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Steve Newborn / WUSF

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will host three town hall meetings to answer questions and discuss the Republican National Convention’s impacts on residents and area businesses.

August 14, 2012–     The Florida Aquarium – Taylor Great Room

701 Channelside Drive  

Tampa, FL 33602

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

August 15, 2012–     Stetson University - Smith Court Room 

1700 North Tampa Street  

Tampa, FL 33602

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

August 16, 2012–     Kate Jackson Community Center

Wikipedia

The Republican National Convention is still a month away, but already big names are rolling into Tampa to talk up the party's presumptive nominee.

On Thursday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will speak at Mitt Romney's Florida headquarters at 302 Knights Run Ave. on Harbour Island. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. The event starts at 3:30 p.m. For details, call (813) 638-8787.

This is a news release from the Department of Homeland Security:

Law Enforcement and Public Safety Agencies Announce Security Restrictions and Transportation Plan for the 2012 Republican National Convention

Tampa Parking Restrictions and Road Closures

Take one guy with an abiding interest in politics, another guy with website-building skills and throw in the shared desire to get people more engaged in the political process, and you have the ingredients for an interactive site called ISideWith.com.

The site's purpose is to show you which presidential candidate's views most align with yours by running you through a short quiz that asks your stance on various policy issues, then determines which candidate most agrees with you.

How Battleground States See The Economy

Jul 20, 2012

For all the chatter that the winner of the 2012 presidential election will be determined by the economy, you wouldn't know it by looking at the most closely contested states.

The recovery is still tepid in most parts of the country, and there's a sense of trepidation that signs of improvement might not last. Among the swing states, some are doing comparatively well while others are struggling — but the political picture looks roughly the same in all.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

The four candidates for Pinellas County Sheriff squared off against each other in a debate last night. And the two Republican front-runners - the current sheriff and one of his predecessors - clearly don't care for each other.

Current Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and former Sheriff Everett Rice verbally jabbed at each other during much of the debate at a Clearwater church. Rice hammered away at an internal affairs investigations of the narcotics division, which resulted in the firing of several detectives.

Several presidential battleground states are moving quickly to reach agreements with federal officials to access a U.S. immigration database to purge noncitizens from voter rolls.

The states, including some with large Latino populations, are following Florida, which last week reached its own pact with the Department of Homeland Security to use a database that contains information about immigrants who are in the U.S. legally. The states' efforts had initially been blocked by DHS until the agency relented.

New City Manager Chosen for Sarasota

Jul 16, 2012

Sarasota City Commissioners voted unanimously this afternoon to select Thomas Barwin to be the next City Manager.   The consulting firm hired to facilitate the candidate search process will now negotiate a contract between Barwin and the City of Sarasota.  The contract is expected to be presented to the City Commission during a Special City Commission meeting Monday, July 30. 

Barwin was the Village Manager for the Village of Oak Park, IL from 2006 - 2012.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

There's 40 days to go until the Tampa Bay Times Forum hosts one of the biggest political events in the world. Today, the Republican National Committee took over the keys to the arena, and final preparations are being made for the convention - and who will get to go to the podium.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

He's considered a legend in Tampa political circles. Saturday, former Congressman Sam Gibbons regaled an audience with tales of how things used to be in Washington - and how different politics in the nation's capital is today.

Molly Redden is an assistant editor at The New Republic.

There are plenty of establishment-sanctioned Super PACs at work in this year's Senate and Congressional races — the Democratic Majority PAC, the Republican Club for Growth Action and American Crossroads. But they're not alone in spending gobs of cash on these elections.

Leading up to the November presidential election, there has been plenty of talk in Florida about voting.

Not just who to vote for, but who can actually vote in the state.

We're talking about The Scott administration's effort to purge non-citizens from the voter rolls.

That has led to plenty of controversies, several lawsuits and some claims that have drawn the attention of PolitiFact Florida.

The polling company Rasmussen Reports is saying Republican Congressman Connie Mack draws his highest level of support yet against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in Florida’s 2012 U.S. Senate race.

Ben Adler is a contributing writer for The Nation.

On Friday Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS announced a major advertising blitz. Over the next month, beginning Tuesday, it will spend $25 million on air time in the key swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.

HERALD-TRIBUNE ARCHIVE / 2011 / CARRIE WELLS

Former North Port police chief Terry Lewis has announced he's stepping down as interim city manager of Sarasota on Aug. 3.

Lewis told the Sarasota Herald Tribune he's ready to retire.

"It appears I am headed to retirement," said Lewis, whom commissioners asked last week to stay as they threw out all the finalists to replace him.

David July

Would you vote for someone before you even got to know them? 

One Florida lawmaker is asking to be selected as the House Speaker... six years in advance. 

As soon as Florida Representatives make their way into the House, the clock starts ticking. 

Candidates can only serve four two year terms, eight years all together.  That means if they have any ambitions for Speaker of the House, they have to get the ball rolling early to gain enough support. 

Bill Young's "Macaca" Moment?

Jul 10, 2012

In 2006, Virginia Senator George Allen used an obscure racial slur -- Macaca -- when referring to somebody at a campaign rally.

That man was following Allen around with a video camera and captured the moment on tape. The tape hit the internet and some say that moment cost Allen the election.

On the Fourth of July, Congressman Bill Young was at a campaign event and told someone to "get a job" when that person asked Young about a Jesse Jackson-backed proposal to raise the minimum wage. 

Rep. Bill Young Tells Man to Get a Job

Jul 9, 2012

Representative Bill Young (R-Indian Shores) tells a young man who is asking him a question to "get a job."

graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Feel like you’re barraged with political ads every time you turn on the TV? That’s because you are.

According to this map in the Washington Post, Tampa is No. 1 in the amount of money the presidential candidates and groups supporting them have spent on television campaign ads this year.

So far, they've spent more than $13 million in the Tampa Bay media market. The only other markets that come close are Charlotte, N.C., and Orlando.

Courtesy of Reuters

Ordinarily, you'd have to go way out to the west and north to South Dakota to see the iconic monument, Mount Rushmore. 

But this weekend, you just have to travel south on Interstate 95 to West Palm Beach to see the shining, orange faces of the U.S. Presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

Why orange?  Because the homage you will witness in West Palm Beach is made out of cheese.

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