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Alan Grayson

Infamous dates: The moments that influenced Florida politics in 2016

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Everyone expected Florida to play an important role in politics this year. And why wouldn’t they? Presidential hopefuls hailed from here; the state’s electoral votes were coveted; and its Senate race could have determined control of the U.S. Senate. But just like many predictions in 2016, some of the prophecies for Florida’s outsized role on the national stage fell flat. Many believed a Sunshine state politico would be a presidential nominee (not quite right) or that the election would hinge…

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Under Donald Trump, Florida’s premium cigar industry could escape job-killing FDA regulations

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On the verge of being snuffed out by Obama administration regulators, Florida’s traditional and culturally distinct premium cigar industry has a chance at new life. Late last week, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the incoming chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, met with President-elect Donald Trump and submitted a list of 232 items that could be repealed immediately after Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. “We must undo Obama’s harmful regulatory regime that has hurt hardworking Americans across the nation,” the group said in…

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With its Lego project, the Tampa Bay Times crushes my hopes and dreams

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Last week, the digital geniuses at the Tampa Bay Times debuted a multimedia presentation that used animated Lego figures and constructions to tell a complicated story about a planned toll road on the Howard Frankland Bridge. “How the plan to fix Tampa Bay’s most important bridge fell apart, told in Legos” from Eli Zhang, Caitlin Johnston, Anthony Cormier, and Martin Frobisher is an absolute must-click for its combination of shoe-leather reporting and “Everything Is Awesome” visualization. It’s a great read. It’s visually stunning. It’s also — to…

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Mitch Perry Report for 12.19.16 – Florida electors feel the heat while the rest of the nation freezes

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Florida’s 29 Republican presidential electors gather in Tallahassee today to vote for well, presumably for Donald Trump, who defeated Hillary Clinton by 1.2 percent in the Sunshine State on November 8. While the world awaits to see if there’s any movement with the 290 nationwide Republican electors, our electors will be voting in perfect conditions, with the forecast set for 65 degrees today in the Capitol. That’s a far cry from the weather conditions of electors from much of the country today, and should…

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Alan Grayson files to run again but says it’s just paperwork, for now

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Democrat U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson is downplaying prospects that his filing to run again for Congress means he’s going to run again for Congress — but he’s not ruling it out. The Democrat from Orlando — who leaves office Jan. 3 because he did not seek re-election in Florida’s 9th Congressional District — has filed paperwork to run in 2018. And this time he filed to run in Florida’s 11th Congressional District, centered in Lake County. Yet Grayson insisted Tuesday…

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Mitch Perry Report for 12.12.16 – Heroes

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Bob Dylan opted to blow off the Nobel Prize for Literature awards ceremony in Sweden this weekend, instead opting to have Azita Raji, the U.S. Ambassador in Sweden, read a speech that he composed (And no, I had never heard of our ambassador to Sweden until I looked it up this weekend). Among those who care about this prestigious award, there has been some criticism about awarding a songwriter, and not a novelist or poet. The Swedish Academy defended its decision to…

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Alan Grayson files bill named after Tampa youth to promote civil rights compliance

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In perhaps his last act as a member of Congress, Orlando-area Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson announced Friday he was filing the “Andrew Joseph III Act,” a bill which requires any jurisdiction seeking a specific federal grant to have an independent civilian review board in place. In February of 2014, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies ejected 99 students from the Florida State Fair, including Joseph, a 14-year-old African American, for rowdy behavior during the annual Student Day – a day off from Hillsborough County…

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