Is Anybody Listening?

By Jim Bleyer Timothy Leary would have riffed, “Drop in, turn off, tune out.” The three citizen activists most instrumental in defeating Greenlight Pinellas and Go Hillsborough, the most recent ill-fated local transit proposals calling for higher sales taxes, spoke Friday morning to an SRO, mostly pro-transit crowd at Cafe con …

Continue reading

Donald Trump, Pam Bondi, and the Church of Scientology

        Donald Trump         L. Ron Hubbard     By Jim Bleyer Donald Trump does not believe in science-but he does believe in Scientology, its tactics, truth twisting, and totalitarianism, if not its tenets. He cavorts regularly with its followers and sympathizers, utilizes the …

Continue reading

Slamming the Brakes on the Tampa Bay Express

                  By Jim Bleyer The Florida Department of Transportation plan to widen Interstate-275 with an express toll lane, known as TBX, faces burgeoning opposition from social and environmental activists as well as those who believe it is poor transportation policy. The DOT’s …

Continue reading

Gillum: In The Trenches, Above The Battle

  By Jim Bleyer Tallahassee’s lightning-rod mayor, Andrew Gillum, calmly continued to lead his city back to normalcy Wednesday, five days after Hurricane Hermine unleashed her fury on Florida’s Big Bend. With work crews deployed around the clock, electricity was restored to 92 percent of residences as of 11 a.m. …

Continue reading

Andrew Gillum: In the Eye of the Storm

By Jim Bleyer When Hurricane Hermine roared through Tallahassee last week, trees, roofs, and power lines weren’t the only casualties. Bipartisanship and the truth took a lashing as well.  Mayor Andrew Gillum, a rising star in the Democrat party who took charge of the recovery and restoration effort in the …

Continue reading

Wanted for Jack Latvala: A Memory and a Mirror

By Jim Bleyer Gwen Graham                 Chris Latvala   Even for someone with a reputation for disparaging political opponents, belittling women, and consummate hypocrisy, State Sen. Jack Latvala sunk to a new low Friday. Speaking at Cafe con Tampa, the weekly informal parley …

Continue reading

Media Abets Government ‘Pay-to-Play’

  By George Niemann Guest Columnist   Sadly, this story out of South Florida points to what citizens have to deal with on a daily basis. They have to hope that their elected officials don’t “sell” their vote to land developers for campaign contributions and campaign workers. In addition, they have to …

Continue reading

Go Hillsborough More Tainted Than Ever

  By Jim Bleyer “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”—C. S. Lewis The rap sheet for the proposed mega-controversial Go Hillsborough referendum grew longer than “War and Peace” this week. Adding to the legacy of cronyism, secrecy, and misinformation was a spurious investigation that …

Continue reading

Florida Pension Fund Raid Benefits Bush Allies

By Jim Bleyer Florida’s public pension fund bailed out two prominent Miami developers linked to former governor and presidential hopeful Jeb Bush when it overpaid by tens of millions of dollars for an occupancy-challenged downtown Tampa apartment complex in February, 2014. The $76.5 million purchase of the Pierhouse at Channelside …

Continue reading

The Public’s Right to Know

      Eight weeks. That’s how long the Tampa Bay Times has possessed information it deemed critical as belonging in the public domain. The credentials and resumes of 83 applicants for the Museum of Science and Industry’s CEO were pried loose following litigation and protracted out-of-court negotiations between the …

Continue reading