House Speaker Will Weatherford gets grilled in Tiger’s Den on Sept. 10

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Republican Will Weatherford will have a chance to talk about the importance of his “part time job” — Speaker of the Florida House — when he enters the Tiger’s Den on September. 10.

The semi-monthly Suncoast Tiger Bay “politician carving” will be at the St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater, 12600 Roosevelt Blvd.  Lunch starts at noon, with Weatherford served as dessert soon afterwards.

As many state and local politicians realize — sometimes the hard way — everything is fair game in the Tiger’s Den.

One thing Weatherford could expect is a grilling on some Florida’s most pressing issues, from Medicaid expansion and its replacement (if any), or the decision not to hold a special session on Stand Your Ground self-defense laws, to the details of his relationship with a contractor of the Florida-run Citizens Insurance.      

If things get a little too hot in the Den, Weatherford could always strike back by pulling out the House’s “Mary” auto-reading software to answer questions for him. In that case, it’s good that the luncheon is only an hour long, not the 10 hours lawmakers were made to sit listening to every bill recited word-for-word last April.

The 33-year-old GOP Speaker, described as “the next Marco Rubio,” could learn if he deserves, or even wants, the comparison to the embattled U.S. Senator.  Even Rubio, under the GOP microscope over his role in the Senate immigration bill, might be relieved someone else is taking some of the heat.

Who knows? On September 10, we might even learn Weatherford’s favorite football team (a fair guess would be that it’s probably not the Miami Dolphins).

Tickets for the event are $25 for Tiger Bay members, $35 for guests. To RSVP online, visit www.tigerbay.org  or call (727) 822-1001. 

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.