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Mitch Perry Report for 8.13.15 — Jeb Bush deals with a Black Lives Matter activist

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Good morning, happy 11th anniversary of Hurricane Charley.

Charley, as those of us who were here remember, was the first of four hurricanes that descended upon Florida in August and September of 2004. It was going to be the “new normal,” we all fretted. Major storms every summer.

Since that time there were a couple that came through in 2005, with the worst being Wilma in October in South Florida. And since then? Nada. Not that that’s reflected in your insurance rates…

Meanwhile, the first Republican candidate was confronted by an activist with the Black Lives Matter movement last night.

At a townhall in North Las Vegas, an activist named Jamie Hall asked Bush, “Are you going to be talking to different police departments about training reform? You talk about creating a better education system, but if kids in the neighborhoods are seeing their fathers and brothers and cousins killed, why would they want to go to school and excel?”

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Bush called the issue a “serious problem” that’s gotten worse in recent years. “Communities, people no longer trust the basic institutions in our society that they need to trust to make things work,” Bush said. “There is racism in America, no one should deny that.”

The paper reports that Bush said as president he would work to create a climate of civility and understanding instead of one of despair and isolation that pervades in some communities. And, as always, he brought it back to education.

“He talked about how education is important, but that’s in the future. What about today?” Hall said later. “People are dying in the streets.”

Whatever you think of the Black Lives Matter movement, I think everyone can agree that’s a better exchange between an activist and a candidate than that debacle that happened last Saturday in Seattle, where activists commandeered the stage when Bernie Sanders was set to speak. He never did address that crowd.

In other news..

Maybe it’s just a summer bump in her inevitable quest for the Democratic nomination, but yesterday was not a good day for Hillary Clinton. A poll was released shortly after it was announced that she was giving federal investigators access to her emails, after it was discovered that some of them contained classified material.

Oh, and Bernie Sanders is leading Clinton by eight points in one New Hampshire poll.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller says he’s serious about making sure the Florida Department of Transportation lives up to its promise to meet with members of the Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights communities regarding the Tampa Bay Express project.

And the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission is going to continue to try to bust Uber and Lyft drivers, even after a judge ruled last week against the PTC in its request for injunctive relief against Uber.

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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