Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Politics

Loraine Kelly, former wife of former congressman convicted in Abscam, dies

Loraine Kelly, former wife of Richard Kelly, a former U.S. representative and Pinellas-Pasco circuit judge, died July 11, 2017, in St. Simons Island, Ga. She was 89 and suffered from malignant brain tumors.

Mrs. Kelly was widely known in the Tampa Bay area and wrote Through Trials to Glory, in 2015, a mostly flattering memoir of her marriage to Kelly. The book focused on Kelly's troubles: an impeachment of him as judge by the Florida House in 1963, an investigation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission in 1968 and his bribery conviction in 1980 as part of the FBI's Abscam sting while he was a congressman from Pasco County.

She also wrote, for the first time, details of their headline-making divorce in 1978 when Kelly left her and married a congressional aide. She noted advice from other congressional wives who said "No matter if the congressman is short, plump, bald and with a wart on his nose, there will be a miniskirt chasing him.''

She said other congressional wives were critical when she remained silent and helped him win re-election.

Richard Kelly died at 81 in a Montana nursing home in 2005 a few years after marrying his fifth wife. He spent his final years trying to convince people that he had been entrapped by federal prosecutors while conducting his own investigation of several suspicious characters who turned up around his congressional office.

A devout Christian, Mrs. Kelly after the divorce used her talents as an interior designer to work for Ethel Kennedy, widow of Sen. Robert Kennedy at Hickory Hill in McLean, Va. Born in Brunswick, Ga., she moved back to the Georgia coast in 2004 after 30 years in the Washington area.

Daughter Sherri Jones and four grandchildren lived nearby on St. Simons Island. Mrs. Kelly spent her summers in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, near son John Kelly and his three children.

She was a perpetual student, attending college classes everywhere she lived. She loved traveling, reading, painting, gardening, cooking and redecorating her houses in Georgia and Idaho.

Comments
Romano: Florida’s dangerous prisons costing us more than money

Romano: Florida’s dangerous prisons costing us more than money

Two things you need to know about Florida’s prison budget:1. It was $2.3 billion this year.2. It was still not enough.Kind of staggering when you think of it that way, huh?We keep spending more and more on housing prisoners, and it’s like throwing mo...
Published: 09/18/18
Kavanaugh to testify after denying sexual assault allegations

Kavanaugh to testify after denying sexual assault allegations

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said Monday he was willing to speak to a Senate panel to "refute" an allegation he sexually assaulted a woman while in high school, after his accuser said via her attorney that she was ready to testi...
Published: 09/17/18
California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault

California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault

Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in subu...
Published: 09/16/18
Cuban refugee numbers plummet in Tampa area with cuts at Havana embassy

Cuban refugee numbers plummet in Tampa area with cuts at Havana embassy

It’s been nearly a year since the U.S. embassy in Havana suspended processing requests from people hoping to leave the island nation as refugees. The reason: Staffing was reduced to a skeleton crew in the wake of mysterious health attacks on em...
Published: 09/17/18
Romano: Rick Scott’s do-it-yourself guide to rigging a Supreme Court

Romano: Rick Scott’s do-it-yourself guide to rigging a Supreme Court

His time in Tallahassee is coming to an end. Eight years of triumph or shambles, depending on your point of view. And yet, Rick Scott’s legacy may not be written until his final minute as governor.For several years, Scott has been plotting a judicial...
Published: 09/15/18
Fraying Ties With Trump Put Mattis’ Fate in Doubt

Fraying Ties With Trump Put Mattis’ Fate in Doubt

WASHINGTON D.C.? — Back when their relationship was fresh and new, and President Donald Trump still called his defense secretary "Mad Dog" a nickname Jim Mattis detests ? the wiry retired Marine general often took a dinner break to eat burgers with h...
Published: 09/15/18
Carlton: The mayor, the restaurateur and the giant statue that had to go: A Tampa tale

Carlton: The mayor, the restaurateur and the giant statue that had to go: A Tampa tale

You would have thought the controversy over whether chickens should be left alone to keep boldly roaming the streets of historic Ybor City — and the impressive pro-chicken lobby that showed up to argue on their behalf — would be the quintessential on...
Published: 09/15/18

5 takeaways from Paul Manafort’s plea agreement

Five takeawaysWASHINGTON — Paul Manafort’s agreement to plead guilty and cooperate with the special counsel marks a milestone in the investigation led by Robert Mueller. Here are several key elements:Mueller knows more than we doThe public doesn’t kn...
Published: 09/14/18
Clearwater voter forums will discuss referendum on strong mayor charter change

Clearwater voter forums will discuss referendum on strong mayor charter change

CLEARWATER — Residents can hear varying perspectives on the Nov. 6 referendum on whether to change Clearwater’s form of government into a strong mayor system at two upcoming forums.The Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce will host a forum Monday ...
Published: 09/13/18
Woman who says she exchanged sex for rent with Hernando commissioner describes political alliances

Woman who says she exchanged sex for rent with Hernando commissioner describes political alliances

BROOKSVILLE — Valerie Surette, the woman at the heart of prostitution-related charges against former Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, told Sheriff’s Office detectives in March that he frequently talked to her about county business. In a r...
Published: 09/12/18