Lytle cleans up nice
By Jim Bleyer
Tampa City Council candidate Steve Lytle continues to promote the narrative that he has reformed his youthful wayward ways: it just isn’t working.
Last week Tampa Bay Beat recounted Lytle’s multiple arrest record—DUI, breaking and entering, grand theft, an open container violation—and debunked his assertion his run-ins with the law were youthful indiscretions.
We pointed to the open bar offerings he used as a magnet for potential donors. These events took place at local bars and restaurants. His kickoff event was at a Hooters. Ridesharing was not offered to the over imbibed.
So what was Lytle’s problem with the article that we ran? Let’s recap the complaints from a local candidate that has had drinking issues.
First, Lytle states he graduated a year before his USF fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon, was suspended for hazing after a pledge was hospitalized. But Lytle served as a founding father and vice president for TKE and helped establish its prevailing culture. *Heart/pulse.
On the basis of his reasoning, we can expect, if elected, he will duck responsibility when a city council action goes awry. He will fit right in with the two term-limited council members running for mayor that are poster children for that culture.
Next, Lytle took umbrage about our reporting that Florida Politics, the notorious pay-for-play internet entity, published five articles favorable to him. That is absolutely true but Lytle claims he never paid for the favorable coverage.
Tampa Bay Beat never reported there was a quid pro quo….but no local candidate has ever admitted they bribed Florida Politics for endorsements or coverage. None. There is a good reason why….they would be perceived by the electorate as suckers. The entire Florida Politics readership knows about the pay-for-play economic model and scans stories more for amusement than knowledge.
Lastly, Lytle says he ditched his Republican party registration before running for council. For that we apologize. The council race is nonpartisan in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 5 to 3 ratio. Lytle has continued to be a presence at local Young Republican events.
So instead of informing the public that there will be no more “free” drinks and ridesharing will be offered, Lytle took no responsibility as a leader of TKE, asserted he never paid Florida Politics when no one accused him of that, and reported he was philosophically deceitful by jettisoning his party affiliation while continuing to attend Republican events.
OK, we understand now. Thanks, Steve.
Lytle faces former Councilman John Dingfelder, who was in office from 2003 through 2010, real estate agent Vibha Shevade, and businessman Nicholas Glover.
*TKE’s “secret word.”