Bipartisan Consensus Builds for Hillsborough Mass Transit

By Jim Bleyer In outlining her vision for Hillsborough County’s mass transit future Friday, Pat Kemp found herself in the trenches alongside activists on the opposite side of the political spectrum. The rookie county commissioner, a Democrat, shares many of the same views as self-styled conservatives  who during the past …

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Times Agenda Overrides Integrity

By Jim Bleyer The Tampa Bay Times this month forfeited its right to be perceived as a fair, serious journalistic entity. The newspaper sent its designated first-string political writer to a well-publicized forum last Friday on mass transit featuring three high-profile opponents of light rail.  The overflowing Cafe con Tampa …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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The ‘Eye’ Calls out Mike Merrill

  By Sharon Calvert Not only did the county commissioners vote last month at the second sales tax hike public hearing against any sales tax hike referendum, they also voted to pursue Commissioner Sandy Murman’s proposal to fund our roads and transportation needs within our growing existing budget. We are …

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