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 obsolete and unneeded transit that would focus on a portion of Tampa while the rest of the city and Hillsborough County would fight for scraps.
Instead of reporting on the scandals and failed projects of contractor Parsons Brinckerhoff, the defective sheriff’s investigation of Go Hillsborough, antiquated light rail transit in light of 21st century realities, and the enormous amounts of time and money squandered by Hillsborough political “leaders” in promoting a sales tax boost to support their corporate cronies, the Times has chosen to continue its character assassination against the referendum’s growing opposition.
In its convoluted world, the Times deems the $80,000 spent for the investigation of more importance than the $1.35 million thrown to the wind on a no-bid contract to promote the Go Hillsborough boondoggle, let alone the $3 billion that would line the pockets of the area’s corporate elite.
Contacted today by Floridiocy, Times writer Caitlin Johnston said she had not read the entire investigative report but “ there was nothing any more illuminating than what was in the summary.” She said the Times had no plans to elaborate on the report which contains damning information about the pro-Go Hillsborough faction.
The Eye on Tampa Bay blog, performing a public service that the Times and its counterpart across the pond quit doing years ago, unearthed many improprieties in its analysis of the investigative report. Both dailies have had this information for nearly three weeks…mum’s the word.
The Times continues to politicize the issue despite opposition to a sales tax increase being broad-based geographically, politically, and economically. Connect Tampa Bay executive director Kevin Thurman parroted the Times disinformation campaign with insane accusations, calling opponents for the investigation was a “Trump-like faction of the Republican party, complete with misogyny, refusal to provide facts, and disparaging law enforcement.”
Light years from the truth, Thurman apparently forgot Trump carried Hillsborough County handily in the recent primary–hardly a faction. He conveniently forgot to mention prominent Democrats, other Republicans, and unaffiliated voters have risen up to oppose the tax boost and the train to nowhere. His references to misogyny and disparagement of law enforcement are head scratchers to anyone with a functioning cranium.
The rampant use of personal attacks and distortions is an identical strategy used by proponents of Greenlight Pinellas, a similar light rail scam annihilated by voters in 2014, 62 to 38 percent. In this transcendent political year marked by waves of anti-tax and anti-establishment sentiment, the margin of defeat for Go Hillsborough looms even larger.
The Hillsborough County Commission is scheduled to vote on whether or not to hold a referendum on increasing sales taxes at its Apr. 20 meeting.