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Clinton's critic unlikely to shake her campaign

By ADAM C. SMITH
Published March 25, 2007


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A major Tampa Bay Democrat dislikes Hillary Clinton. But this high-profile politician's snub probably won't bother the Democratic presidential front-runner much. It's Joe Redner, who says he's so far most impressed with Barack Obama.

"I don't like Hillary Clinton," the strip club king and Tampa City Council candidate said after taping a Political Connections interview to air this weekend on Bay News 9. "I don't think she has any settled principles. She can't even admit that what she did (authorizing force in Iraq) was wrong."

Redner is facing off against Gwen Miller for the City Council. Their Political Connections interviews air Sunday at 11 a.m. on Bay News 9. Later the interview can be seen on Channel 342 (Bay News 9 on demand).

Meanwhile, look for Bill and Hillary Clinton to swing through Florida Saturday, raising money in Orlando, West Palm Beach and Miami. Republican John McCain also will be raising money throughout the state early this week, and on Tuesday will address state House Republicans in Tallahassee.

Another GOP debate

No word yet on candidate commitments, but the Florida GOP and Fox News may not be the only ones organizing a GOP presidential debate in the Sunshine State.

The Christian broadcasting company, Salem Radio Network, and Townhall.com announced they intend to host Florida's first nationally broadcast presidential debate for Republican candidates June 14.

"This is a unique opportunity for Republican candidates to reach the millions of values-oriented, social conservative voters across the country through our radio and Internet platforms. These voters represent the bedrock of the red state electorate," said Edward G. Atsinger III, Salem's president and chief executive.

No more free papers

State lawmakers were told Tuesday they can no longer accept free copies of the St. Petersburg Times or Tampa Tribune. Senate counsel Steve Kahn sent an e-mail stating the newspapers are in the "prohibited class" under the gift ban law because they have "indirect but substantial lobbying connections to the Legislature."

Kahn noted the Times is on the board of the Florida Press Association and the association ion hires a lobbyist, so that puts the newspaper in the prohibited class. Marty Petty, publisher and executive vice president, is vice chairwoman of the FPA.

Lawyers wrangled last year with similar questions but concluded lawmakers were okay to take papers.

U.S. Rep. Jones? Nah

Scratch another potentially strong contender to succeed U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young if he retires after this term: state Sen. Dennis Jones. "I'd have loved to have done that 10 years ago," the Seminole Republican said. But it takes too long to build seniority in Congress, Jones said, and "at this point in time I'd rather be one of 40 senators than one of 435" U.S. House members.

Huizenga with Mitt

South Florida tycoon H. Wayne Huizenga is backing Mitt Romney. The Miami Dolphins owner joins nearly 80 other Floridians on Romney's statewide finance committee.

Dr. Who?

A Senate Banking and Insurance committee devolved into Bart Simpsonesque potty humor last week as the committee discussed a bill that would force health care insurers to cover screening for prostate cancer for men older than 40.

Somebody filled a card to speak before the committee with a fake name, and chairman Sen. Bill Posey called upon a "Dr. Ben Dover" to testify.

Nobody came forward, but everyone laughed.

Nancy's successor

Rep. Dennis Baxley, the staunch social conservative Republican from Ocala, is officially in the race to replace Nancy Argenziano in the Senate: "It appears that Nancy Argenziano may be headed to serve on the state Public Service Commission, where she will be a great advocate for consumers," he said.

An intense GOP primary is brewing. Richard Corcoran, former chief of staff to House Speaker Marco Rubio, also has opened an account.

And Rep. Charlie Dean, a former Citrus County sheriff, plans to run.

Naval service

George P. Bush - son of Jeb, nephew of W, and perhaps Chapter 3 or 4 of the Bush dynasty - has joined the Naval Reserve. Jeb Bush's eldest son said he was inspired to serve after attending a ceremony commissioning an aircraft carrier in the name of his granddad, former President George Bush.

"Honestly, I'm kind of a little disappointed that the word got out," the 30-year-old Bush told the Politico. "I was hoping to keep this as confidential as possible. I'm not doing it for political purposes or anything along those lines."

Adam C. Smith, Jennifer Liberto and Steve Bousquet contributed to this week's Buzz. For much more breaking Florida political news check out blogs.tampabay.com/buzz.

[Last modified March 25, 2007, 00:57:11]


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