Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Morning Report: Is Tampa Ready for Hillary?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM


A super-PAC supporting Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 was raising dollars and hopes at a rally Tuesday hosted by former Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman.

Dubbed Ready for Hillary, the super-PAC focuses on smaller donations but already has collected $1.25 million nationwide at similar fundraisers and through social media.

Tuesday’s event at Mise en Place featured Craig T. Smith, who served as White House political director for former President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Smith emphasized that a successful bid will need help from new voters, as well as older supporters who backed Clinton's first presidential run in 2008.

Ready for Hillary is not only raising money but gauging support for the former Secretary of State's bid to serve in the nation's highest office.

In Tampa, about 150 supporters — many of them women — gathered to hear the strategy for effective mobilizing. In 2008, Clinton narrowly lost to then Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

The focus leading up to 2016 will be to marshal grassroots support, similar to the strategy by President Obama in his first run for the White House.

More this morning:

Florida's high uninsured rate gets special attention: President Obama is deploying federal health officials to the nation’s 10 cities with the highest rates of uninsured to help organize enrollment events.

Three Florida cities — Tampa, Orlando and Miami — are in the Top 10 targeted for extra help to ensure that people get coverage.

The White House has not set a date for the visits, but special events to raise awareness about the new federal health care exchanges will take place before the end of the year. Coverage takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.

Fees for plans will vary among the states. The cost for a mid-range insurance plan in Florida will average $328 a month, with Tampa and West Palm Beach having among the lowest costs.

The other cities in the Top 10 list are Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix/Tuscon, North Jersey, Detroit and San Antonio, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Bill Foster TV ad irks Newton: St. Petersburg’s only African American city council member, Wengay Newton, is objecting to a Bill Foster for Mayor TV ad that features Newton in a cameo appearance.

Newton said that he has seen the television commercial twice, which shows Foster shaking hands and helping business owners in the city’s black communities. Newton said that at the end of the commercial, there is a quick clip showing Newton cutting a ribbon at a new black-owned business.

Newton said that he’s concerned that by including him, the campaign ad suggests that he supports Foster’s run for office, which he does not.

Newton has endorsed Foster's opponent, Rick Kriseman.

Newton said that he complained to Foster’s campaign and has asked that his image be deleted from the commercial.

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