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Mitch Perry Report for 7.10.15 — A whole lotta political stuff

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

It was just an average Thursday in the Florida political world.

But first a note about Jeb Bush, who announced that through his own campaign and his Super PAC Right to Rise, has raised a total of $114 million this year, with all but $11 million coming from Right to Rise, which began fundraising for the “non-candidate” back in mid-December. You remember the $100 million figure was broadcast months ago as part of the “Shock and Awe” phase of the Bush campaign. Then came the downplaying of that number, and now we hear that it brought in $103 million.

But Jeb is still showing some rust on the campaign trail, after being absent from it for 13 years. While his comment that “people need to work longer hours,”  was predictably seized upon by the DNC (and Ted Cruz) as an example of a guy who’s out of touch, Jeb subsequently said the comment was in reference to underemployment in America, with people working 30 hours instead of 40 hours in some cases.

That makes sense. But it’s not what he said during that interview with that New Hampshire editorial board on Wednesday. Unfair of the press and the DNC to jump on it? Of course! Welcome to the political world of 2015, where there are more reporters than ever scrutinizing everything that these candidates say and do. It’s happened to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, etc. It happened to Jeb a few months ago when he was asked about the Iraq war.

Well, in that case, he really did kind of step in it.

Meanwhile, we’ve got plenty of news about yesterday’s Florida Supreme Court ruling on redistricting down below. One candidate who we didn’t speculate might get into the CD13 race yesterday is Charlie Crist, but he was noted by Politico’s Marc Caputo in a story published yesterday.

Can this possibly happen? Could Charlie be satisfied with being just one of 435 people in the House of Representatives, after he was chief executive of the 3rd biggest state in the union and wanted to be again? Of course it’s possible, and there’s no doubt that if he entered the contest he would seriously screw up the ambitions of Eric Lynn (not to mention David Jolly). We’ll wait and watch with y’all on this development.

And in a personal note, Kenny Stabler died yesterday in Alabama from colon cancer at the age of 69. The man known as “the snake,” was my favorite football player growing up in the SF Bay Area, where he led the Raiders to their first Super Bowl and was just one of the coolest guys ever during the Raiders great reign in the ’70s. I loved watching him play, and it’s a sad day today in the Raider Nation.

In other news..

Yesterday’s big day of news in Florida began with Alan Grayson announcing his candidacy for U.S. Senate, blowing off Patrick Murphy’s request for a good, clean campaign to commence.

As we noted above, the Florida Supreme Court dropped a bomb on Tallahassee, ruling that the GOP-led Legislature gerrymandered eight specific congressional districts when they redrew them in 2012. Among those eight seats are those of David Jolly and Kathy Castor.

Speaking of Castor, she casually dropped the news yesterday that she’s raised nearly $800,000 overall for an as yet undeclared Republican opponent in her bid for re-election.

Dwight Dudley says it’s time to get redistricting out of the (Republican) politicians’ hands, and time to create an independent commission to do that work.

Is Jack Latvala predicting that the Florida Senate is about to go the way of those eight congressional districts in terms of redistricting? Please read this story.

Meanwhile, Latvala says he wants the press and others to knock it off when it comes to reporting on the close alliance that some Florida state senators have with the healthcare industry in Florida.

The Tampa Bay Sierra Club says it isn’t opposing the half-cent transportation tax plan proposed for Hillsborough County next year — it just says the county should raise gas taxes first before it will support it. However, county officials say they have no intention of doing that, so…..

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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