakis campaign, to be part of a roundtable discussion with the Vice President. Finally, Cheney emerged to a cheering crowd.

ACT-DICK “the pres and I owe a lot of FL. Volunteers..were grateful to you for 400,000 vote margin, better than 2000..�

Cheney will be traveling the country increasingly as this falls election approaches, making appearances in support of Republicans where the race is perceived to be close, like in the 9th District.

ACT-Dick “We are here to make sure it stays…for nearly a quarter century this part of the country has been represented by Bilirakis..�

Cheney touted both Bilirakis’ philosophy of limiting the growth of government, something he said the Bush administration shares. Cheney said that unemployment is down, job creation is up and the economy is growing, which is proof that major tax cuts work.

ACT-Dick “Over the last several generations were had several major tax cuts, Kennedy, Reagan, Bush…all 3 were followed by periods of sustained growth..the best tax policy is in Kennedy, Reagan and Bush..�

Cheney spoke for a few minutes about the administrations policies, saying that the president will continue to appoint solid judges, and push for immigration reform. He also said progress in Iraq has been steady, and criticized the movement in congress for a timeline for withdrawing from Iraq. He named congressman Jack Murtha as a friend but one whose policy suggestions are just plain wrong.

ACT “The most troubling aspect of Jacks proposal is this—he cites Beirut and Somalia—that is contrary from the national interest and draws the wrong lessons..youll see case after case of America failing to hit back..If we follow Murtha’s advice, we will validate the Al Queada strategy …�

Cheney also repeated the criticism he’s been leveling at the New York Times.

ACT-Dick “our job is more difficult when members of the news media put that on the front page..now the times has disclosed terrorist tracking program..they had been asked..the leaks and the publishing of those leaks…our capabilities explain why we have been successful..now they alert the terrorists and will make it more difficult..in the future people will be less likely to cooperate if we can’t keep a secret…news executives take it upon themselves�

After Cheney’s speech, WMNF spoke to a few of the attendees, and asked them what they thought of the vice presidents remarks.

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Elizabeth Hittos Gus Bilirakis’ campaign manager says the approximately 200,000 raised will be needed with about 3 months remaining until Election Day.

ACT “Unfortunately money is a necessary evil, we will need it..HOW DO YOU RESPOND THE PEOEL SAY THE CITY SHOULDN’T SPEND MONEY…it’s what cities do..well take care of any cost..we don’t want the city spending..yes..�

WMNF called the Tampa police department to inquire how much security costs were and if Gus Bilirakis campaign has contacted them to arrange reimbursement; the department did not return the call by airtime. Gus Bilirakis’ campaign website is www.gusbilirakis.com . His democratic rivals website is www.busansky2006.com/

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