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Mitch Perry Report 7.6.16 — Clinton survives James Comey

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although many observers are noting that yesterday was not a good day for Hillary Clinton and her aspirations for president, who are we kidding here? She stood this close to being indicted, with Democrats probably wishing that Joe Biden had actually entered the race last year.

No doubt, Clinton’s reputation for being truthful took a severe hit on Tuesday morning, as FBI Director James Comey laid out all the things that she had done wrong with her private email during her tenure as Secretary of State in Barack Obama‘s first term in office.

Then again, most people don’t think she’s very truthful. As mentioned in a PBS NewsHour segment last week, an NBC/Wall Street Journal found that 69 percent of those polled said they’re concerned about criticism that Clinton has a — quote — “record of being dishonest.” Just 28 percent said that wasn’t a concern for them.

That was before Comey stated that at least 110 emails sent through her private server contained information classified at the time it was sent. That meant it should never have been sent or received on an unclassified computer network. It’s a direct rebuke of her statements over the past year that she never knowingly distributed classified information.

Per the NY Times: 

Among those was the fact that “a very small number” of emails sent on her server bore markings that indicated they were classified, contradicting not only previous statements of Mrs. Clinton’s but also claims by the State Department that none had.

While he did not identify any, he was evidently referring to two emails that one of Mrs. Clinton’s close aides, Monica R. Hanley, sent to prepare her for telephone calls with foreign leaders, according to a State Department official familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss classified information.

One email, dated Aug. 2, 2012, noted that Kofi Annan, the former secretary-general of the United Nations, was stepping down as special envoy trying to mediate the war in Syria. A second one, sent in April 2012, discussed Mrs. Clinton’s call to the newly inaugurated president of Malawi.

Each was marked with a small notation, “(C),” indicating it contained information classified as “confidential.”

Clinton also said back in March of 2015 at the United Nations that she had given all of her emails that in any way connected to work” had been handed over to the State Department.

“It is highly likely their search terms missed some work-related emails, and that we later found them, for example, in the mailboxes of other officials or in the slack space of a server,” Comey said Tuesday. “It is also likely that there are other work-related emails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere, and that are now gone because they deleted all emails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.”

Comey also reported that while at the state Department, Clinton used more than one server and more than one mobile device. If you’ll recall, one of her arguments for doing what she did was she didn’t want the unnecessary inconvenience of having several devices.

Let’s jump to the political — I hear this all the time — it won’t affect the electorate, because those who love Hillary will still love her, and the haters will still loathe her.

What about that so-called “mushy middle,” though, the growing part of the electorate that registers as independent, or as we say here in Florida, non-party-affiliated?

Recent polls show third party candidates, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, getting close to an average of 10 percentage points. While some folks will never vote for Donald Trump, they definitely now have choices that maybe they feel they don’t have to hold their noses to vote for Libertarian or Green Party nominees (Stein has yet to get her party’s nomination, by the way)

No, it wasn’t a great day for Mrs. Clinton, but come on — any day that you don’t get indicated is sort of a good day, right?

Tim Canova uses Democratic opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership to ask for more contributions to his campaign against Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

It’s personal between Betty Reed and Ed Narain in the Senate District 19 race.

Alan Clendenin leads all of the candidates vying be elected to the Hillsborough County School Board this year in fundraising.

Democrat Bernie Fensterwald is sitting on a personal fortune as he vies to defeat Republican Chris Sprowls in the House District 65 race in Pinellas County, but so far, he’s been conservative in how much he’s self-funding his campaign.

And in Tampa, activists call on Sen. Bill Nelson to oppose a bill on GMO’s this week.

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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