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The Rotunda

Episode 75: Hermine Fallout

THE ROTUNDA - Infighting, defensiveness and finger pointing were left in the aftermath of Hurricane Hermine. On Trimmel Gomes’ latest episode of The Rotunda, a recap of the power struggle between Governor Rick Scott and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. Florida Times-Union Statehouse bureau chief Tia Mitchell tells Gomes the political dust up had more to do with a revived long-standing fight between city-owned and investor-owned utilities like Florida Power & Light (FPL). Gomes talks about why Attorney Genral Pam Bondi is back in the national spotlight and he explores the science behind Florida’s algae blooms with Brian Lapointe, a research professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and red tide expert Vincent Lovko of Mote Marine Laboratory. Lapointe is praising the city of Tallahassee for removing nitrogen from its wastewater treatment plant and encourages others to do the same. “The summer is a bit of a wakeup call that our Legislature really needs to think about legislation to begin to kind of moderate the nutrients that human activities are generating that are supporting these blooms,” Lapointe tells Gomes.  

Episode 74: Poetic Politics

THE ROTUNDA - Race relations and party politics continues to bubble over this election cycle and political newcomer Pam Keith who is running as a Democrat for U.S. Senate, issues a poetic rebuke of Democratic Party leadership. While turning her stump speech into slam poetry, Keith tells Gomes and an audience at “Black on Black Rhyme” poetry night in Tallahassee that her party has become unrecognizable, “it talks Democratic talk but walks Republican walk,” Keith said. Gomes also interviews Republican Party of Florida chairman Blaise Ingoglia who is calling on minorities to give the GOP a chance. “I totally get where Black Lives Matter comes from,” said Ingolia. “Some of the solutions to some of the problems plaguing black communities for such a long time can be solved by some of the things we’ve been advocating for like school choice.” Ingoglia also discusses the party’s new approach to focus on all races from the top and bottom of the ticket in addition to ongoing efforts to unify fractures in the GOP caused by Donald Trump.  

Episode 70: DNC's Shame

THE ROTUNDA -Fallout from the Democratic National Committee’s hacked email continues as former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s primary opponent, Tim Canova, threatens to file a complaint alleging she broke election rules. The Rotunda recaps the DNC plus an interview with state Sen. Geraldine Thompson who skipped the convention in protest because she argues the party has lost its way by picking favorites in primary races while claiming to have a fair and one process. Thompson teamed up with one of her opponents, Fatima Rita Fahny also vying for Florida’s 10th Congressional District to speak out against DNC’s practices. 
THE ROTUNDA - Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is feeling the Bern and not in a good way. Sen. Bernie Sanders is helping Schultz’s Democratic opponent, Tim Canova, in her August 30 primary in Florida’s 23rd congressional district. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, the party’s “anointed candidate” as Sanders often calls her, slammed Donald Trumps endorsement by the NRA while attending the Trayvon Martin Foundation’s third annual “Circle of Mothers” meeting in Fort Lauderdale. But at least one anti-violence activist in attendance called for the issue of gun violence to be addressed by lawmakers in Tallahassee instead of Washington. Trimmel Gomes’ latest episode of The Rotunda, also includes an interview with the newly crowned Miss Tallahassee, Lauren Calmet, speaking out against Donald Trump's past role as owner of the beauty pageant. Calmet also discusses the growing trend of beauty queens becoming politicians. Gomes also talks with Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, and media consultant Kevin Cate about their wild idea to get the Florida Legislature to approve creating a specialty license plate for their alma mater, Alabama’s Auburn University.    

Episode 59: Anyone But Trump

THE ROTUNDA - In an extraordinary rebuke of their party’s presumed nominee, some Republicans are choosing to sit out the upcoming presidential election to avoid voting for Donald Trump or throw their support to Democrat Hillary Clinton. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has pledged skip voting in November adding fuel to the #NeverTrump and “Anyone but Trump” movement. But, as Democrats revel in the GOP chaos, Bernie Sanders is still causing trouble as he continues to ride his ‘political revolution,’ even though the math isn’t on his side to secure the Democratic nomination. On this episode, Republican consultant John “Mac” Stipanovich explains why he’s calling on members of his own party to skip or vote for Hillary Clinton. Plus Gomes talks with Democratic consultant Steve Schale about the impact of Sanders' continued candidacy now that Trump is the last man standing for the GOP. 

Episode 38: Seeking Refuge

THE ROTUNDA -A conversation with Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum about his decision to proclaim Florida’s capital city a safe haven for Syrian refugees. Gillum tells Gomes Gov. Rick Scott’s attempt to block those escaping violence and persecution from immigrating to Florida is all about divisive politics fueling mistrust of a rigorous vetting process.
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About Us

A weekly podcast focusing on the people and stories shaping Florida politics produced by Trimmel Gomes an award-winning journalist and former statewide news director of Florida Public Radio. Gomes hosted its flagship program "Capital Report" and created the public affairs program "It's About Florida." Gomes is political commentator and regular political contributor to WTXL ABC 27 in Tallahassee.


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