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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Experts: Transportation Sales Tax Funds a Road to Nowhere

By Jim Bleyer   Promoting local sales tax increases for transit projects will always be a losing struggle in Florida, a group of transportation strategists agreed this week. They attributed voter mistrust of government as the insurmountable barrier to referendum-based tax hikes. That unequivocal assessment was expressed at a funding …

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FAMU’s College of Pharmacy: Just What the Doctor Ordered

  By Jim Bleyer The 65th anniversary celebration of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s pharmacy program next month will commemorate excellence as well as longevity. Begun as a modest component in the chemistry department in 1951, FAMU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has blossomed into a nationally acclaimed center …

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Increased Voter Access a Florida Game Changer?

  By Jim Bleyer When Floridians vote this fall, they will enjoy the most far-reaching ballot access in the state’s history, one of the country’s most experienced and high-profile election officials affirmed this week. Ion Sancho, who is retiring this year after serving seven terms as Leon County Supervisor of …

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After “30”, Life Goes On

  By Jim Bleyer Former staffers of the late Tampa Tribune threw themselves a helluva blast Friday, only 10 days after their jobs were abruptly erased in a series of double deals that makes a Three-card Monte con seem like Old Maid. The event was anything but a pity party.  …

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The Impotent Mainstream Media

  By Jim Bleyer                   The public interest and sanity prevailed last night as the Hillsborough County Commission voted 4-3 to jettison the ill-advised, corrupted half-cent sales tax referendum for mass transit infamously known as Go Hillsborough. The decision basically forces the …

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Bigoted Extremist Fronted Hillsborough Light Rail Pitch

By Jim Bleyer The transparent smear campaign by pro-light rail public officials and supportive media outlets against opponents of a Hillsborough County sales tax increase boomeranged on a gargantuan scale this week. The embarrassing fallout traveled 650 miles from Raleigh to Tampa. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, who tried to …

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Go Hillsborough’s Propaganda Arm: The Tampa Bay Times

  By Jim Bleyer   The Tampa Bay Times, without a shred of dignity, ethics, or conscience, continues to bombard the public about the Go Hillsborough transit plan with incomplete, inconsistent, and wildly inaccurate information. It is part of a concerted propaganda effort to confuse voters into taxing themselves for …

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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 …

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