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Mitch Perry Report for 4.25.16 — David Jolly gets his moment in the sun

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

After David Jolly announced his proposal earlier this that would ban federal officeholders from fundraising while in office earlier this year, all of his Florida senate opponents on both sides of the aisle dismissed it immediately.

Under the Pinellas County congressman’s “Stop Act,” elected federal officials would still be permitted to attend fundraisers and speak to donors. People would still be allowed to contribute to campaigns of their choosing. But under no circumstance would federal officeholders be allowed to personally ask people for campaign donations.

“This proposal does nothing to get money out of politics,” said Alan Grayson‘s campaign spokesman, David Damron. “It’s a gimmick from a former lobbyist who can’t get things done, because he’s too busy dialing his old co-workers for checks.”

Others followed suit.

It would be interesting to hear Grayson expand on that response tonight, when he and Jolly engage in the first debate of any of the Senate candidates in Florida this year.

The fact that the two men — who may or may not end up being their parties respective candidates this fall — are debating each other in the first place, is offensive to some in Florida politics, who think it’s, well, I guess inappropriate to have the temerity to do what any of them could do at anytime.

Anyway, it’s happening at 7 p.m.tonight, and we’ll see how both men perform.

Jolly is enjoying publicity that seemingly all people in America who want to make a difference could hope for. That is a positive 60 Minutes piece that aired last night on his Stop Act.

On Friday, the Jolly camp hyped the news report by comparing it to a 2011 60 Minutes piece on potential insider trading by members of Congress that resulted in legislation (called the STOCK Act) that banned members from taking stocks based on nonpublic information.

But as CBS’ Norah O’Donnell asked Jolly in last night’s report, the chances of the STOP act right now seem slim, with just a handful of lawmakers sponsoring it to date.

Of course, that might work for Jolly politically — that he’s battling an entrenched establishment who are content to have lawmakers be high-paid telemarketers wasting their days on the taxpayers dime dialing for dollars.

While Republicans, in general, have been critical of Jolly engaging with Grayson in a debate, the question to them is — what are you doing about it? Last week, Carlos Lopez-Cantera told me and one another reporter in Brandon that he had no idea when the first GOP Senate debate would take place.

The debate will be televised in the Orlando area; everyone else will have to catch it on FloridaOpenDebate.com.

Meanwhile, on a personal note — the world is a little bit different from when I left to fly to San Francisco last Thursday morning. When I touched down some eight hours later, I learned what everybody else had a few hours before — that Prince had died.

At the wedding I attended on Saturday in Marin County, Prince was very much a presence — as my friends recounted our feelings and experiences about him. The wedding DJ also featured much of his 80s oeuvre in his selections. RIP, Prince.

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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