Politics

Monday, June 16, 2014

Charlie Crist Opens New Campaign Office in St. Pete

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 6:05 PM

If Charlie Crist is re-elected governor this year he promises to reconvene two environmental summits that were held during the first two years of his previous term as governor. Crist made those comments in front of around 100 or so fervent supporters were on hand last Saturday to help launch a new St. Petersburg campaign office.

The beginning of Crist's governorship, in 2007 and 2008 respectively, saw him convening what were touted as being annual summits on global climate change. However, during his last two years as governor these global summits were halted without any fanfare or scrutiny. This past Saturday Crist unequivocally stated that he will reinstitute climate summits on the Everglades and climate change.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Former diplomat pessimistic about a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace

Posted By on Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 10:14 AM

The former ambassador to Bosnia Herzegovina and foreign affairs expert, Douglas McElhaney, was the keynote speaker at last Saturday's 4th annual Human Rights Conference on the University of Tampa. The all day event was held at the Vaughn Center; the campus' student union. Despite a small turn out of roughly 50 people consisting of students, faculty, United Nations Association of Tampa members and a guest speaker from Canada, the presentations and discussions were as weighty as the topic would dictate.

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bloomingdale Big Box theatre of the absurd gets panned

Posted By on Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 6:41 AM

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Hillsborough's Big Box scam continues. Remember in 2013 when local residents in east Hillsborough suddenly learned that that they were going to get a super Big Box/apartment complex/strip mall along the already overstuffed Bloomingdale Ave roadway?

The latest chapter in this saga involves the county's travelling theatre troupe, a/k/a public works, doing a one act play, portraying a county that really cares...a county that wants to make things right...a county that wants to use whatever resources it can to fix the problems created when they gave the Bloomingdale Big Box retail developers what they wanted without citizen input.

This latest performance took place in the auditorium at Bloomingdale HS on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. The playbill said they wanted to hear what citizens had to say about fixing the traffic problems in the Bloomingdale area.

As hard as they tried, the play got panned by local residents. Why? Because the Hillsborough theater troupe showed up with nothing more than a blank script.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Will $100 million buy the governor's race?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM

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The projected cost of Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election bid: $100 million.

The value of grassroots mobilizing to put Charlie Crist back in the governor’s office: Priceless.

That is how Democratic organizers see Crist's challenge in trying to take back the governor's office in Florida. Whether big organizing can trump big money remains to be seen.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Morning Report: Kriseman's campaign manager tweets himself into trouble

Plus: Speed limit increases proposed, sexual harassment at Children’s Services, and more …

Posted By on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Cesar Fernandez, shown here without his foot in his mouth.
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  • Cesar Fernandez, shown here without his foot in his mouth.
The 24-year-old campaign manager credited with engineering Rick Kriseman’s victory in the St. Pete mayor's race boastfully tweeted this week that the candidate did not need the African-American vote after all to win the election.

One thing is certain, Rick Kriseman will need the support of the city’s African-Americans to lead Florida’s fourth-largest city.

Cesar Fernandez’s bragging on social media made that job harder this week for the mayor-elect.

Monday, Kriseman worked to distance himself from Fernandez’s statement, which was a tweeted analysis of the election results.
Kriseman told the Tampa Bay Times that the statement was insensitive and certainly does not reflect his views.

“I was honored to have it,” Kriseman said of the support he received from African-American voters. The city's black communities were considered a swing vote in the final days of the hard-fought race.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Morning Report: A decisive defeat, a big job ahead

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Rick Kriseman will not be sworn in as St. Petersburg mayor until January, but he already faces some immediate decisions — hiring a new police chief and dealing with the shuttered city Pier.

The morning after Kriseman decisively beat incumbent Bill Foster, the mayor-elect got down to business, organizing a City Hall press conference to talk about the pressing issues of the new administration.

Topping the list is hiring a new police chief to replace retiring Chief Chuck Harmon, who leaves on Jan. 6. Kriseman campaigned that he will hire a national consultant to lead the search.

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Voices from St. Pete Election Night 2013

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 8:11 AM

City Councilwoman-elect Darden Rice at her victory party at Red Mesa Cantina.
  • Arielle Stevenson
  • City Councilwoman-elect Darden Rice at her victory party at Red Mesa Cantina.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor on newly elected City Councilmember Darden Rice:
“She understands the challenges in St. Pete economically, but also sees the potential. We’ve worked together on environmental restoration. She’s been a leader on transit. St. Pete has grown by leaps and bounds tonight. This is the place to be because of all the young energy Darden brings. St. Pete is on the move. The challenges are taking that economic growth beyond downtown, south into Midtown and northern St. Petersburg as well. This isn’t just one neighborhood. This is a great place for new businesses.”

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Rick Kriseman — and Democrats — declare St. Pete victory

The mayor-elect of St. Petersburg welcomes a "progressive-minded" slate of winners.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 7:01 AM

Mayor-elect Kriseman celebrates his victory at NOVA 535.
  • Mayor-elect Kriseman celebrates his victory at NOVA 535.

Challenger Rick Kriseman easily won the mayor's race Tuesday, leading a progressive slate of City Council candidates to a decisive victory in St. Petersburg elections.

Kriseman, a former Democratic state lawmaker, beat incumbent Mayor Bill Foster by 12 points, though polls had predicted a tight race.

“I’m surprised by the margin,” said Kriseman, who was swarmed by supporters at NOVA 535, where the returns were tracked on a large screen behind the bar. “This just shows how much the community is asking for change.”

Kriseman took 56 percent of the vote to Foster’s 44 percent, according to unofficial results by the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections.

Incumbents Karl Nurse and Jim Kennedy easily held on to their seats, while newcomers Darden Rice and Amy Foster won their races.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Morning Report: Your electric bill is going up

Posted By on Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 1:10 PM

[Editor's Note: Linda Hersey was busy covering Election Day festivities in St. Pete this morning, so her Morning Report is a little bit belated today.]

Is anyone ever really shocked when the electric bill goes up?

But a monthly increase of $9 from Duke Energy does seem high. That is the average hike that customers in the Tampa Bay area are likely to see starting Jan. 1.

The reason? Two nuclear plant debacles — the seriously flawed Crystal River Plant and the Levy County project, which failed to move forward. Most of the $5 billion cost is being passed on to consumers, under a plan approved by state regulators.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Charlie Crist, hybrid candidate for governor

Crist pledges to drive the economy — but in a fuel-efficient vehicle.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Crist at todays announcement.

Charlie Crist, who formally announced his bid for governor today, may be the nation’s first hybrid candidate.

The former GOP governor is making a second run for office, but this time as a Democrat.

Sounding Republican themes, Crist pledged to cut taxes and focus on the economy. But he echoed Democratic platforms when he emphasized the need for fuel efficiency and renewable energy.

Speaking at Albert Whitted Park on St. Petersburg’s waterfront, Crist also seemed to be defining himself as a moderate, as he lashed out at Republican Gov. Rick Scott for leading "from the fringes" and bullying those who disagree with him.

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