Like the Wicked Witch of the West, Jeff Vinik sent his surrogate monkeys to sell the illegal Hillsborough transit tax.
By Sharon Calvert, from Eye on Tampa Bay
All for Transportation (AFT) has been dishonest from the start. It tried to create a false narrative last June that the Hillsborough County tax hike ballot initiative was a “grassroots” initiative launched by everyday citizens.
We quickly debunked that notion.
Five special interests donors, including Jeff Vinik, Frank Morsani, Vinik’s Water Street construction company Coastal Construction, Tampa Bay Partnership and Sykes Enterprises donated $150K each to get AFT’s tax hike on the ballot.
The transit initiative is seen as a bailout for Vinik’s Water Street Tampa, a supposed $3 billion project that is years behind schedule, a constantly morphing vision, and in hock to Cascades Investments up to its eyeballs.
The AFT tax hike initiative was a totally paid professional campaign job assisted by some political insiders. Transit advocate and community organizer Kevin Thurman created his “People’s Plan” and shopped his transit tax political strategy to inside power players.
According to public records we received, Thurman targeted power players at Tampa International Airport and sent his transit tax presentations to Janet Scherberger last April.
Scherberger is VP of Communications at Tampa International Airport (TIA) and works for TIA CEO Joe Lopano. She was formerly known as Janet Zink who was a reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. Scherberger is one-half of a local inside power player team. Her husband Tom Scherberger, also a former Times reporter, is Director of Communications for the Clerk of the Court Pat Frank. Frank is now a Defendant in the AFT lawsuits.
Thurman and Scherberger were communicating about his transit tax proposal via Scherberger’s airport authority email address. Scherberger edited Thurman’s People’s Plan presentation and sent an edited version back to Thurman from her official airport authority email address.
|Scherberger edits Thurman’s transit tax
presentation (Click to enlarge)
In email thread of April 25, 2018 between Scherberger and Lopano’s Executive Assistant Lisa Asseta, Scherberger referred to Thurman as a “transportation activist and the husband of Jeff Vinik’s VP of Communications.
|One-pager Scherberger created for Thurman
meeting with Joe Lopano on 5/1/2018
(Click to enlarge)
|Email from Scherberger to AFT Chair Tyer Hudson
the day AFT petition drive began (Click to enlarge)
|Robert Watkins, Chair of HCCA|
|AFT Associate Janet Scherberger (left) speaks with MPO Director
Beth Alden before MPO meeting