By Jim Bleyer
A scornful social media post from a key operative of St. Petersburg City Council candidate Justin Bean derides his opponent’s net worth and income, apparently forgetting that Bean is employed by his wealthy parents’ company and that the vast majority of voters are working class people not from privilege.
It’s that snarky one percent elitism that has pervaded the Bean campaign from its inception.
Bobby Poth, the snide amnesiac, managed to insult the entire grass roots electorate while aiming at Bean’s opponent, prominent civic activist Gina Driscoll.
Like Bean, Poth spun falsehoods to promote a flailing candidacy. Poth’s fiction filled post stated Driscoll’s only record of service was serving on the board of her neighborhood association.
The facts: Driscoll, is president of the St. Petersburg Downtown Neighborhood Association, serves on the Board of the Downtown Business Association, sits on the Organizational Committee of the Central Avenue Council, and is a member of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. She has been deeply involved in the Clean Waterways Project, donation drives for the Daystar Life Center, and renovations at the historic Shuffleboard Club.
Driscoll served on the city’s Urban Construction Best Practices Task Force and has been supporting the Sunshine Street Team, a volunteer organization that enhances tourist experiences in St. Petersburg. An environmentalist, she won the endorsement of the Sierra Club.
No local candidate in years has had such a bulging porfolio of community service.
Driscoll and Bean were the top two vote getters in an eight-way primary for the District 6 seat. Fact: Of the eight primary candidates, Bean had the thinnest resumé.
Poth continued his deception by claiming that Bean had “something happen in college.” Fact: Bean, 30, had his driving license suspended for six months in 2013 when he was arrested for DUI. He was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and served a one-year probation that ended in Sept. 2014. Not ancient history.
Bean was also collared a total of six times in four counties beginning in 2008. Resisting arrest was one of the charges that spanned more than five years.
He originally admitted to only one arrest untl after his rap sheet was exposed by Tampa Bay Beat, not Gina Driscoll.
The cesspool of lies includes Bean’s attempts to hide his penchant for right-wing politics that would be his undoing in a city where Democrats predominate. Bean attended Donald Trump’s inauguration and, after filing for the city council seat, claimed he did not vote for Trump.