By Jim Bleyer
The Jeff Vinik-inspired Hillsborough County transit tax is in deep trouble judging by the actions of his band of mercenaries.
Rena Frazier and Christina Barker, members of the failed team that could not sell the regressive tax increase to NAACP members two weeks ago, are begging voters to fill out general election ballots “from the bottom up.”
Below is a screen shot of Vinik pawn Christina Barker’s laughable post on social media:
Barking up the wrong tree!
The suggestion is inane. With so much passion at the top of the ticket, any voter following her advice needs his melon refitted. You can count the number of voters that might oblige on Jason Pierre-Paul’s right hand.
Vinik’s crew apparently has just stumbled onto the realization that with a cluster of state and local amendments and referenda on the ballot, voters are inclined to vote “no” overwhelmingly on issues they are unfamiliar with.
A reported poll, taken by proponents of the transit boondoggle, shows it 48-43 in favor. Remembering the pasting that Moving Hillsborough Forward received in 2010, the Vinik cabal is sweating bullets. Polls showed that Moving Hillsborough Forward winning above 50 percent immediately before the election but it was beaten down to 42 percent when the actual vote was taken.
In the last three weeks, opposition has coalesced: the NAACP, No Tax for Tracks, Americans for Prosperity, residents in Hillsborough’s unincorporated areas, progressive voters, and independent businesses that will absolutely get shredded by the new tax.
Vinik has gotten this far by paying off ethically-challenged local media entities, certain government agencies/officials, out-of-town grunts that collected signatures, and a gaggle of influence peddlers.
Tonight there will be a meeting of the NAACP executive committee. Supposedly the transit tax is on the agenda despite the fact that not one person spoke in favor of it at the general membership meeting.
A sudden pivot would be very telling.
Meanwhile, tax opponents are concerned about the voting procedures, equipment, and ballot counting in the office of Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer. Tampa Bay Beat will have more on the conduct of the election tomorrow.