Mitch Perry Report 12.13.11

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Gary Johnson ought to come visit the Tampa Bay area more often.

The somewhat forgotten GOP presidential contender was in Clearwater on Monday, where he spoke to various media organizations about his quixotic bid to challenge Barack Obama next year. More realistic, the former New Mexico governor admits, is to run as a Libertarian instead of trying to get on the Republican ticket.

Democrats across the country are worried about next year's election, not just about their own popularity, but about the fact that recently enacted state laws could hurt getting their base to the polls in 2012. One of those Democrats who will be on the ballot, Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson announced yesterday that there will be a public hearing at the end of January in Tampa on the Florida elections bill passed earlier this year.

Hillsborough County Commissioners are being lobbied hard on the issue of whether to open up their $60 million-a-year garbage hauling contracts. They'll discuss the issue tomorrow.

And officials with HUD and the Veterans Affairs Administration held a conference call to give an update on the Obama administration's goal of ending homelessness of veterans in this country by 2015.

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