Sunday, January 21, 2018
Politics

St. Pete mayoral candidate Ford to miss debates; Sembler family hosts Foster event

Ford says no to three events

St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Kathleen Ford will not attend a forum Monday at Westminster Palms on Beach Drive NE. Mayor Bill Foster and candidate Rick Kriseman will attend.

Ford, a lawyer, said she has a deposition scheduled in Brooksville an hour before the forum.

Kriseman and Foster will attend the St. Petersburg LGBT Mayoral Debate at Metro Wellness at 7 p.m. Tuesday at 3251 Third Ave. N.

Ford says she had already committed to an event that night at the Crossroads Neighborhood Association and asked Crossroads to combine the events. The group declined, she said, adding: "I'm slammed. I didn't plan it this way."

Ford is also skipping the debate Wednesday at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, saying she has a court case that could take two weeks. At the request of the Tampa Bay Times, Ford provided a court document showing she needed to be available for two weeks outside Pinellas County.

She said she will participate in a televised debate sponsored by Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9 on Aug. 6 at the Palladium Theater.

Heavyweights for Foster

In the race for campaign dollars, Foster is getting help from some residents with deep pockets. St. Petersburg developer and former ambassador Mel Sembler, right, and his relatives are hosting an event for Foster on July 16 at the Sembler Center on Central Avenue. Other hosts include well-known business owners and philanthropists.

An email to supporters from Sembler and his family says: "Foster has a vision for the future of St. Petersburg. He plans to continue supporting business expansion and job growth to enlarge the city's commercial tax base."

Another notable signer is former Sembler chief executive officer Craig Sher. He and Foster have disagreed on strategy for a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays. Sher would like the city to let the team look at sites in Hillsborough, but Foster insists on Pinellas-only options.

Let's count the money

Second-quarter campaign reports are due Wednesday for St. Petersburg mayoral and City Council candidates.

Contact Mark Puente at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow on Twitter @markpuente.

Comments
Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

WASHINGTON ó Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., who has taken a leading role in fighting sexual harassment in Congress, used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him last year of making un...
Updated: 10 hours ago
The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The early days of the federal government shutdown wonít slow the U.S. economy much. No workers are missing paychecks yet, and because it is a weekend, few businesses expect to feel the effects of lost customers or suppliers.That could change, quickly...
Published: 01/20/18
Romano: If UCF is national champion, then Iím a Hollywood stud

Romano: If UCF is national champion, then Iím a Hollywood stud

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said people were entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.Clearly, Moynihan never dealt with Florida legislators.Because around Tallahassee, facts are fungible. They arenít just up for debate, they...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

WASHINGTON ó The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trumpís inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunctio...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

NEWARK, N.J. ó U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez might spend 2018 asking voters to re-elect him and jurors to acquit him. Prosecutors from the Department of Justice told a federal judge in New Jersey on Friday that they will seek a retrial of the Democratic sen...
Published: 01/19/18
Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

WASHINGTON ó A bitterly-divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being dep...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

CLEARWATER ó Voters may not be too familiar with the name John Funk.So since launching his campaign for City Council Seat 5 against well-known incumbent Hoyt Hamilton, Funk said he has knocked on 2,000 doors to introduce himself. Before the March 13 ...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

CLEARWATER ó By asking voters to elect him into office a fifth time, Hoyt Hamilton knows heís now considered part of the old-guard. Born and raised in Clearwater, his family roots stretch back here more than 100 years. Hamilton, 59, spent nearly his ...
Published: 01/19/18

Q&A: Government shutdown looms. Hereís what you need to know

Lawmakers have until midnight tonight to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown.Hereís what that means. Why would the government shut down?Every year, Congress has to approve laws, known as appropriations, that provide money for federal agen...
Published: 01/18/18
Redington Shores mayor, commission positions filled with no opponents

Redington Shores mayor, commission positions filled with no opponents

REDINGTON SHORES ó There will be no election this year, but the changeout of commission members that began last year will continue. When the new commission is sworn in this March, four of five members, including the mayor, will have changed within th...
Published: 01/18/18