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President calls into Tampa hip-hop station to urge Floridians to vote

in 2017 by

Stressing the importance of Floridians voting in the presidential election, President Obama called into Tampa local hip-hop radio station 95.7 The Beat in Tampa on Wednesday afternoon. “Your vote matters,” he told DJ Anjali “Queen B” in a nine-minute conversation. “And if we’re going to protect and build on the progress we made in the last eight years I need everybody in the Tampa Bay area to vote. So don’t wait.” The president referred to the fact that early voting begins in many parts of the…

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Marco Rubio decries FDA regulations over cigars while visiting Tampa factory

in 2017 by

Marco Rubio‘s re-election campaign brought him to a 13o-year-old cigar factory in Tampa Wednesday, where he blasted proposed federal rules which could severely harm it and other cigar manufacturers in the U.S. A recent FDA ruling initially intended to regulate smokeless tobacco products, but summarily expanded to include cigars, would compel manufacturers like the J.C. Newman Company to go through a rigorous and costly application before any new product could go on the market. Officials said the imposed verification process would radically slow the rate of new…

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Rick Scott wants feds to declare ‘major disaster’ in Florida after Matthew

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In St. Augustine Monday for an event promoting tourism in America’s oldest city, Gov. Rick Scott reiterated his call for the federal government to approve Florida’s entire request for a “major disaster declaration.” The federal government has not approved funding, asserts the governor’s office, “for individual assistance or for permanent work to roads, parks, and government buildings in local communities.” Scott, who has been pushing for such since Hurricane Matthew, is understandably nettled. “Since Hurricane Matthew impacted our state, I have continued…

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Mitch Perry Report for 9.29.16 — Congress is free to go home. Again.

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

First of all, congratulations to the uber-hip readers at Creative Loafing who, in their Best of the Bay voting for Best Reporter in 2016, selected a columnist who retired two years ago. Congratulations also to our U.S. Congress who, by voting for a budget bill last to avoid a government shutdown, now gets to skip town for another two months before returning for an inevitable lame-duck session. Wait a minute, some of you might think — didn’t they just have a seven-week summer…

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Bill Nelson seconds Rick Scott’s call for Hermine disaster declaration

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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has joined Gov. Rick Scott’s appeal to the Obama administration to declare much of Florida a disaster zone. “I am writing to urge that you approve the State of Florida’s request for a major disaster declaration related to Hurricane Hermine as soon as possible,” Nelson wrote in a letter to President Obama dated Wednesday. “The eye of Hurricane Hermine made landfall on Sept. 2, 2016, in northern Florida, but the impacts of the storm affected many…

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Mitch Perry Report for 9.16.16 — What will become of Edward Snowden?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Oliver Stone’s “Snowden” arrives in theaters today, and with it comes a campaign to have the former NSA contractor receive a pardon from the commander in chief. At a press conference Wednesday, representatives from the ACLU, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International spoke out in support of getting President Barack Obama to pardon Snowden. “Cases like Edward Snowden’s are precisely why the presidential pardon power exists,” said Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s executive director, who referred specifically to cases when mitigating circumstances…

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Dennis Ross co-sponsors bill to prohibit ransom payments to Iran

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Last month, the Wall Street Journal first reported that the Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran. The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran over a long-held dispute over a failed arms deal just before the Shah of Iran lost power in 1979. After that news broke, White House spokesman Josh Earnest rejected suggestions the money transfer to…

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