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ACLU willing to sue if election bill passes listen

04/24/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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In Tallahassee today, the House of Representatives debated a scaled down Elections Reform bill today that had received harsh criticism from activists and even Gov. Charlie Crist.

The new version removes a provision to eliminate as acceptable two forms of ID used mainly by older voters; requirements that paid petition circulators must register with the state; a requirement that voters who change their address close to an election must cast provisional ballots; and rules that would have made...

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Sarasota citizen files suit against noise ordinance listen

03/20/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Two Florida residents, represented by the ACLU, have filed a lawsuit challenging Sarasota’s noise ordinance. The law allows for police to seize and impound vehicles when drivers are charged with playing their music too loud. The lawsuit was filed in state court against the city of Sarasota and Police Chief Peter Abbott.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Mark Cannon, a resident of Sarasota, and Latrese Allen, a resident of Bradenton. Cannon was stopped for “loud music” and his v...

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Magistrate: Bait shop mural not a violation listen

03/13/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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The owner of a Clearwater bait and tackle shop got an early birthday present this afternoon. Herb Quintero, whose birthday is Sunday, learned that a Judge Magistrate is recommending that the city of Clearwater stop citing him for a violation of its sign ordinance.

When the city first cited Quintero because of a mural depicting game fish on his shop, The Complete Angler, he covered it up with a banner of the First Amendment.

Quintero is represented by American Civil Liberties Union (ACL...

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Clearwater bait shop in court over mural listen

03/04/09 Seán Kinane and Melody Dietsch
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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A bait and tackle shop in Clearwater has been cited for violating the city’s sign ordinance because of a mural on an outside wall that depicts game fish. The owners of the Complete Angler say the mural is art and is exempted from the city’s sign ordinance, and they say it is protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

With legal representation from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the bait shop has filed a [complaint](http://w...

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Obama sign a violation of code or protected speech? listen

03/03/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Update, March 11: Heine has put his sign up for sale on eBay. In an email message, Heine says "If the KKK Christians want this sign down so badly, let them put their money where their mouth is, and buy it. Buy it for Jesus."

A sign outside a Pinella...

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ACLU sues Clearwater on free speech grounds listen

02/24/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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The American Civil Liberties Union sued the city of Clearwater today on behalf of a local bait-and-tackle shop that has been engaged in a tussle with the city regarding a mural of game fish and a marine lift on the side of its building.

The shop, known as the Complete Angler, is on Harrison Avenue in Clearwater. After buying the store a couple of years ago, owners Heriberto and Lorraine Quinero, commissioned local artist Matt Evanson to paint a mural on the side of their store.

That’...

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ACLU lawyer talks about torture, Guantanamo

02/10/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday)
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The Greater Tampa Chapter of the ACLU will hold its annual meeting tonight at the John Germany Library in downtown Tampa at 6:30 p.m. Their speaker will be Wes Macleod-Ball, the ACLU's Chief Legislative Counsel in the Washington Legislative Office and he joins us now on WMNF.

The ACLU put together a really thick book of recommendations for the Obama Transition Team and have participated in more than 100 meetings with members of the team. Wes has been an ACLU executive director in Alaska,...

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Florida ACLU cuts staff listen

02/06/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Job losses are happening in every sector of the economy, including media organizations and non-profit advocacy groups.

Earlier this week WMFE, the NPR affiliate in Orlando, announced it was laying off 15 staffers, and the ACLU of Florida is laying off six staffers, and expects a seventh to retire soon. That will leave the civil liberties group with a full-time staff of 32.

Brandon Hensler is the spokesman for the Florida ACLU. (roll tape#1 o.q.”Madoff scandal”)

Hensler said he c...

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ACLU petitions Supreme Court on taser case listen

02/05/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner says that a Plant City man who was tasered by sheriff’s deputies last year died from "delirium with agitation due to schizoaffective disorder.”

Dr. Leszek Chrostowski said the cause of death of 46-year-old Roney Wilson last September was homicide.

Chrostowski would not go on tape discussing his findings with WMNF, but he did tell us that generally medical examiners choose between homicide and accident when listing cause of death after an inc...

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ACLU lays out its legislative goals for 2009 listen

01/13/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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As the 111th Congress begins its work this week, the ACLU today listed its legislative goals on a nationwide conference call this morning.

Yesterday, Barack Obama's transition team announced plans to close the prison detainee camp at Guatanamo Bay immediately, though what they will do with those prisoners still housed there is unknown.

Caroline Frederickson, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, said that is one of their goals as well. On a nationwide conference call,...

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