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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kathleen Ford talks to shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem



KathleenfordST. PETERSBURG -- What do you get when you mix Bubba the Love Sponge Clem and mayoral candidate Kathleen Ford? Not as many fireworks at you might think.

Clem interviewed Ford on his show today at 10 a.m. He quizzed her about her temperament, BayWalk and the city's $286 million reserve funds. His toughest questions centered around the Tampa Bay Rays.

Bubba the love sponge

Clem suggested the new mayor will need to think out of the box when it comes to building a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays, and work on nurturing that relationship so the city doesn't lose the team.

"It's not that I don't truly want them here," Ford said. "What I don't want is, I don't want the city's of St. Pete extorted, half a billion for a new stadium for someone who is going to pump and dump onto the city of St. Petersburg."

Ford went on to say that she doesn't think anything is wrong with the Trop. "It's too hot, too humid and certainly too rainy here in Florida for open air stadiums."

Other highlights:
Clem: "Why would people say that you're b-----y at times?"
Ford:"Well I think folks are sometimes intimidated by an assertive woman. And I'm not bashful about asserting things that I think are important, and I'm not bashful about asking questions that I think are important. I think that's why folks like me. I don't put up with the B.S. I ask those questions they would ask if they were sitting there. And they know it's their tax dollars being spent and they want a real answer, too."
Clem: Doesn't the city need is $286 million in reserve funds in case a disaster strikes, like a Hurricane Katrina?
Ford:"If we have a natural disaster the city is going to have a ton of problems that that fund balance isn't going to address. Right now though we've got a lot of businesses that are struggling, a lot of businesses that are closing their doors, in part because of the huge taxes and fees they're paying to the city of St. Petersburg. We are in the middle of a recession, like it or not, and we need to be looking at how much we're collecting."

Bill Fosterwill appear on Bubba's show on Thursday, starting at 10 a.m. The show airs locally from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays on WHPT-FM (102.5 the Bone), but the candidate appearances were scheduled later to fall outside the show's normal airtime and air only on WHPT.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:12pm]


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