Mitch Perry Report 5.7.13: The GOP counter offensive against immigration reform begins

Plus transit news, Greenpeace and more …

Republican critics of the 844-page immigration bill authored by Marco Rubio and other members of the Gang of Eight are poised to begin attaching amendments to the legislation when it comes before the Senate Judiciary Committee later this week. One of those critics, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, said yesterday "the tide is going to turn," regarding the effort to get comprehensive immigration reform passed this year.

The first volley to blow up the bill came yesterday via the Heritage Foundation, who released a report that said that total costs of creating a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented people would be over $6 trillion! Who knows if that's accurate or not, but that sounds pretty scary, doesn't it?

Yet not every conservative is on board with wrecking this ambitious attempt, which the RNC and other Republicans have insisted is crucial in not losing Hispanic voters for the next generation.
NY Times house conservative David Brooks writes takes on some of that conservative criticism, writing "One crucial question is whether America will be better off in that future with today’s dysfunctional immigration laws or something else?"

In other news, after the first attempt to merge Hillsborough and Pinellas' transit agencies went nowhere, the man who wants to see that happen, Clearwater state Senator Jack Latvala, was able to get legislation passed last week requiring the state to fund a $200,000 study to again examine it. And while PTSA's leadership apparently has no problem with that, Hillsborough's does, which is why they want Rick Scott to veto that proposal.

Meanwhile, some HART board members question the vision of the agency going forward...

Over the weekend Greenpeace came to town to teach activist tactics, and Kathy Castor showed up on Hardball last night.