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Marco Rubio officially running for Senate seat listen

05/05/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Former House Speaker Marco Rubio became the first major Republican candidate to declare announce his intention to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated next year by Mel Martinez.

Rubio made his announcement via video on his website. Rubio said his campaign would not be negative, but for promoting ideas like tax reform, and not just tax cuts. And he alluded to the expectant entrance in the race of the most popular politician in the state, Gov. Charlie Crist.

Aubrey Jewett is a prof...

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Activists demonstrate for medicinal marijuana initiative listen

05/04/09 Mitch E. Perry
Alan Watts

On Saturday. a half dozen supporters of legalizing marijuana demonstrated in front of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s local office in Tampa.

The protest has been an annual event, but this year there’s some momentum for activists- an attempt to get a measure on the 2010 ballot that would allow for medicinal marijuana.

In February, Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference that the Justice Department will no longer raid medical marijuana clubs that are established legall...

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Proposal to eliminate public financing could go to voters listen

04/30/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Florida Senate passed a proposal backed by Melborne Republican Mike Haridopoulus today that will allow Floridians to vote on the scrapping public financing of statewide political campaigns who agree to spending limits.

Even Ben Wilcox’ Common Cause, which supports public financing of elections, has said that the law deserves to be revamped, which was originally approved by Floridians at the ballot box in 1998.

But some Democrats said what Haridopoulus wants is too much. Weston ...

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All eyes on Crist as he weighs his future listen

04/30/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to announce his political future plans within the next week or so.

The popular governor would be a prohibitive favorite if he opts for re-election next year, but he has left open the possibility that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat next year being vacated by Mel Martinez.

Preparing for Crist to declare he’s running for the Senate, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has struck first, with an ad now running in South Florida.

Cris...

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Florida Senate passes watered down energy bill listen

04/30/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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A bill that would require renewable energy use by utilities was passed out of the Florida Senate, but its future remains very much in the doubt in the House.

SB 1154 would require 15 percent of energy by 2020 to come from "clean energy" sources including nuclear and solar.

That’s a reduction of the original hope of Gov. Charlie Crist to have 20 percent of Florida’s energy coming from renewables by the year 2020.

Miami Beach Democrat Dan Gelber supported the bill, but acknowled...

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Bill aims to restore rights of ex-felons listen

04/30/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Florida Senate today moved a bill that would remove barriers to employment for persons with past felony convictions whose civil rights have not been restored. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Fredericka Wilson.

Two years ago, Gov. Charlie Crist signed an executive order that was to have automatically restored the civil rights of over 100,000 ex-felons in the state.

But the ACLU has shows that the current civil rights restoration process lacks clarity and uniformity, and is excessively ...

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House members critical of DCA Secretary listen

04/29/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Despite criticism from the state’s top planning official, the Florida House this morning went ahead to pass a controversial growth management law today.

Department of Community Affairs Secretary Tom Pelham said yesterday that House amendments to a Senate-passed bill (SB 360) he once supported would undermine growth management laws.

That led Key West Democrat Ron Saunders to tell the bill’s sponsor in the house, Daytona Beach Shores Republican Dorothy Hukill, that the body should re...

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AIF's Barney Bishop on offshore drilling bill listen

04/29/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday

A plan to open the Gulf of Mexico to oil drilling appears dead in the state Legislature. The issue arrived seemingly out of nowhere just a little over a week ago in the state session, and would allow the four elected statewide Cabinet members to have final authority to approve the leasing of state lands between three and 10 miles offshore for oil drilling.

The legislation was strongly supported by Barney Bishop, president of the Associated Industries of Florida. WMNF spoke with Bishop toda...

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Health care advocates push for reform listen

04/28/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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As Congress prepares to begin work on one of President Barack Obama’s signatures core issues, health care reform, an advocacy group today said that more than four million people in Florida now spend more than 10 percent of their pre-tax income on insurance.

And according to that group, Families USA, more than three-quarters of those people actually have health insurance.

Tampa area Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor says the report highlights the exoribitant costs for families who ...

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Florida to forfeit $444M in unemployment stimulus money listen

04/28/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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With just days before the legislative session ends, it is becoming likely the state of Florida will reject $444 million dollars in federal stimulus aid.

GOP lawmakers say they do not want to increase the burden on the state’s unemployment trust fund when its running out of money.

Gov. Charlie Crist has said he supports a law to draw the extra federal money, but a bill sponsored by Jacksonville Sen. Tony Hill that would do so appears to be all but dead in the Legislature.

This mor...

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