The Tampa Bay Times’ deceptive & legally suspect fundraising campaign

Florida’s largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, has a fundraising campaign this week in which it asks for donations to “fund local news.” However, donations do not go to the Times. Also, they may not be tax deductible, despite the Times unconditionally stating that they are on its fundraising page.   “You can make a tax-deductible…

Florida Supreme Court throws out 2018 Hillsborough transit tax

In a 4-1 decision, the Florida Supreme Court today threw out the Hillsborough sales tax hike for transit approved by voters in 2018 . The 1% sales tax was projected to bring in $16 billion over 30 years. The court found that the promoters of the tax, Jeff Vinik-funded All For Transportation (AFT), misled the…

Corruption at airport continues – CEO gets huge and guaranteed raises

Today’s Aviation Authority meeting agenda didn’t list an action item for a contract renewal for Tampa International Airport’s CEO Joe Lopano. In fact, it didn’t list an action item at all, only routine items for approval under the consent agenda. Nonetheless, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority (HCAA) board today voted 3-2 to approve a new…

GOP strategist Rick Wilson “enjoys overthrowing governments”

On his website therickwilson.com, self-described GOP strategist Rick Wilson writes about appearing on CNN and MSNBC. He mentions being published in various national publications and his own “sharp-edged and witty political insight.” He ends by saying that he “enjoys overthrowing governments.”  Yet in response to the violence at the US Capitol less than a week…

Local politician imposes new COVID curbs…while in Canada on vacation

Hillsborough County Commission Chairwoman Patricia Kemp (D) today voted for two new local laws that place additional COVID restrictions on local businesses. People in Hillsborough County may no longer stand at bars to eat and drink, gather on dance floors, and so-called “congregating areas” in nightclubs are prohibited. The new ordinance also requires that businesses…

Extensive interview with Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus

Julie Marcus is the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections (SOE). In an effort to educate voters about what the job of an SOE entails and election integrity in general, we asked Marcus for a long-form interview, which she agreed to during this busy election season. We asked Julie Marcus a dozen questions. Without further ado,…

Paying $1 million to the NFL: how would your county commissioner vote?

After the election, the Pinellas County Commission will be voting on whether to pay $1 million to the NFL for a “Super Bowl marketing deal.” Given the divisive organization the NFL has become, we asked all four Pinellas county commission candidates how they would vote on this symbolically and fiscally important issue. We asked the…

3rd campaign financing violation – what afflicts the Janet Long Campaign?

Two weeks ago, Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long’s re-election campaign sent out mailers to voters without the “paid political advertisement” notice required by Florida’s campaign financing law. In other words, the campaign broke the law. Now the campaign has added a disclaimer to its most recent mailer, but that disclaimer says “Paid by Janet Long,…

The open and shut case of Commissioner Pat Kemp’s Florida Bar violations

Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, who is on the ballot, is facing almost certain disciplinary action from the Florida Bar. This after a bar complaint was filed against her last month. The issue at hand is Kemp has referred to herself as an “attorney” or a “lawyer” at least 17 times during Hillsborough county commission…

Janet Long breaks Florida’s campaign financing law for 2nd time this year

Voters received a mailer from Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long yesterday. It was a typical mailer, but one thing stuck out like a sore thumb to one of our readers because of the absence of the “paid political advertisement disclaimer” on Long’s mailer. That disclaimer is required by Florida’s campaign financing law. Long and her…