Congress member Kathy Castor talks climate change, Biden, Max Frost, aliens, and more

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Kathy Castor at WMNF in Tampa, Florida on Aug. 4, 2023. // Photo by Sydney Devitt

Seventeen years into her congressional career, Kathy Castor still brings an optimism and unwavering drive to D.C. on behalf of her constituents in Florida’s 14th Congressional district, which includes parts of Hillsborough County and Pinellas.

Castor, on recess and home from Capitol Hill, visited the WMNF-Tampa studio to discuss a myriad of topics including:

How MAGA lawmakers have infected D.C.

“They’re all about chaos and conspiracy. And they want to distract the American people from the fact that Joe Biden has delivered.” 

Florida’s new Chinese land ownership law

“There is a role to play for being able to do your research and understand the ties if it’s tied back to the Chinese Communist Party. It’s not appropriate to have property sold near our military installation, so are certain farmland that serves agricultural interests. But you can’t paint with such a broad brush that you’re sweeping up innocent folks that just happened to be of Chinese descent.”

Florida Power & Light, and H.R.5075  which would prohibit covered utilities from recovering covered expenses from ratepayers, and for other purposes

“We intend to press it because you have utility scandals all across the country: A huge bribery scandal in Ohio, another scandal in Arizona. Some states now—Maine, Colorado—are adopting new laws that prohibit electric utilities from using ratepayer money to fund their political activities. And it was so dirty, such dirty politics here in Florida for FP&L to take money to fund ghost candidates.”

Climate change

“We just lived through the hottest July on record ever in the Tampa Bay area. June was not not a picnic in the park either. Florida is too reliant on gas for electricity production, the electric utilities have entirely too much power in Tallahassee.”

What constituents tell her about Joe Biden for president

“They’re grateful to President Biden for delivering for them. I don’t really hear a lot, frankly, I hear more from maybe from journalists. But people are just focused on the cost of living, and the record of Joe Biden passing the Inflation Reduction Act to cut their costs and put more money back into their pocket is job one.”

Maternity healthcare reform

“In the United States of America, we have a maternal mortality crisis. It’s simply mind boggling that you can be a pregnant woman and American your chances of dying after childbirth are higher than then in a lot of most Western nations. And if you’re a Black woman, you’re more than twice as likely to suffer and die in childbirth and postpartum.”

Orlando’s freshman Congressman Maxwell Frost

“Congressman Maxwell Frost from the Orlando-Orange County area is a gift to the state of Florida and to the country. I’ve learned from him. He’s a great drummer. He really loves music. He was on stage with Paramore.

This is a lesson for everyone who’s interested in public service. He was on a mission to build a city to build safer communities and to tackle the gun violence epidemic because that’s where he started as a young activist.

He knew his reason for running, and he knows why he is there. That part of the world is growing, that  younger community, and he reflects it very well. “

Aliens

“I think if I was focused on UFOs during my congressional time, that my good neighbors would ask me to move on. “

Listen to Kathy Castor on the latest episode of “The Skinny” on WMNF via wmnf.org.

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