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Bill Rufty: Will I-4, Polk County Go Blue?

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Tuesday will reveal whether the I-4 corridor is still an important swing corridor or whether it has become an important Democratic Party corridor. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump hit the counties along that stretch of interstate many times as well — and not just the big cities of St. Petersburg, Tampa and Orlando. Smaller cities and towns were targets as well. Donald Trump held a rally at the Lakeland Linder Airport and Tim Kaine, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s running mate,…

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. Off and on: Randy Havlicak is no longer staff director of the House Judiciary Committee; he is replacing Joe Gillespie as senior staff director for the House Bill Drafting Service. On: Don Rubottom is the new interim staff director for Judiciary. On and Off: Clay White and Caleb Helpling have switched roles, where White is the new senior legislative analyst for the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations…

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Mitch Perry Report for 7.1.16 — The wheels of justice move excruciatingly slow

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American celebrates its 240th birthday on Monday, and the 40th anniversary of the Bicentennial. I was a relatively young kid who doesn’t have a whole lot of recollection of that particular day (other than our family was on vacation someplace in Northern California), but I certainly do remember the yearlong hype into that summer. Two days ago in this space we commented on the length of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s emails at the State Department, and what was…

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Ed Narain and Kathy Castor call out Darryl Rouson – again

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Perhaps it was the recent survey that showed St. Petersburg state Representative Darryl Rouson leading Ed Narain in the Senate District 19 race that has fired him up. In any case, Narain is firing back hard on his Democratic challenger, along with some help from his friend, Congresswoman Kathy Castor. Narain and Castor took issue on Wednesday with a statement that Rouson had released regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-3 ruling on Monday that overturned a Texas law restricting women’s health and reproductive rights. Rouson praised the decision, writing that, “we must continue…

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Kelli Stargel opines on “double standard” following abortion ruling

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State Sen. Kelli Stargel, the sponsor of this year’s abortion legislation, said in a statement a “clear double standard … permeates the pro-abortion movement.” The Lakeland Republican responded to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Monday in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. It struck down a Texas abortion-restriction law because it “unduly burden(s)” women’s reproductive rights. The Texas law was similar to a measure passed in Florida this year. It also requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and requires clinics…

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Supreme Court abortion decision could affect Florida

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In a decision that could reverberate in Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that clamped down on abortion access because it “unduly burden(s)” women’s reproductive rights. The court announced its 5-3 decision Monday in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. It was one of three final opinions released before the justices go on summer recess. The Texas law mirrored a measure passed in Florida this year. It too requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a…

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Lakeland Republican incumbents to voter canvass this Saturday

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Republican incumbents, Congressman Dennis Ross, State Sen. Kelli Stargel, and state Rep. Colleen Burton, all from Lakeland, will participate in a voter canvass by the Republican Party of Florida. Republican canvassers will meet Saturday, June 11, 9 a.m. –  1:30 p.m. beginning in Room 104 of the Ordway Building at Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland. In an effort by the local Democratic Party leadership, not seen in several years, all three as well all other GOP legislators in Polk…

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