Mitch Perry, Author at Florida Politics - Page 6 of 286

Mitch Perry

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 Report for 1.4.17 — Waitin’ on the man

Over the weekend, the Times’ Rick Danielson and Sue Carlton shared a byline online where they essentially discussed the Bob Buckhorn Experience in Tampa, close to six years after he was elected mayor.

Although the initial thrust of the story was how the Mayor wasn’t above looking a little silly on occasions to sell a particular program or event, it ultimately evolved into an overall review of his time in office to date.

“ … it’s clear that Tampa has been reshaped — and in some spots, resurrected — during Buckhorn’s years in office,” the authors write, and the mayor clearly approves, including a link to the story in his weekly email newsletter he sends out to constituents.

As is commonly known, Buckhorn is still kicking around the idea of running for a statewide office next year. And while his timeline has shifted from immediately after the election to early in 2017, there seems to a shift in plans.

Once considered a shoo-in to run for governor, that’s hardly the case now. Some advisers have suggested that he consider running for the Chief Financial Officer position, because unlike the role of governor, he’d still be able to return home most weekends in Tampa to be with his family (You don’t think it’s a coincidence that Pam Bondi over the years has held a number of Tampa public events on Thursdays or Fridays, do you?). Also, the fact of the matter is there aren’t any heavyweights in Florida politics that have been publicly associated with running for CFO yet, as opposed to the governor’s race (where Richard Corcoran, Adam Putnam, Gwen Graham, Philip Levine are all strongly thinking of entering the contest).

There is also the likelihood that Buckhorn shucks those ambitions, and hunkers down to finish the work that he was re-elected to original do in 2011. Unlike in some other cities, Tampa’s charter limits the mayor to two terms (hence the fact that Rahm Emanuel‘s predecessor as Chicago mayor, Richard M. Daley, ruled the roost there for more than two decades), or there’s a decent chance Buckhorn might prefer to stay on after 2019, if the electorate were to continue to have him.

However, that’s not the case today, meaning the mayor’s options are limited politically if he doesn’t take a run for statewide office next year.

In other news …

Florida Republican members of Congress had various views of their secret vote on Monday night gutting the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.

Tampa Bay area state Sen. Tom Lee has filed legislation killing the recently created state agency responsible for parceling out potentially millions for the construction or improving of sports facilities.

Sarasota Rep. Vern Buchanan began the new Congress yesterday by introducing seven new bills.

As Andrew Warren was being sworn into office as the new Hillsborough County State Attorney on Tuesday, a dozen activists came out to the county courthouse to cheer — and not jeer — his ascension.

Tom Lee wants to eliminate program designed to use taxpayers funds on sports facilities

Less than three years after Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation providing for state revenues to go toward constructing or improving professional sports franchise facilities, state Sen. Tom Lee wants to eliminate the program created to distribute those funds.

“The Sports Development Program was ill-conceived and based on the false premise that these capital improvements are a boon for economic development,” the Brandon Republican said Tuesday. “Professional teams are vying for taxpayer funds to pay for largely superficial facility upgrades, many of which are already in progress or completed. History has shown that team owners will make these investments without hardworking families having to foot the bill.”

Under the Sports Development Program created by the Legislature in 2014, sporting projects and complexes seeking Florida tax revenue must submit proposals to be evaluated by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Then the disbursement of funds must pass approval by the Florida Legislative Budget Commission. The state can award up to $13 million annually for all certified applicants. The maximum annual distribution for a single sports franchise facility is for only $3 million, and distributions can be made for up to 30 years.

In spending $100 million to upgrade Raymond James Stadium over the past year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had hoped to procure $3 million in Sports Development Program funds to help pay for that upgrade. However, their application was rejected because it wasn’t completed on time. The NFL franchise reapplied to the program last month, requesting $1 million a year for at least 10 years.

Scott hailed the legislation when he signed it into law in June of 2014, saying that the program would add more jobs to the state, as well as increase tourism.

“I am proud to support this legislation, and this Sports Development Program will allow franchises to expand in Florida, and create more jobs and opportunities for Florida families,” Scott said at the time.

The legislation was also supported by Clearwater Sen. Jack Latvala, now serving as Senate Appropriations Chairman. But it will undoubtedly be backed by House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who has historically opposed giving sales-tax dollars to professional sports facilities.

The anti “corporate welfare” attitude espoused by Corcoran prevailed last year in Session, when three different sports facilities — EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Sun Life Stadium in Miami-Dade County and Daytona International Speedway — received no funding from the Legislature, despite the Department of Economic Opportunity finding they qualified for the state sales-tax money.

Sarasota Republican Sen. Greg Stuebe has filed legislation (SB 122) that would prohibit a sports franchise from constructing, reconstructing, renovating, or improving a facility on leased public land. Hialeah Republican Rep. Bryan Avila has filed a companion bill in the House.

Dennis Ross says he opposed original GOP vote to gut ethics office

(UPDATE) Following the uproar Tuesday morning over a private vote by House Republicans to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, the GOP conference voted to restore rules that have been in existence for the past eight years.

However, the PR damage has been substantial.

A spokesperson for Polk County Republican Dennis Ross says the GOP Representative opposed Monday night’s vote to gut the OCE, created in 2008 after several members of Congress were convicted of crimes and sent to jail. The office has the power to conduct investigations of House members and employees who have been accused of violating laws, rules or congressional norms.

“Rep. Ross opposes the change to the rules. Conference is meeting now in a special session. I suspect it will be stripped,” emailed Jodi Shockey, Ross’s communications director, late Tuesday morning to FloridaPolitics. As she predicted, the House Republicans reversed their vote shortly afterward.

The Florida Democratic Party said they wanted to know which Republicans did vote to support gutting the OCE.

“Floridians deserve to know which of their Republican members of Congress voted to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics last night,” said spokesman Max Steele. “If they would like to offer any justification whatsoever for why they feel there should be no ethics oversight for members of Congress, we’re all ears. After turning a blind eye to Trump’s historic corruption and conflicts of interest, it’s no wonder Republicans want a piece of the action.”
The Miami Herald reported that Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen did vote in support of killing the OCE on Monday night. Later in the day, Curbelo released a statement saying he supports referring the matter to the House Ethics Committee.
“The House ethics process needs to be reformed in order to better investigate allegations of misconduct,” the CD 26 Republican said Tuesday afternoon. “I support referring this matter to the House Ethics committee where Republicans and Democrats can work together on bipartisan reforms that would ensure Members of Congress are‎ held accountable while given due process to address accusations.”

Tuesday’s reversal came after President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his disapproval, as did Democrats and even the head of the conservative-leaning group Judicial Watch.

The House GOP vote on Monday night effectively killed the OCE, stripping it of its independence. It would have reported to the House Ethics committee, meaning that Congress would ultimately control the investigations of its own members.

The office would no longer take anonymous complaints and would not be authorized to make public statements or hire a “communications director or press spokesperson” to speak with news outlets. And it’s name would change from the Office of Congressional Ethics to the Office of Congressional Complaint Review.

Two members of the Florida Democratic Congressional delegation blasted the move earlier in the day.

“Shameful move by House GOP on first day of new Congress” tweeted Tampa Democratic Representative Kathy Castor.

In a similar vein, the move was blasted by South Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who tweeted: “Day 1 & wants to gut the ethics process. Governing under a cloak of darkness is not how to .”



Vern Buchanan begins new session of Congress by introducing seven new bills

Returning for his sixth term in the House of Representatives, Vern Buchanan is hoping to for significant change in the 115th Congress, announcing that he is introducing seven new bills just hours before he is being sworn back into office.

The Sarasota-based Republican says his top priorities over the next two years include tax reform and reducing burdensome regulations to create jobs, preserving Medicare and Social Security, protecting America from terrorists and balancing the federal budget.

“As the new Congress gets underway we have a historic opportunity to move the country forward with policies that encourage economic growth and restore fiscal sanity to Washington,” Buchanan said.

The seven bills Buchanan will introduce today include:

— The Main Street Fairness Act, a key feature of the tax reform blueprint released by House Republican leaders, ensures that small businesses never pay a higher tax rate than large corporations.

— The Social Media Screening for Terrorists Act, which directs the secretary of Homeland Security to vet all public records, including Facebook and other forms of social media, before admitting foreign travelers and visa applicants into the country.

— The Support Our Start-Ups Act, which makes it easier and less costly for an entrepreneur to start a new business. The bill would quadruple the amount of startup costs small business owners can deduct from their federal income taxes, raising it from $5,000 to $20,000.

— The Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act, which passed the U.S. House last Congress but not the Senate, aids Florida orange growers in their battle against citrus greening, which is decimating the citrus industry. The legislation provides tax incentives for farmers who cannot afford to replace trees affected by citrus greening.

— An amendment to the Constitution of the United States that requires Congress to balance the federal budget. Balancing the budget is an urgent priority as the U.S. is nearing $20 trillion in federal debt.

— The Thin Blue Line Act, which toughens penalties against anyone who murders police and other first responders. The bill would make the murder or attempted murder of a first responder an “aggravating” factor in death penalty determinations.

— The SAFE Act, which permanently bans the killing of horses for human consumption in America. The bill also bans the export of live horses to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses where the animals are killed and then shipped overseas.

Buchanan represents Florida’s 16th Congressional District, which now includes parts of eastern and southern Hillsborough County, in addition to Sarasota and western Manatee counties. He defeated Democrat Jan Schneider last fall.

Mitch Perry Report for 1.3.17 — Remembering Justice Perry’s words

With Republicans in control of all branches of state government for what is approaching nearly two decades, one check on their levers of power has been the Florida Supreme Court, which has at times has served as a safeguard to what some would call the Legislature’s worst excesses, such as redistricting and the death penalty.

Until last month, Gov. Rick Scott hadn’t been able to do a damn thing about the state’s highest court, but that changed when Justice James E.C. Perry was required to step down on Saturday because of a constitutional requirement that judges leave at the end of their term after they turn 70.

Perry’s successor is Alan Lawson, who had been the chief judge of the 5th District Court of Appeal. But while Lawson is Scott’s first opportunity to shape the state’s highest court in his own image, he’s been keeping busy doing so at the lower levels for years. As the News Service of Florida’s Brandon Larrabee reported, all of the state’s five district courts of appeal now have GOP-appointed majorities.

Scott alone has appointed nine of the 15 judges on the 1st District Court of Appeal, which is based in Tallahassee and hears most of the cases challenging the authority of the Governor and the Legislature.

But before we forget about Perry, it’s worth revisiting some of his provocative comments he gave to the Miami Herald’s Mary Ellen Klas in an exit interview published in the Times on Saturday, particularly on the emphasis by conservatives on the whole “originalist” judicial philosophy (he gave a similar interview to the News Service of Florida, of which some of the most provocative comments were excerpted in a column by the Florida Times-Union’s Tia Mitchell).

“They say that the Constitution is stagnant and I don’t think it is. I think it is living — like the Bible is living,” Perry said, referring to the “originalist” argument that first received a broad hearing when Robert Bork was nominated to the Supreme Court, and what is considered the abiding judicial philosophy of Antonin Scalia. “Should I want to be an originalist and go back to the original thinking of the Founders? No. Never. I’m not enamored by places called plantations. That doesn’t give me warm and fuzzies.”

Perry considers the Founders, “flawed people” who were wise but not omniscient.

“They were slave owners,” he said. “These people didn’t have divine intervention. They had some great ideals, but it didn’t include poor whites. It didn’t include women. We weren’t even human beings; we were chattel. It didn’t include the Native Americans, and it didn’t include merchants. It included land owners, or planters they called them.”

He noted that slaves were not allowed to marry, and black men had to submit to their owners at all costs: “They’d come in and want to have favors with your wife — whatever you call her — you would have to stand outside the door. Think about it, just in terms of human sense. How debilitating, how dehumanizing can you get?”

He believes he would “be a fool” to want to turn back the clock to the originalist intent of the founders.

“I’m not trying to divine what they might think about me,” he said. “They didn’t have computers. They didn’t have airplanes. They didn’t have cars. How could they have thought about even putting that in the Constitution?”

Something to consider as Donald Trump decides on his first justice to the U.S. Supreme Court — and when Scott tries to pack the court when he leaves the governor’s office in two years. But that’s a different discussion for a later date.

In other news …

The Florida Republican and Democratic parties will be voting for their state chair in a week and a half. Sarasota state committeeman Christian Ziegler is challenging incumbent Blaise Ingoglia.

Meanwhile, it’s a wide open race with the Democratic Party. Tampa (or should we say Hampton’s) Democrat Alan Clendenin informed state committee executive members over the weekend about his plans to reform the party.

Christian Ziegler contends the race for Florida GOP chair will be a close contest

Christian Ziegler says the idea of challenging Blaise Ingoglia for leadership of the Republican Party of Florida first came to his mind last May. He was presiding over a gathering of the state’s Republican committeemen and committeewomen at the party’s quarterly meeting in Tampa.

That’s when he said a slight case of pandemonium erupted when he began distributing approximately 150 “Make America Great Again” Donald Trump caps to the 134-member caucus. With a number of those officials previously rooted in camps backing Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz (among others), he admits he wasn’t sure what the reaction would be. But he said that the level of excitement that ensued was absent from the rest of the two-day meeting.

“I had so many members after come up to me, and say, ‘Look, the energy that you had, that’s the kind of energy we should have had throughout the quarterly meeting,'” he says, recollecting the moment. He said he heard from Republicans that “we need leaders who are going to accept who our nominee is going to be, and accept who are candidates are and are going to waive the flag as high as you can, and we really need to lead with the energy you generated in that room.”

From there he says that “a ton of members” then began lobbying him directly to challenge Ingoglia, claiming that leadership was lacking at the top of the RPOF (As RPOF Chair, Ingoglia was dedicated to staying neutral until the party had a nominee. After the March 15 primary, Ingoglia met with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach County).

But nobody is questioning the success that Ingoglia has had since defeating Leslie Dougher, Rick Scott’s hand-picked choice for chair of the RPOF in 2015. Florida Republicans had a huge night at the polls last November, with the most significant factor being the election of Trump over Hillary Clinton by 1.2 percentage points.

Because Scott and the Republicans in the Florida Senate have chosen not to raise money directly for the party’s coffers, however, Ziegler says fundraising remains a major problem going into the 2018 midterm election.

“In 2016 we were fortunate to have the help of the Republican National Committee,” he says. “We had Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, we had the local Donald Trump efforts,  and we had our local campaign parties, and early in that dynamic I think that they all came together to help us win.”

Ziegler contends that staff has been cut significantly with the Republican Party of Florida and fundraising is lower than it’s been in a decade, events that he says are realities that REC members have to consider when choosing who they want to lead the party.

“You can’t argue with success,” counters Ingoglia. “We were able to accomplish historic wins and a level of success that quite frankly has been unprecedented.”

Ingoglia says the state party currently has $3.6 million cash on hand, and $1.1 million of that has already been committed to the 2016-2018 election year. That’s money will go towards field staff, infrastructure, overhead and political operations, historically more money than is traditionally been banked immediately after an election. “I came through on my promises and did what I said I was going to do about running the RPOF like a business, and making sure resources were used in the most efficient way possible to win elections,” he says.

In addition to chairing the state party, Ingoglia has served in the House of Representatives since 2014, representing parts of Hernando County. And he runs two different businesses, prompting Ziegler to say that he’s spread too thin.

“Blaise is a friend,” Ziegler says, ” But I think the party deserves a full-time chairman that’s focused on the party full-time, because we are the most important political state in the entire country.”

The 46-year-old Ingoglia says the “proof is in the pudding” when it comes to how successful he’s been as party chair. “Anybody who knows me and follows me on social media knows that I travel all over the state and I devote almost every day and every night to my district, my state and to make this party better,” he says, adding that it would be a “mischaracterization” to say he doesn’t work full-time as RPOF chair.

When it comes to high-end endorsements, Ingoglia has it all over his challenger. Last week, the Spring Hill Republican announced the support of 10 state senators, including Majority Leader Bill Galvano and former House Majority Leader and newly elected Sen. Dana Young.

But Ziegler says that Ingoglia’s list of endorsers is somewhat suspect. He claims some of those backing the incumbent did so before there were any challengers in the race. He also says that some people have publicly said they will endorse Ingoglia but secretly have told Ziegler that they will vote for him.

“When you look at those endorsement lists, I’ve met with the majority of people on that endorsement list over the past month and a half, and I’m making my case privately,” he says.

But two different Republican officials involved in statewide politics who asked not to be quoted have told Florida Politics that they question the numbers that Ziegler is talking about. One Central Florida REC official says he believes the votes for Ziegler “simply aren’t there.”

Ingoglia defeated Dougher 132-90 in January of 2015. This Central Florida official believes the vote won’t be as close next time. Naturally, Ziegler disagrees.

“I think this race is going to be very close and it’s going to come down to a couple of votes either way,” he maintains.

Another North Florida Republican local party official says that Ingoglia has delivered as promised on his campaign pledges from two years ago, and there isn’t any grassroots energy to try to reverse that.

Ziegler is considered to be Scott’s choice for the position, but it’s questionable how influential his word is with Republican state executive committee members, since he has assiduously eschewed helping the party financially for the past two years, instead directing his fundraising efforts into his own Let’s Get to Work political action committee.

Ziegler also announced on Monday that he will be holding a statewide conference call on Thursday evening for state committee executive members to ask him questions about his candidacy.

The election for RPOF chair takes place on January 14 in Orlando.

Alan Clendenin details how he will attempt change in Florida Democratic Party culture

With the Florida Democratic Party chair election slated for the middle of this month, jockeying for the position begins this week.

On New Year’s Eve, Alan Clendenin sent a memo to Florida Democratic Party State Executive Committee members on immediate reforms he would implement if elected to succeed Allison Tant.

Clendenin lost to Tant for the party chair position four years ago, and the Tampa Democrat (who relocated to Bradford County two weeks ago to make him eligible to run this year) is determined to take the top spot this time around.

And with the party having lost 17 of the last 18 elections for statewide cabinet or Governor, there is plenty of work to be done.

Since moving from Tampa to Hampton, Florida, last month, Clendenin says he’s spent considerable time listening to the concerns and frustrations of party leaders across the state and has determined that “it’s clear that the FDP’s leadership culture needs to change.”

The longtime DNC and state committeeman says that while state committeemen and committeewomen in each of the state’s 67 counties are the elected leadership of the Florida Democratic Party, those members have “virtually no influence on decisions related to resource allocation, hiring practices or vendors. Most members feel ‘out-of-the-loop.'”

“This is unacceptable,” he asserts.

To change that direction, Clendenin is vowing to work with the State Executive Committee to have them become more empowered and engaged.

“As Chair, I will provide State Executive Committee members with regular opportunities to participate in the processes of setting policy, strategic planning and oversight,” he writes.

He says that means holding monthly meetings of the State Executive Committee that will be held via conference call and online. That’s in addition to the quarterly in-person meetings currently taking place.

Clendenin says that if he’s in charge, the FDP will provide regular training for State Executive Committee members on communications and fundraising.

He vows to also provide Finance Committee members with copies of budgets in advance of the meetings at which they are submitted for approval.

“I will open meetings of the FDP’s Finance Committee to any State Executive Committee members that wish to attend,” he writes.

Clendenin says he will ensure that Committee members be given access to all FDP budgets, not just the operating budget.

Regarding the party’s relationship with outside vendors, Clendenin says that upon taking office, he will order an immediate review of the FDP’s relationship with outside providers and issue a report to State Executive Committee members. Clendenin vows that he and his staff will create a request-for-proposal process for future vendors that rewards contracts based on electoral results, “not relationships.”

Furthermore, he says that he’ll institute an immediate ban on staff and contractual vendors from receiving commissions or kickbacks from other vendors for work done on behalf of the Florida Democratic Party, and prohibit staff from participating in outside employment or contractual work that “presents a real or perceived conflict of interest.”

Clendenin is one of five candidates vying for the FDP position. Others are Stephen Bittel, the Coconut Grove developer who some media outlets described as a leading candidate; former state Sen. Dwight Bullard (who, like Clendenin, had to move to a different county become eligible for the position), Duval County Committeewoman Lisa King, and Osceola County Democratic chair Leah Carius. 

The election takes place January 14 in Orlando.

Mitch Perry Report for 1.2.17 – Praising Dalvin Cook

Happy New Year!

Today in Tampa, the Outback Bowl takes place, one of four college bowl games on tap on this national holiday.

Traditionally, New Years Day is college football’s big day, but that has changed in recent years, with the College Football Playoff semi-final games on Saturday night taking center stage (also, the NCAA bowed down to the NFL on Sunday to allow them to finish up its regular season).

We’re now a week away from Tampa hosting the third annual National College Football Playoff game, which will feature Alabama vs. Clemson, a rematch of last year’s game.

USF and Florida State won their respective bowl games late last week, and can I personally give it up to FSU star running back Dalvin Cook?

Unlike some other star running backs who opted to eschew playing with their teammates in their final game before they go pro, Cook played in the Orange Bowl on Friday night, saying that he never contemplated sitting it out. And he was a huge part in the ‘Noles thrilling victory over Michigan.

Let’s look at Cook’s stats over his time at FSU: He nearly eclipsed 4,500 career rushing yards while rushing for his 19th touchdown for the second year in a row. Add 900+ career receiving yards. He finished only ninth in balloting for the Heisman Trophy, however.

The debate about whether stars with serious NFL aspirations should sit out their bowl game was ignited last month when first LSU’s Leonard Fournette, and then Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey announced that they would not participate in their team’s bowl games, ostensibly so they could prevent being injured and preserve their potential high NFL draft status

As far as I could tell though, there really wasn’t much “debate.” Most people who weighed in seemed to agree that it made sense that with future millions at stake, it’d be foolhardy for them to participate.

Dramatically, moments before Friday night’s Orange Bowl, it was announced that Michigan start Jabril Peppers wouldn’t play in the game, with skeptics immediately said he was doing a Fournette/McCaffrey to preserve his potential NFL draft status. However, Peppers said that he injured his hamstring on Thursday, and couldn’t not play. He emphatically denied that he sat the game out intentionally.

Look, the way that these stars don’t get to share in the financial profits of their universities certainly makes it understandable that they wouldn’t want to hurt themselves and their potential earnings in the game.

Michigan start tight end Jake Butt injured his knee early in Friday’s game in what was later diagnosed as a MCL or ACL injury. As a possible first round pick himself, Butt could be used as an example of why McCaffrey and Fournette did what they did.

But Butt said that wasn’t the case with him at all.

“Never once crossed my mind to sit this game out and I would never change that mindset,” Butt tweeted after the game. “I play this game bc I love it, my teammates, coaches.”

With all due respect to the players who sat out, I think Butt and Cook endeared themselves to a lot of folks by playing in the Orange Bowl on Friday night. And something tells me that if Stanford and LSU had been playing in one fo the Top 6 New Years Bowl games, they’d be playing too.

The best part of all of this is that on Saturday, Cook announced via his Instagram account that he would go pro next year. Here’s to seeing him moving up in the draft compared to his more cautious future NFL mates.

In other news…

Well, we’ve been off for 12 days, so the only story we’ve written of late was regarding Charlie Crist’s appearance on CNN’s State of the Union.

Charlie Crist says “God would be pleased” if Donald Trump shows more heart towards Dreamers

Charlie Crist is one congressional Democrat who appears to be greeting the incoming Donald Trump administration with an open mind.

“Whatever it is that we come to help American workers get back to work and help the middle class and our country, we need to do it together and do it in a spirit of cooperation,” the St. Petersburg Democrat told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview broadcast on “State of the Union” on Sunday.

That spirit of cooperation includes embracing a Trump proposal to place a 35 percent tax of tariff on U.S. businesses wanting to take American jobs overseas.

“It’s all about jobs and making sure that we have American jobs protected, we protect the American worker, give them the opportunity to be able to provide for their families, get a college education,” Crist said.

Last month, Trump tweeted that he would impose such a tax on products sold inside the United States by any business that fired American workers and built a new factory or plant in another country.

Crist participated in a discussion with three other members of Congress speaking with Tapper about some of the proposals that Trump has made both during the campaign and in the transition period.

Trump officially takes office in 19 days.

Trump’s hardline stance on immigration helped galvanize his support with the GOP base, but he recently indicated a reappraisal of how to contend with so-called Dreamers, the children of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

In the interview naming him “Man of the Year” last month, Trump told Time Magazine that, “We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” when it comes to dreamers, adding that “they got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

When asked by Tapper if that appeared to be a backing away from his earlier stance, Crist said yes, and he said he’s glad that’s the case.

“Being a nation of immigrants, I think it’s important we embrace that kind of hope,” Crist said. “I would say to the president-elect, I appreciate you showing your heart. And if it’s a little softer, what’s wrong with that? God would be pleased.”

The former Florida governor then made it personal by referring to his grandfather as an original dreamer.

“My grandfather Adam Christodoulos immigrated in 1914 when he was 12 and when he got here he very soon joined the army, and he fought World War I, he was honorably discharged, and as a result of that, he was able to gain his citizenship, that’s sort of a latter-day dreamer, if you will,” he said.

Crist said that “as a nation of immigrants” it was important for the country to continue to embrace that type of opportunity.

Crist defeated Republican incumbent David Jolly in November. He will be sworn into the 115th Congress on Tuesday.

Mitch Perry’s Top 10 films, books, and music events of 2016

Self indulgence warning.

As I’ve been doing since my first year with Creative Loafing (2009), I’ve assembled a top ten list of my favorite movies, music and books of the year.

When it comes to movies, I remain a stalwart in seeing moving pictures on the big screen. Living within a couple of movie houses helps considerably, but it also hurts — I’ve seen far too many terrible comedies on some weekends because I just wanted to get out of the house – regretting it deeply afterward.

I mean, seeing Robert DeNiro in “Bad Grandpa” – specifically in one scene with his pants around his ankles – was legitimately disturbing, and was a sight that nobody deserves to see.

As someone who goes to the cinema probably an of fifty times a year, I can also honestly say that until the fall season came around, this really was a bad year for Hollywood’s line of products. And there seemed to be less interesting foreign movies/documentaries making their way into the market. I suppose if you have a Netflix membership you can get around that, but I’m limiting this list to movies seen in a cinema, which is why Ezra Edelman‘s,” OJ Simpson Made in America,” won’t be getting any love from this corner.

When reading the top ten movie list, as always, it comes with a caveat that some of the most acclaimed films of the year haven’t been released in the Tampa Bay area market as of December 20, and thus the list can and probably will change in another month or so.

Best Movie

1. Loving directed by Jeff Nichols

2. Manchester By the Sea by Kenneth Lonergan

3. Hacksaw Ridge by Mel Gibson

4. Moonlight by Barry Jenkins

5. Christine by Antonio Campos

6. A Bigger Splash by Luca Guadagnino

7. Nocturnal Animals by Tom Ford

8. Weiner by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg

9. The Hologram for a King by Tom Tykwer

10. The Eyewitness by James Solomon

When it comes to music and books, I probably saw less live music than I ever have in my life, and that is not a good thing. Part of that has to do with the fact my work prevented me from going to some weekday shows I might want have checked out, but there were also fewer shows I was into seeing. It didn’t help that my annual trip to see a festival – this past year, the Governors Ball in New York — was marred by bad weather that resulted in the final day of the event being canceled.

However, I think I’ve probably never read more fiction that in the past year, and that’s something that will continue.

Best Music

1. David Bowie – Blackstar

2. M83 – Go

3. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

4. Beck in concert/Governors Ball, NYC June 4

5. DIIV – Is the Is Are

6. Savages – Adore Life

7.  Wild Nothing – Life of Pause

8.  Hope Sandoval and Kurt Vile – “Let Me Get There” single

9. Car Seat Headress — Teens of Denial

10. Peter Hook doing New Order’s Substance Nov 19, Ritz Theatre Ybor City

Best books


1. The Nix by Nathan Hill

2. Here I am by Jonathan Safron Foer

3. Innocents and Others by Dana Spiotta

4. Sweet bitter by Stephanie Danler

5. Bright, Precious Days by Jay McInerney


6. American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin

7.  Strangers In Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild

8. The Accidental Life by Terry McDonnell

9. Disrupted by Dan Lyons

10. The Last Innocents by Michael Leahy

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