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Adam Hattersley responds to Ross Spano’s climate-denying interview

“Climate change is real.”

Democrat Adam Hattersley is taking advantage of headlines this week painting his opponent as a climate change denier. 

Hattersley responded Wednesday to comments GOP Congressman Ross Spano made on WFLA this weekend saying he does not believe climate change is caused by human activity. 

“As a veteran, I’m listening to the experts at the Pentagon who are warning that human-caused climate change is the No. 1 long-term threat to our national security,” Hattersley said in a statement.

“As an engineer, I’m listening to the consensus among the scientists and experts that climate change is real and we need to use data and facts to address it.”

Speaking on “Politics on Your Side” with Evan Donovan Sunday, Spano refuted almost unanimous scientific consensus that climate change is real, that it’s caused by humans and presents a threat.

Asked how he could ignore 98 percent of scientists, Spano said there wasn’t enough information and further implied the issue should be further debated. 

Hattersley, currently a House member, is running against the incumbent Spano for the east Hillsborough Congressional District 15 seat.

“As a Floridian, I’m committed to protecting our Sunshine State way of life and I will stand up to career politicians like Ross Spano who won’t even admit that climate change is real,” Hattersley said.

Spano’s reelection campaign will be high-profile. It’s a top target for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that has been leaping at any opportunity to blast Spano.

The group has been following closely Spano’s continued campaign finance troubles that started last year when he accepted $180,000 in personal loans from a friend and then used most of that money to loan his campaign, which constituted an illegal campaign contribution because it violated contribution maximums. 

Since then more complaints have been filed against Spano arguing he further violated the law by failing to return campaign contributions despite knowing they were illegal. Spano’s campaign has claimed the loans were repaid, but reports don’t yet reflect that repayment. 

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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