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Mitch Perry Report for 4.29.15 — GOP vs GOP violence in Tally, as Democrats watch helplessly

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In Nepal, they’re still digging through the rubble after the devastating earthquake over the weekend that has taken at least 10,000 lives.

In Baltimore, the cleanup continues after the night of rage on Monday — meanwhile, the city waits in suspense for a report on what actually happened to Freddy Gray later this week.

And in Tallahassee, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli decided to end the session early. But outside of Tallahassee, how much does the rest of the populace in Florida care?

This isn’t “partisan gridlock,” since that would mean friction between the parties. This is GOP vs. GOP, as it always is in Tallahassee.

Maybe there could be some adult supervision from the governor, Rick Scott.

Uh, no, not really. Scott decided yesterday would be the day for Attorney General Pam Bondi to go ahead and file the state’s lawsuit charging the Obama administration is trying to force it to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.

Heck, even though the Tampa Bay Times’ editorial page is slamming Steve Crisafulli and Richard Corcoran, they also concede that the “House’s decision to cut and run leaves the state better off because plenty of bad legislation will die, including Crisafulli’s water bill.” Hillsborough/Pinellas GOP state Rep.  Jamie Grant is on the same page, telling the Tampa Tribune that while a “lot of bills died today, but I fall in the camp that doesn’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing.”

So is it outrageous?

Maybe in a truly “purple” state, the Republicans would pay a price a year from this November at the polls. But that seems very, very unlikely. True, it will be a presidential election year, which means that in places like Hillsborough County, GOP incumbents like Shawn Harrison and Ross Spano should be a little more vulnerable than they were last fall. But the Dems are only going to be able to nip at the margins, unless they can really make something out of a broken Tallahassee.

In related news..

The end of the regular session for Florida House members prompted angry comments from Democrats. 

Meanwhile, not everything is dead in terms of legislation, or so we’ve been told by backers of the measure that would provide incentives to lure Hollywood TV and film productions to the Sunshine State.

Though liberals love to dump on them, the fact of the matter is that the Koch Brothers are serious about reforming the criminal justice system. On Monday Koch Industries announced that they would no longer include a question on their job applications asking if a perspective employee had ever been convicted of a felony.

And this reporter and two others had the opportunity to spend a few quality minutes with Dr. Ben Carson Monday afternoon in Sarasota. The retired pediatric neurosurgeon is expected to announce his candidacy for the presidency next week, but he was quick to back away from some of his more controversial statements in meeting with the press.

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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