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Mitch Perry Report for 8.17.15 – Winston’s shaky debut

Good morning, y’all.

Lawmakers in Tallahassee return to work today to compete their task laid before them by the Florida Supreme Court – to redistrict eight of the state’s 27 congressional districts. They did a lot of complaining last week about how they were wronged by the Supreme Court – but with just five days before the special session is scheduled to conclude, they better get down to business and, dare we say, do their jobs?

Last week we wrote about that music festival taking place in Madeira Beach this past weekend. We had out doubts about holding such an outdoor music event in mid-August in Florida and, what do you know – it stormed for 2.5 hours Saturday night, meaning that from 7:30 -10:00 p.m., there was no music whatsoever happening. Howard Jones was scratched, but Culture Club got their set in, apparently. Who could have predicted such unpleasant weather?

Jameis Winston made his debut as a pro on Saturday night in Minnesota. The results were uneven, to say the least, but what did you expect? By the way, the Buccaneers are a really, really bad team. Winston’s going to have struggles this season, because he’s on a worst team than the Florida State Seminoles that was the number one team in college football for most of 2014.

While Winston’s performance was spotty, it didn’t start out as as rocky as the man drafted right behind him in the draft, the Tennessee Titan’s Marcus Mariota.

Mariota suffered through a sack and an interception on his first series against the Falcons, and followed that up with a fumble on his second series that was returned for a touchdown. But he turned that around dramatically in his third series, completing 5-of-5 passes and guiding the Titans on an 80-yard touchdown drive.

Like Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf in 1998 (or Rick Mirer and Drew Bledsoe in 1993), Winston and Mariota are going to be compared all season long, being that they were the top two picks in the 2015 draft. Of course, that’s all people will be talking about leading up to the official NFL home opener for Tampa Bay, September 13, when Tennessee plays the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium

In other news..

In the wake of those controversial Planned Parenthood videos that have surfaced in the past month, Rick Scott had his Agency for Health Care Administration investigate the organization’s 16 facilities throughout the state. Their report claimed that some of those offices were conducting second-trimester abortions. Today, Planned Parenthood of Florida responds with news conferences in Sarasota and Tallahassee.

The Florida League of Cities is not backing away from their formal opposition to the Floridians for Solar Choice proposed constitutional amendment. One mayor in the state says the group does’t know what they’re doing.

Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman is planning a comeback – check out our interview here.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was 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 and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at

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