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Karl Nurse says Hillary Clinton needs to respond to Bernie Sanders challenge on financial reform

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Hillary Clinton is scheduled to give an address on Wall Street oversight on Monday, and Karl Nurse says it can’t come quick enough.

The St. Petersburg City councilman attended a V.I.P. reception for Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook in Tampa last month, and said he learned that the Democratic candidate for president would be giving two major speeches in the next few weeks — one on economic policy, and one about Wall Street. Nurse said he’s been observing the large crowds that Vermont Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has been attracting on the campaign trail, and says his message attacking Wall Street is resonating with Democrats.

“I talked to Robby, because I saw Sanders the day before on C-SPAN, and I said, this guy makes the economic argument for how to help the middle class better than anybody,” said Nurse. The councilman says Clinton has to pick up her game on touching on those subjects. “She has to articulate a path forward for folks much better than the message has gotten out so far.”

Sanders isn’t just talking up a good game, but backing it up with legislation, though whether it will ever get passed through Congress is a different story.

In May, Sanders and California Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman introduced a bill entitled the “Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Exist Act,” which would require financial regulators to name – and break up – financial firms whose failure would have catastrophic economic consequences.

Nurse said he likes Sanders a lot, but is sticking with Clinton. He says Sanders reminds him of a certain other Democratic candidate for president who turned on liberals, but wasn’t ready for primetime when it came to the entire voting public.

That would be George McGovern, the anti-war candidate who won the Democratic nomination but lost 49 states to Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election.

“This is going to make me sound as old as I am, but in 1972 I spent a year working 60 hours a week for the most liberal Democrat ever to be nominated by the party and experienced the results of that,” recounts Nurse. “Sanders has the ability and certainly has found the hook to get people fired up. She’s going to have to find a way to respond to that.”

But Nurse said he’s not concerned .

“I think that it’s possible it could be a good thing,” he says of his influence on Clinton, which some Republicans say is already the case.

It’s not meant as a compliment.

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

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