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City of Tampa will not be reimbursed for $677,000 in RNC costs listen

11/22/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Tags: RNC, Republican National Convention

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The City of Tampa released 2012 Republican National Convention expenditure information Friday. The City spent more than $49 million dollars on the convention, but most of it was reimbursed by a federal grant. Tampa was left on the hook for nearly $677,000 for things like salary and benefits for some city staff, equipment and loss of parking revenue.

U.S. taxpayers footed most of the city's bill, to the tune of more than $48 million. Consultants and contracts made up nearly $26 million of t...

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Tampa City Council weighs whether to pay to maintain RNC surveillance cameras listen

08/29/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Last year Tampa used part of a $50 million federal grant to purchase surveillance cameras to be used during the Republican National Convention.

Soon the city will have to decide if it wants to keep the cameras and pay more than $160,000 to maintain them.

Critics argue about the cost and the loss of privacy but supporters say they help deter crime.

For example police say cameras helped catch a sexual battery suspect near a downtown garage last November.

WMNF aired an extended e...

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Study finds that RNC directly added $212 million into the Tampa economy listen

08/21/13 Naveen Sultan
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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The organizers of last year’s Republican National Convention announced yesterday that the RNC directly pumped 212 million dollars into the Tampa Bay economy. The figure comes from an impact study by the University of Tampa business school and the results were unveiled at Jackson’s Bistro in Harbour Island.

The 212 million dollars includes money spent by Republican convention organizers, the City of Tampa and corporations. Ken Jones, CEO and president of the Tampa Bay host committee, sa...

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Tampa Mayor Buckhorn says region needs transit options including rail listen

03/26/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn gave his annual State of the City address Tuesday morning.

He used the example of a squirrel causing a power failure at a water treatment plant last month resulting in a city-wide boil water notice to emphasize the importance of investing in infrastructure.

Buckhorn said Tampa Bay should be a region with a first class transportation system with mobility options.

“That means bus rapid transit, that means HOV and it darn sure means rail.”

Buckhorn also...

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Full text of Sen. Marco Rubio's GOP response to State of the Union

02/13/13 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Here is the text of the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, as prepared for delivery by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and provided to the Associated Press by the press office of the speaker of the House.


Good evening. I'm Marco Rubio. I'm blessed to represent Florida in the United States Senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of his second term. Tonight, I have the honor of responding to his State of the Union address ...

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Peeping cops now against the law in Tampa listen

12/20/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tampa City Council members approved changes today to an ordinance making it a crime for Tampa Police officers to use surveillance cameras to look into private residences. The move is a response to concern that cameras purchased for the Republican National Convention last summer could be used inappropriately by law enforcement.

The change expands a current Tampa city ordinance against peeping Toms to include officers using the surveillance equipment who could have the ability to use camera...

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Tampa City Council to workshop pros and cons of Republican convention surveillance cameras in August 2013 listen

12/06/12 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Thursday Tampa City Council approved changes to an ordinance reinforcing that it would be a crime for Tampa Police to use surveillance cameras purchased for the Republican convention for unauthorized peeping on residents inside their homes. But they put off a decision about whether the cameras will be a permanent part of the city’s landscape. There’s been ongoing friction between council and the mayor’s administration about who has the authority to authorize deployment of the cameras. T...

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Occupy Tampa member arrested for writing in chalk on sidewalk challenges the charges listen

11/20/12 Lisa Kauffman
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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In May an Occupy Tampa member was arrested for writing in chalk on the sidewalk outside the Bank of America building in downtown. Nathan Schwartz had a pretrial hearing at the Hillsborough County Courthouse Monday afternoon.

Schwartz is challenging his arrest because he thinks chalking is just exercising First Amendment rights.

“There was the clean zone ordinance that was getting passed, the event zone ordinance that got passed by city counci...

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RNC planner says convention in Tampa was a success listen

11/15/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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August’s Republican National Convention in Tampa was criticized by activists for its overwhelming police presence and militarized feel. But organizers say the convention was a triumph for the Tampa Bay area.

It’s been more than two months since droves of excited Republicans left Tampa thinking they had nominated the perfect guy to hoist President Barack Obama out of the White House. Even though Mitt Romney didn’t win the election, Al Austin, chair of th...

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Republican convention stakeholders look back on what went right and wrong in Tampa listen

10/10/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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It’s been more than a month since the Republican National Convention left Tampa and local groups and city officials are looking back at how the event played out. In some circles, the consensus is that it went well, but some people still think police presence was overkill.

At an ACLU forum Tuesday night at the Stetson University College of Law campus in Tampa, executive director of the West Central Florida Federation of Labor, Cheryl Shroeder said the excessive militarization of downto...

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