Mitch Perry Report 11.21-23 - Tribune shows there's still life in Jill Kelley stories

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Is Tampa's additional 15 minutes in the national spotlight over?

The Cigar City was hoping to be "dance like we've never danced before" in Mayor Bob Buckhorn's inimitable phrase during the RNC this summer, but in fact the attention Tampa garnered from the convention has been dwarfed by the white-hot spotlight in the national and international press for a full week after it was revealed that the David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell romance was brought to the attention of the FBI by a "Tampa Socialite" named Jill Kelley.

But the shelf life of Kelley's story is starting to seriously sag. The Tampa Tribune gives us no fewer than three stories about Kelley today, while the Tampa Bay Times, who went all in all of last week, has just a single post, this one from Alex Leary slumming at the lame D.C. news conference held yesterday with Kelley's twin sister Natalie Khawam with the great Gloria Allred.

Maybe there' still more mileage to squeeze out of the Tampa aspect of this saga. But if not, we'll always have the SNL parody to cherish...

Yesterday the Hillsborough County Commission had their "investiture" ceremony, in which Ken Hagan was named - once again - to chair the board over the next year.

A new dawn in Pinellas County? There's no doubt that having moderate Democrats Charlie Justice and Janet Long join the rest of the County Commission yesterday was a powerful rebuke to the Tea Partiers brigade that were unleashed at BOCC meetings over the past year, especially when it came to the volatile issue of fluoride in the county's drinking water supply. Apparently, however, someone forgot to send Norm Roche the memo.

And as Will Weatherford and Don Gaetz greeted the new members of the state Legislature yesterday in Tallahassee, talk of electoral reform was in the air. But will they follow through? Concerns abound, particularly since it appears the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to take down Section 5, the pre-clearance provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which would affect voting changes in Hillsborough County, and many other parts of the American South.

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