Thursday, September 22, 2011

Political insiders gather at the History Center to discuss history of Tampa Politics

Tampa politics is filled with tales of corruption, scandals and labor disputes - and that’s just the 19th century.

A new course at the Tampa Bay History Center will assemble politicians, journalists, historians, lobbyists and activists for a five-week exploration of Tampa Bay’s fascinating – and sometimes wild – political past.

Each session will cover a different aspect of local politics, including women in politics, corruption and mafia influence, the news media, voter participation and more. Panelists include USF historian Gary Mormino, former Tampa mayor Sandra Freedman, former County Commissioner Jan Platt, journalists Rob Lorei, Dan Ruth, Keith Kate and Kelly Ring, along with a host of local political activists, lobbyists and other experts.

Tampa History Highlights is organized by the Tampa Bay History Center and USF’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Classes are held each Wednesday from 10 a.m.-noon, beginning Oct. 5th at the History Center. Cost is $50 for the five-week series Pre-registration is required. To register, call USF at (813) 974-2403. For more information about the course or the exhibition and related programming, visit

Course Schedule:

Oct. 5
Gary Mormino: Florida Politics Since 1900
Mafia and Corruption featuring Bob Kerstein, John A. Jones, Paul Game, Suzanne Willett

Oct. 12
Darryl Paulson: Shifts in Political Parties in Florida
Politics and Civil Rights in 20th Century Tampa with Fred Hearns, Helen G. Davis, Sandy Freedman, Delano Stewart

Oct. 19 
Betty Castor: Changing Role of Women in Politics
Women Making a Difference featuring Jan Platt, Mary Figg, Pat Frank, Gwen Miller

Oct. 26
Changing Media Landscape featuring Patrick Manteiga, Dan Ruth, William March , Kelly Ring, and Keith Cate. Moderated by Rob Lorei
How Voter Participation Affects Politics featuring Mickey Castor, Joseph Citro, Stacy Feiler, Chuck Smith

Nov. 5
Political Influences of Lobbyist and Consultants featuring Kathy Betancourt, Ron Weaver, Jan Gorrie April Schiff, Adam Goodman , Mitch Kates
Susan MacManus: Political Changes of Today and Tomorrow

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