Political Panic in the air is like blood in the water. It spreads really fast.
Although Kathleen Ford is running a bit of a media stealth campaign to date, she is still poling as the front runner. The political establishment and the downtown power brokers are starting to panic.
How much are they starting to panic you ask?
Enough that one of their principal voices, Blogger Peter Schorsch, is now ready and recommending that the LENS crowd throw the whole thing over the side.
Why? To save the political status quo.
This election is big...it is huge...
It may just mean that the possibility of a power shift from Beach Drive and the Chamber to the neighborhoods and the people is about to happen.
The greatest fear that the insiders and power brokers have in this election is that Kathleen Ford will get elected. If that happens, the power players, the Chamber virtually all of them would have to get in line BEHIND the people to have any influence at City Hall. And further, they would have to play by the rules.
Now that is scary....
Apparently there is also growing concern that in a Ford/Kriseman race, Rick just might not be able to pull it off. Both Ford and Kriseman are registered Democrats, but the State Democratic party has put a bunch of money into Kriseman's Campaign.
I don't think the State Democratic Party is nearly as interested in whose running St. Petersburg, as they are having an articulate Democrat as Mayor of the fourth largest City in Florida with good state legislative credentials available to endorse State House and Senate candidates and raise money for the Party in the next election cycle. They did not put all that money into the Kriseman campaign for nothing, and neither did all those Tallahassee law firms.
That's a problem for Rick.
So what's the deal?
Somewhere between 15,000 and probably 18,000 individuals signed petitions wanting a vote on the LENS. If the LENS is not on the ballot, it's a good bet that a significant number of them will not bother to vote in an off Presidential election. Those votes would likely go to Ford and without them that could tip the election in Kriseman's favor.
So how important is political power in St. Petersburg?
It is important enough for the power players to jettison Bill Foster in a heartbeat, and dump a $50M to $100M project (the LENS) that they pulled every political rabbit out of the hat they could to keep alive into the Bay.
All of this bleating about saving the City all of the anguish of a vote is just so much honey to make the bitter pill of "we don't want you to vote" go down a little easier.
How do they accomplish their task?
Simple. All they need is 5 votes on City Council to cancel the Maltzan agreement in accordance with the Stop the LENS petition. I can count 3 pretty sure votes already, a 4th on the edge and if the typical follower, follows the deal is done.
If they can get that accomplished before the ballots are printed, the LENS will be stopped, at least for the moment, and the question will not be on the ballot.
The loss of voter interest could change the election out come.
Some Posts You might find Interesting
Can Stop The LENS Win and Lose in the Same Breath?
The Pier - Are You New to the Argument
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