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Monday, Sep 22, 2014

Fresh Squeezed

A Florida Politics Blog

Made fresh, never frozen, here's the juice on local and state politics from the staff of The Tampa Tribune, The St. Petersburg Tribune and the Tribune/Scripps Capital Bureau.

Come out and Run For The Fallen, honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice

Published:   |   Updated: September 19, 2014 at 06:03 PM
Tribune staff

The war in Afghanistan may be drawing to a close, but it is still a very dangerous place.

Just this week, the Pentagon announced three more deaths, including one civilian contractor, bringing the total, by my count, up to 2,335 U.S. service members who have died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the nation’s longest war.

And there are tens of thousands of troops deployed around the world, including about 1,600 in Iraq, which is also a very dangerous place.

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High school football fans will hear domestic violence message

Published:   |   Updated: September 18, 2014 at 11:49 PM
By Erin Kourkounis

TAMPA — Before kick-off at all high-school home football games in Hillsborough County for the next two weeks, the announcer will ask athletes and spectators to pledge they’ll take a stand against domestic and dating violence.

Two local groups of youth sports officials — the West Coast Umpires Association and the West Coast Officials Association — will launch a campaign to crack down on domestic violence by reading a proclamation at the beginning of the 12 home games scheduled for tonight in Hillsborough stadiums, as well as the 15 home games scheduled for next Friday.

“There’s a lot of dating violence. It’s never right to hit a woman, ever,” said Dave Stone, president of the West Coast Umpires Association, a baseball group, and a member of the West Coast Officials Association, which oversees high-school football games in Hillsborough and Pasco counties. “We want to get this message out to young men everywhere.”

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Bondi: “I will not be bullied by the press” on gay marriage

Published:
Isadora Rangel in Stuart

Attorney General Pam Bondi said she “will not be bullied by the press” for her defense of Florida’s ban on gay marriage during two campaign stops on the Treasure Coast Wednesday.

The Republican spoke to about 100 conservatives at the Kane Center in Stuart and Republican Party headquarters in Port St. Lucie, boasting her efforts to crack down on pill mills, synthetic drugs and human trafficking since taking office in 2011.

The former Hillsborough County prosecutor and state’s first female attorney general is running for re-election Nov. 4 against Democrat George Sheldon and Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer.

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Bondi: “I will not be bullied by the press” on gay marriage

Published:
Isadora Rangel in Stuart

Attorney General Pam Bondi said she “will not be bullied by the press” for her defense of Florida’s ban on gay marriage during two campaign stops on the Treasure Coast Wednesday.

The Republican spoke to about 100 conservatives at the Kane Center in Stuart and Republican Party headquarters in Port St. Lucie, boasting her efforts to crack down on pill mills, synthetic drugs and human trafficking since taking office in 2011.

The former Hillsborough County prosecutor and state’s first female attorney general is running for re-election Nov. 4 against Democrat George Sheldon and Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer.

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Patronis goes from restaurateur to lawmaker to utility regulator

Published:   |   Updated: September 18, 2014 at 02:34 PM
The Associated Press

State Rep. Jimmy Patronis has been appointed to the panel that regulates Florida utilities.

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday named Patronis to a Public Service Commission seat that comes open in January. He also reappointed current commissioner Julie Brown to a new term.

Patronis is a Panama City Republican and vice president of Captain Anderson’s Restaurant. He is being forced to leave the Legislature due to term limits.

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Crist surrogates attack Scott on ‘swindler’ ad

Published:
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

Don’t ask Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano if he’s thinking about changing his voter registration from Republican.

“I have no intention, never,” he told reporters Thursday. “Never will I change my party affiliation. The day I turned 18, ladies and gentlemen, I registered as a Republican, a Reagan Republican.”

That would have been 1976, when Ronald Reagan eventually lost the Republican presidential nomination to Gerald Ford. That also was 14 years after Reagan changed his own registration from Democrat to Republican.

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Cohn snares a Kennedy for funder

Published:
By William March

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Crist outlines small business plan

Published:
By William March

the plan

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McLauchlan challenges Brandes to ‘debate,’ but they disagree on what that means

Published:   |   Updated: September 17, 2014 at 05:43 PM
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

The opposing campaigns for Senate District 22 (Tampa, St. Petersburg) seem to have different ideas on what constitutes a “debate.”

Democrat Judithanne McLauchlan on Wednesday released a letter she sent to GOP incumbent Jeff Brandes, challenging him to a series of three debates.

“Voters deserve to hear where Sen. Brandes and I stand on a number of issues affecting Pinellas and Hillsborough counties,” said McLauchlan, a political science professor at University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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Crist: Morgan “not interested” in judgeship

Published:   |   Updated: September 17, 2014 at 04:34 PM
By William March

In the aftermath of an embarrassing video of Orlando superlawyer and medical marijuana backer John Morgan making an extempore, profane and apparently somewhat inebriated speech in a Polk County bar, Republican critics have tried to tie Morgan to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.

They’ve suggested that Morgan, who’s also Crist’s employer, is backing Crist because he wants to get appointed to a judgeship if Crist wins.

“Possibly Florida’s next Supreme Court justice?” says a Republican Party video on the Morgan episode.

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