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Mitch Perry Report for 11.5.15 – A Hillsborough transportation plan without a sales tax?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

I received a text message last night informing me that the Tampa Bay Sierra Club had embraced Hillsborough County Commission Chair Sandy Murman‘s late-hour plan to fund transportation projects – which sounds like a larger sized version of what the Club called for back this past summer. You remember, the Club called for the county to began raising mobility fees and the gas tax, saying it would be a good start to raising funds for the county’s myriad transportation needs.

I’ve not had that confirmed, but whether Murman’s plan -which would include everything under the sun possible in terms of revenue streams save an actual sales tax – will fly with her colleagues at the BOCC/Policy Leadership Group I suppose we’ll learn more about later today (Many of those funding options are included in the latest Go Hillsborough product that will be discussed today). At least she believes she gets Tea Party activists and others (now including Americans for Prosperity) out of her hair…

Meanwhile, some big news via the pre-publication of John Meacham‘s new biography on former President 41, “George H.W. Bush, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush.”

In the book, Bush Sr. says that Dick Cheney built “his own empire” and added too much “hard-line” influence within George W. Bush‘s White House in pushing for the use of force around the world.

If you’ll recall in the summer and fall of 2002 when it was obvious that the Bush administration was girding for war in Iraq, people who felt it would be a disaster were crying out for H.W. to speak out against it. As you’ll recall, 41’s approach to war in Iraq in 1990-91 was sort of the ideal way to do it – spend months building up a coalition, getting U.N. buy-in, and going in with a precise objective.

When Brent Scowcroft published his Aug. 15,2002 op-ed, Don’t Attack Saddam in the Wall Street Journal, it was considered a direct intervention from father to son about what to do – or not do – regarding Iraq.

But of course, Bush Sr. wasn’t president. Give him credit for not blaming Cheney, but his son, for allowing Cheney to run rampant in his first term.

“He had his own empire there and marched to his own drummer,” Mr. Bush said of Cheney. “It just showed me that you cannot do it that way. The president should not have that worry.”

I guess we understand why he didn’t speak out then, but if he was thinking big picture, it would have not only helped out his son (and the country in retrospect), but his other son, who among the other pieces of baggage he’s carrying around in his struggling campaign for presidency these days is the legacy of his brother’s war on Iraq.

In other news…

Marco Rubio had to face the music yesterday when it came to questions about his use of a Republican Party of Florida AMEX card in the late aughts while serving as speaker of the house in Florida.

A national Quinnipiac poll shows that not only is Jeb Bush buried in fifth place nationally in the GOP presidential race, but that Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio all beat Hillary Clinton straight up, for whatever that’s worth.

Hillsborough County Republican E.J. Otero lashed out at the Board of County Commissioners yesterday for their recent support of bringing a Cuban consulate to Tampa.

Although most members of the Tampa City Council were more gung-ho about creating a citizens review board than Mayor Bob Buckhorn was, the council appears to be the laggards in getting their group of members chosen in time for the nascent agency’s first public meeting.

Hillsborough Commissioners voted to amend a previous ordinance on public records requests as they are being besieged by requests and (at times) failing to respond at all to such inquiries.

congressman David Jolly wants answers from VA head Robert McDonald, after a sixth Pinellas County military veteran was recently reported dead and had stopped receiving benefits, when in fact they were very much alive.

Ken Welch is the latest Democrat to support Charlie Crist in his bid to become a congressman for the first time.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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