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The Buzz 11/1/12

Pensacola’s Campaign Trail

Pensacola has gotten its share of stump speeches as the November election nears. They range from small, folksy gatherings to mega-blowout super parties.

On Oct. 22 Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) visited with supporters at Dharma Blue. The next day, rival Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) made a stop at Seville Quarter. To close out the week, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney drew 10,000-plus people to the newly named Pensacola Bay Center.

Nelson stressed his environmental accomplishments—restoration of the Everglades, keeping Florida’s waters free from oil and gas drilling and the RESTORE Act—and told supporters about a commercial he said would not be airing in the local market.

“It’s me talking straight to the camera,” Nelson explained. “It says, ‘When I flew in space I looked back at the Earth and I did not see any political divisions, I did not see any religious divisions, I did not see any ethnic divisions. What I saw is that we’re all in this together.”

When Mack arrived the next day, he brought along some backup. Supporting the congressman in his bid to unseat Nelson, was Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.).

Mack greeted the local crowd at Seville Quarter’s Phineas Phoggs. The hall was decked out in tombstones and skeletons and gore for Halloween.

The candidate talked about the importance of putting more Republicans in the Senate, and said he would work to balance the budget and repeal “Obamacare.”

“Let me add one more: as a United States senator, I will vote for defunding of the U.N,” Mack said, adding that the United Nations had recently stated its intention to monitor the U.S. election. “The only ones that are going to observe elections in the U.S. is Americans.”

By the end of the week, Romney made his way to town. Accompanied by a host of regional GOP politicians—most notably Sen. Marco Rubio, (R-Fla.)—the presidential candidate addressed an overwhelmingly enthusiastic crowd.

“The president says he can’t change Washington from the inside,” Romney said near the end of his speech, “he can only change it from the outside—we’re going to give him that chance soon.”

Another Plugged Hole

After determining that a persistent sheen in the Gulf of Mexico was coming from a piece of equipment used in a failed attempt to stop the 2010 oil spill, BP has apparently capped and plugged the cofferdam.

The oil company recently announced that it had “successfully installed a 750-lb cap over an opening on the cofferdam known as the stovepipe and secured it in place with clamps.” Prior to that, the equipment had been leaking oil—trapped during the containment attempt—at an estimated rate of 100 gallons per day.

The sheen was first spotted on the area of BP’s Macondo well in mid-September. After positively fingerprinting the oil to Macondo—the site of the 2010 spill—the federal government required BP to determine its source.

Congressmen previously requested that BP officials appear in Washington D.C. to provide information about the recent oil in the gulf. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is still requesting the company remove defunct equipment from the seafloor, and wants to see video from its latest trip leaking wreckage.

No Charges for TEAM

After reviewing allegations dating back to 2004, State Attorney Bill Eddins has announced that no criminal charges will be filed against TEAM Santa Rosa.

The state attorney issued a No True Bill, meaning that a grand jury found insufficient evidence for filing any criminal charges. The grand jury reviewed more than 16 hours of testimony and deliberations over a two-day period.

The allegations claimed employees or members of TEAM Santa Rosa—which handled economic development for Santa Rosa County—had violated state law. The allegations pertained to various issues.