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Mitch Perry Report for 5.28.15 — Are you ready for a George Pataki candidacy?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

I couldn’t be happier this morning, after staying up until midnight last night to see my lifelong basketball team, the Golden State Warriors, defeat the Houston Rockets,  and advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1975. Of course, there’s a guy by the name of LeBron James who stands in their way of actually capturing the Finals, which should make for irresistible entertainment. LeBron returned home to Cleveland last summer, and that city hasn’t won a championship in anything since, when, the 1950s? It’s going to be good.

Let’s move to the presidential scene, where lately there’s been a new person entering the 2016 race everyday. Let’s hear it for Bernie Sanders, who took on Hillary Clinton yesterday about something that matters today — her stance on the Trans Pacific Partnership. “Hillary Clinton can be for the trade agreement — the president is,” he said in New Hampshire yesterday. “She can be against the trade agreement — I am, Elizabeth Warren is, many of us are. I just don’t know how you don’t have an opinion on this enormously important issue, which is her view.”

Clinton has stayed mum on the issue that has divided not just Democrats (actually most in the House are against the trade pact), but Republicans. Donald Trump told me last week that he prefers the U.S. getting into trade deals with individual countries, and says what he knows about the TPP he hates. David Jolly also said recently that he won’t support the pact, because he doesn’t trust the president, preferring to weigh in after Obama is out of office.

But Hillary hasn’t dared voice an opinion on it. That ain’t leadership, and one can expect Martin O’Malley to make that distinction as well after he officially enters the Democratic Primary this weekend.

Meanwhile, Rick Santorum announced his candidacy yesterday in Pennsylvania. The elite press doesn’t think much of Santorum. They (we. OK, me) didn’t give him much of a shot in 2012, and of course he ended up being the last man standing next to Mitt Romney in the GOP primaries, winning 11 of them. Of course, one major reason was the fact that he had a wealthy benefactor in a man by the name of Foster Friess, who says he’s going to help him out again this time around. But he’s definitely in that second tier right now.

And how can we forget George Pataki? The former three-term governor of New York (1994-2006) is set to put his proverbial hat in the ring in a speech in Exeter, N.H., later today.

Is there really anyone out there who wants this to happen? I’m serious. I will say that about Pataki: He looks presidential, and by that I mean, he’s tall, lean and white (I think he’s 6-4). Apparently Pataki’s strategy is to live in New Hampshire and try to pull off an upset there. In fact, according to The Washington Post, he’s been there 12 times already. Is it working? Well, he was at one percent in the polls. Now he’s at two percent.

In other news…

MaryEllen Elia may have gotten the last word on her critics by nabbing the highest governmental education gig in the state of New York, but the instant analysis from  two of her leading critics in Hillsborough County is that it’s no big thing.

Can Florida legislative Democratic candidates make hay from the GOP-led Legislature’s meltdown in Tallahassee this spring? HD 63 aspirant Mike Reedy is already having that sort of campaign.

The Florida Legislature’s floundering attempts to live up to the promise of Amendment One has infuriated that constitutional amendment’s supporters this year — and on Saturday, there will be protests held in Tampa, Bradenton and seven other cities across Florida demanding that the Legislature put more money into the fund when they convene the special session next week.

And Hillsborough County Democrats Mark Danish and Alan Clendenin talk about their political futures in an interview conducted on Tuesday night at a political fundraiser in South Tampa.

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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