News & Public Affairs

Monday April 27, 2015


Rob Lorei, Host of Florida This Week and Radioactivity call-in show

photo by Rob Lorei

WEDU's Florida This Week looks at the battle over medicaid expansion, Amendment 1 funds, and same-sex adoption

We listen to last Friday's Florida This Week, a political talk show on WEDU moderated by Radioactivity host Rob Lorei. This episode includes a spirited debate on 4 billion dollar gap between the proposed budgets of the Florida House and Senate, and at the center of the battle is medicaid expansion that would bridge the coverage gap for 800,000 low-income Floridians. Money for land acquisition has been upped by 35 million but still fall short of expectations of many Amendment 1 supporters. We ...

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What does the "fix" to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indian really entail?

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law the Religions Freedom Restoration Act and was immediately criticized for approving a law that would discriminate against gay and lesbians by making it legal for businesses to refuse services to LGBT couples based on religious convictions.

After several businesses threatened to halt expansion based on the law, Pence walked back the law and it was "fixed" to not include for-profit businesses.

We look at the law from varying media perspectives a...

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Environmental group journeys 900 miles to highlight important ecological areas in Florida

Today we speak with three members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition, who just completed a 900-mile trek from Polk County to the Panhandle. Over about 70 days Joe Guthrie,Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and Carlton Ward Jr biked, walked, and kayaked through State Parks, National Forests, ranch lands and watersheds to bring attention to ecologically important areas throughout Florida's heartland, such the Green Swamp that is a source of drinking water for...

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H Roy Kaplan and Eric Deggans

photo by Samuel Johnson

Race, weed and social justice

Discussing race is necessary – it’s not racist. That was the underlying theme by two authors who spoke Thursday night at Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg.

After their talk WMNF interviewed NPR TV critic Eric Deggans and USF professor Roy Kaplan about race and racism.

Eric Deggans is the author of “Race-Baiter, How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation.” Roy Kaplan wrote “Understanding Conflict and Change in a Multicul...

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Kevin Bcckner (right, with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn) is running for Clerk of Courts.

photo by Janelle Irwin/WMNF News.

Beckner running for Hillsborough Clerk of Court

County Commissioner Kevin Beckner has officially filed to run for Hillsborough’s Clerk of the Circuit Court. This is being seen as somewhat of a curve-ball in the local political world, as Beckner could be running against incumbent Pat Frank, the long-time Hillsborough County political icon and fellow Democrat.

According to Saint Petersblog, Kevin Beckner said it was Frank herself who called him a few months ago to ask if he'd ever considered running for Clerk of the Circuit Courts. Howe...

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Daniel Tilley with the Florida ACLU on "conscience protection" clause on gay adoption; Rays stadium woes

Ever since the Florida House passed a repeal of the ban on same-sex adoption last month, there has been a ferocious reaction by social conservatives in the Florida Legislature. That's what the "conscience protection" bill now being floated in the Florida House is all about, and, according to the ACLU's Daniel Tilley, it's unconstitutional.

Also on the program, several members of the St. Petersburg City Council have been getting hammered by editorial boards and other media sources for being...

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Florida House advances bill allowing groups to refuse adoptions to same-sex couples

Thursday the Florida House Judiciary Committee approved a bill (HB 7111) that would allow private agencies to cite religious or moral grounds and refuse to facilitate adoptions by same-sex couples.

Republican Representative Jason Brodeur said same-sex couples can seek adoptions through the Department of Children and Families or a private agency that doesn't have a problem with it.

But in one exchange, Brodeur was challenged by St. Petersburg’s Dwight Dudley, who like other Democrats su...

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A Move to Amend protest holds a banner on an overpass in Kitsap County,Washington

photo by Backbone Campaign/ flickr

Move to Amend rallies for full disclosure of political contributions by corporations

Today political advocacy group Move to Amend will be holding a nationwide series of rallies calling for President Obama to sign an executive order requiring full disclosure of political contributions from corporations. We talk to Rae Claire Johnson of Move to Amend Pinellas on how corporate involvement in politics can pose conflicts of interests and the benefits of greater transparency regarding corporate donations.[The group will be holding a rally tonight](

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Advocates for an increase to the minimum wage, from left to right: Bleu Rainer, Cole Bellamy,MiAudras Harris,Nadaije Paul Jajoute

photo by Rob Lorei

Local workers call for increase of minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Many workers spanning industries from retail, food service, health care and academia make just above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Health care benefits, vacation time and paid maternity leaves are often non-existent. Today we talk to four local workers who are advocating for an increase of the minimum wage to $15 an hour , as part of the national Fight for 15 campaign, which on March 31 called for a general worker strike on Wednesday April 15. Joining us are Mcdonalds employee ...

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