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Political analyst dissects Legislature's challenges this year listen

03/02/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Florida Gov. Charlie Crist says he wants to use as much as $8 billion in federal stimulus money to plug holes in the state budget over the next couple of years. But some Republicans don’t think that’s the way to go.

Wayne Garcia is the political editor of Creative Loafing, the Tampa Bay area’s alternative newspaper. He spoke about this issue and others on the eve of the legislative session.

That’s Wayne Garcia with Creative Loafing. On his political blog, called Political Wh...

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Charlie Justice on the upcoming Legislative Session listen

03/02/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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In assessing what will happen in the Legislature this year, as the state finds itself several billions of dollars in a deficit, Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, said recently that the final budget this year will be looked at as a "disaster."

Charlie Justice represents parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas County in the Florida Senate. The St. Petersburg Democrat arrived in Tallahassee today to begin the legislative session. He said he shares some of Wise’s pessimism.

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Conservatives blast stimulus and other federal expenditures listen

02/27/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Ten days after President Barack Obama signed the massive $787 billion economic stimulus bill, more than 80 people demonstrated in front of the federal courthouse in Tampa today, registering their displeasure with that and other spending expenditures of the young administration.

The rally was organized by John Hendrix, formerly associated with the Tampa Bay Minutemen, the anti-illegal immigration group. He said protests had been planned, but credited the rant by CNBC anchor Rick Santelli a...

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Some critical of plans for troop withdrawal from Iraq listen

02/27/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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President Barack Obama announced plans today to withdraw the bulk of U.S. forces from Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, and to pull out all remaining troops by the end of 2011, ending the war in Iraq and launching what he called an "era of American leadership and engagement in the Middle East."

Speaking to Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Obama said he wanted to talk about how the war in Iraq would end.

The president’s plan calls for withdrawing most of the 142,000 service members now in Iraq by t...

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Inside the Pentagon’s black budget

02/26/09 Rob Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday)
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Good afternoon, welcome to WMNF’s Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up: we’ll hear from the third most powerful Republican congressman in Washington, D.C., who is stepping down from office and planning to return to Florida. And we’ll hear about efforts to protect drinking water supplies from the Cypress Town Center Mall.

But first we’ll hear about a new book that lifts some of the secrecy surrounding the Pentagon’s secret budget. Our first guest is Trevor Paglen who holds a ...

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Columnist discusses where to cut fat from Medicare listen

02/26/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Barack Obama's administration announced today a $634 billion down payment on achieving universal health care coverage.

Obama plans to pay for a portion of the funding by cutting payments to insurers that provide Medicare Advantage plans that are determined by a formula. Currently, those payments have been 14 percent higher than what the government typically spends per beneficiary. Under the Obama proposal, insurers would be required to competitively bid to offer plans beginning in 2012....

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Columnist: Government needs more revenue to function properly listen

02/25/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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In his message to Congress last night, President Barack Obama laid out how he plans on dealing with the various crises facing his administration.

But the Washington Post editorialized this morning that his message was more about what could be done than what would have to be left out.

Obama said in addition to dealing with the banking, housing and financial problems, he plans on addressing health care, education, and alternative forms of energy, and cut the deficit in half by 2013.

...

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Powerful business pushes for early release of some prisoners listen

02/23/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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A powerful organization is calling for the state of Florida to stop the construction of three new prisons – expected to cost a total of $300 million – and instead early release nonviolent inmates instead.

It’s not a liberal advocacy group, but instead Associated Industries of Florida, a powerful business lobby, making the proposal.

Barney Bishop is with the group calling for the early release of 3,900 prisoners. Bishop says the state doesn’t have the $300 million, so some people...

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Health care advocates support president's call for reform listen

02/23/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Among the issues that President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak about in his message to Congress tomorrow night will be dealing with the health care crisis in the country.

Today health care advocates in Florida hosted a conference call urging citizens to stand behind the president’s aims to reform the system.

Richard Kirsch is the national campaign manager for Health Care for America Now, which released a report today on how it believes the economy can’t re-booted until the healt...

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Teachers Union official on plans to scale back Class Size Amendment listen

02/20/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Earlier this week, WMNF covered a press conference where Congresswoman Kathy Castor announced that over $100 million in federal funds for education would be going directly to her Congressional District, which encompasses most of Hillsborough County, a part of St. Petersburg and a part of Manatee County.

Much of that funding will go to programs like Head Start, Title I Schools and for children with special needs.

WMNF asked Jean Clements, president of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers ...

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