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Meet the Roger Stone protege running Aakash Patel’s Hillsborough Commission campaign

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Hillsborough County businessman Aakash Patel raised more than $51,000 (although that figure includes a $20,000 loan) in June for his campaign for the Hillsborough County Commission. Campaign finance records show that Patel spent $19,000 paying New Jersey-based political consultant Elnatan Rudolph, a man with a colorful past, to say the least. Identified in press reports as “a self-described protege of Roger Stone,” the venerable and controversial GOP operative, Rudolph is something of a political wunderkind, beginning his career when he was 16 years old when…

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Darryl Paulson: President ‘Pants on Fire’

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Although a Republican and a conservative, I was never able to support Donald Trump for president for three reasons. First, he has seldom been a Republican in his lifetime. Second, he is a pragmatist and populist, but not a conservative. Finally, he has difficulty telling the truth. So, what was so appealing about Trump that he won 30 of the 50 states and a majority of the electoral vote? His greatest appeal was being a non-politician in an era where…

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Joe Henderson: Not just papers; it’s #LoveMyWebsite day, too

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

On Sunday afternoon, a man carrying an AR-15 assault rifle walked into a popular pizza place in northwest Washington D.C. and began shooting. No one was hurt, thank goodness and the gunman was arrested. What he said after being taken away, though, should be a warning to us all. He said he came to “self-investigate” whether Hillary Clinton was using the restaurant as a front for a child sex trafficking ring. Just before the election last month, that story had…

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Tampa Bay Times’ mind-boggling figures in ‘rooftop solar fight’ don’t add up

in Peter/Top Headlines by

Consider the eye-grabbing Tampa Bay Times’ front-page headline Wednesday: $43M spent to limit solar. Beyond the silliness of assuming that every dollar utilities donated this cycle is part of a plot to fight rooftop solar — as if there is nothing else they care about — the story is screwed up six ways to Sunday. If a politician were to use these numbers, PolitiFact would rate them somewhere in the range of Mostly False to Pants on Fire. Let’s start from the top: “Lost…

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AFL-CIO sends out anti-Donald Trump mailers in Florida

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The AFL-CIO is dropping 67,051 direct mail pieces to union households across Florida this week attacking Donald Trump. The mailers blast Trump for not hiring local workers at his Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach. Since 2010, nearly 300 U.S. residents applied or were referred for jobs at Mar-A-Lago, but only 17 were hired, The New York Times reported in February. Concurrently, Mar-A-Lago sought more than 500 visas for foreign workers. PolitiFact reported documents the resort later filed with the Labor Department…

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Joe Henderson: Donald Trump’s curious debate strategy — ‘he blew it’

in 2017/Top Headlines by

During Monday’s presidential debate, I kept waiting for a moment that never came. Donald Trump had 100 million sets of eyeballs focused on him. What better time to prove he is not, as Hillary Clinton paints him, a racist, sexist, selfish jerk from an alternate universe. Trump was combative, but that’s who he is. Clinton was throwing haymakers too. We expected that. But after all the provocative and divisive things Trump has said on the campaign trail, he had a…

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Patrick Murphy in Tampa: Marco Rubio is trying to smear my record to distract from his terrible record

in 2017 by

Trying to build up his numbers with the Hispanic vote in Florida, Democratic Senate hopeful Patrick Murphy made a campaign stop at Arco-Iris, a Cuban eatery in West Tampa on Monday afternoon. The restaurant sits in one of the most highly concentrated district of Hispanic voters in all of Florida, and is a staple for Democrats running state-wide to visit during a campaign. His appearance came just hours after a new poll showed the Jupiter Representative trailing his GOP opponent, Marco Rubio, in the race for U.S. Senate in Florida.…

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