Greco apologizes for "panty-raid" comment at CL debate, Florida Republicans want to move up their presidential primary, and Charlie Crist and Alex Sink come out of political hibernation to campaign for a constitutional amendment banning offshore drilling

Former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco last night apologized to those specifically in the black community who were offended by his comments at a mayoral forum earlier week that"it was more like a panty raid-type thing," when asked about race relations in Tampa, and specifically riots that occurred back in 1967.

At the Creative Loafing Mayoral Debate, this reporter queried Greco about the comment about fifteen minutes into the ninety minute forum.

That was one of the surprises of the evening, which I really can't write that much about at this time, because A) I was participating in the event as the moderator, and B) I don't have access to a recording of the proceedings - yet.

The debate was broadcast live on WMNF 88.5 FM's HD 3 channel The Source, and also aired on that station's website.  We've been promised that the entire debate will be available on the station's website, and CL's, hopefully later on today.

We can give you some impressions: Thomas Scott gave we thought one of his best performances, particularly talking about race (and how he said he was pulled over by a police officer in Tampa in 1998).  Ed Turanchik seemed to get the most love from the audience,  and the other candidates definitely had their moments.  CL asked Rose Ferlita about concerns on her temperament; about Bob Buckhorn's comments that Ybor City "continues to pose a law enforcement challenge."

When hear some of that tape, we'll write some posts on our blog.  We intend to have full coverage in next's week paper, along with an editorial board endorsement in the mayor's race.

Lots of other things we're covering, such as Florida Republicans psyched to move up the presidential primary to January next year.  Actually, it's already slated for January, but there are penalties being threatened by both national political parties if that happens, which is why Tampa's Arthenia Joyner has proposed legislation moving it back to March.

The Tampa Tribune has announced their first endorsements in 3 of the 7 city council races. Learn about that here.

And Charlie Crist and Alex Sink are the high profile supporters of a year long effort just being kicked off to get a constitutional amendment on the November 2012 ballot in Florida that would ban offshore drilling in state waters - or should we say, make sure that a future Legislature could ever enact such a thing.

Also we've got the latest news about Tampa's water bill woes as well.


the report here.