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Seniors group awards Congressman Vern Buchanan for tax reform efforts

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The 60 Plus Association awarded its Guardian of Seniors Rights award to Sarasota U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan at a ceremony in Tampa. The conservative-leaning seniors advocacy group gives the award to public officials who advance “positions in support of seniors, including his stance as a vocal leader on the need for tax reform to create jobs and stimulate the economy.” The award came during an event hosted by the Main Street Growth and Opportunity Coalition affiliated with 60 Plus, where Buchanan gave the keynote address. Buchanan,…

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Uber tackles public policy issues with newly launched “Under the Hood” blog

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As Uber continues its expansion across the globe, a new company-sponsored public policy blog will touch on several issues facing the popular ridesharing service, such as car insurance and company benefits. Uber Under the Hood, launched Wednesday, is the latest effort by the San Francisco-based company to garner more support as it deals with lawmakers and local regulators. The blog will feature a broad range of what Washington Post reporter Brian Fung calls “wonky topics,” including posts by employees, industry…

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One dead in small plane crash at St. Pete-Clearwater airport

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

One person is dead following a small plane crash at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. The crash happened just before noon Wednesday. Authorities said the pilot was the only person onboard. He was conducting a training exercise where the plane lands on the runway and takes off again without coming to a full stop. An airport spokesman said the unidentified pilot lost control of the twin engine Cessna as he was about to take off. Local authorities and the National Transportation…

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Democratic strategist Steve Schale reaches across the aisle to support Ray Pilon in 2016

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Republican state Rep. Ray Pilon has found an unlikely ally in his 2016 House re-election campaign in Sarasota-based District 72: leading Democratic strategist Steve Schale. Schale appears on the host committee for an upcoming fundraiser for the third-term Republican lawmaker, according to an invitation obtained by FloridaPolitics.com. Schale cited Pilon’s stance this year in a major battle over Medicaid expansion in the statehouse as well as a personal rapport when explaining his across-the-aisle support. “Both Ray and his son Chad, who was an FJA board member…

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Democrat Edward James files for House run in Sarasota’s HD 72

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

After several weeks of deliberation, Edward James III has made it official — the Sarasota-born Democrat told SaintPetersBlog he filed 2016 campaign paperwork on Tuesday to run in House District 72. James said he was spurred to run by what he called the “cold-heartedness” of the GOP-led House, which abruptly adjourned and left town early last month in opposition to the Senate-led “FHIX” proposal to expand healthcare access to uninsured Floridians by drawing down federal Medicaid dollars left on the table. “You…

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Florida GOP names first group of 2016 Finance Committee members

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Republican Party of Florida Chair Blaise Ingoglia announced a partial list of the 2016 GOP Finance Committee. In a statement on Friday, the Hernando County lawmaker said he expects the group to “jumpstart the party’s fundraising efforts for the 2016 election cycle” with a goal of delivering Florida’s 29 electoral votes to Republicans. “The RPOF is dedicated to building a strong team that will ensure that we are effective and successful in 2016, Ingoglia said. “This includes a strong finance…

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In Sarasota, Donald Trump says the world is abusing the United States

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Donald Trump has flirted with running a serious presidential campaign four times in the past 18 years — in 1988, when he was arguably at the zenith of his popularity as his Art of the Deal memoir topped The New York Times best-seller list, as well as 2000, 2004 and four years ago. So even though he says he’s going to surprise some people when he makes his announcement about 2016 next month, it’s best to remain skeptical. Trump was in Sarasota on Thursday night, speaking…

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