Wednesday, August 29, 2018

What They Say What They Do

This plan as written is not All for Transportation. It should be called All for Transit.

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay

Posted by: Sharon Calvert 

Pending some unforeseen disaster with the required OPPAGA audit, All for Transportation's County Charter Amendment in Hillsborough County raising the sales tax to 8 percent for 30 years, raising an estimated $15 billion, will be on the November ballot. They are starting their campaign to misinform voters. The Tampa Bay Times is right there with them in the campaign of deceit.

"It provides the people of Hillsborough County an historic opportunity to begin the long overdue work of funding a transportation system that save people's time, people's money, people's lives" Hudson said. "Whether you live in Carrollwood, Sun City Center or right here in East Tampa, there is something in the All for Transportation plan for you.

Well, not really.

It's easy to spout these platitudes. There is something for everyone! Just trust us. 

Many people reported to us they were approached by "volunteers" to sign the petitions stating it will fix our roads.

What they said:

We were told by All for Transportation's leader Tyler Hudson it was a grass roots initiative.

All for Transportation leader Tyler Hudson said his group will have hundreds of volunteers out with petitions. He did not rule out hiring a petition-gathering firm.

"It’s going to be a grass-roots, volunteer driven effort," Hudson said. "We believe this is such an acute crisis that the response will be positive in all corners of the county."

What they did:

After raising $750,000 from 5 donors well connected to downtown development efforts, the grass roots effort was inoperative.

The group paid at least $525,000 to Revolution Field Strategies, a professional petition gathering firm to meet that target.

What they said:

"Whether you live in Carrollwood, Sun City Center or right here in East Tampa, there is something in the All for Transportation plan for you."

What is actually in the Amendent? Don't you want to find out whats in it for you?

First of all, there is no plan or defined projects that will fix roads or transit. And certainly no mention of Carrollwood, Sun City Center, or East Tampa.

It does specify the percentage breakdown of the tax revenue to be spent and micromanaged in several road and transit categories. There have been some media reports that All for Transportation is based on the Hillsborough MPO 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), but there is no mention of that in the Amendment.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

It’s Time to Vote

Florida needs a Governor in love with Florida not Washington.

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog 
If you have not already voted in the midterm election either by mail-in ballot or early voting time is drawing to an end. Tuesday is election day.
Should you have requested a mail-in Ballot and have not sent it in, take the ballot to your precinct apologize to the nice lady across the table, and she will let you vote. Actually, the apology isn’t needed but we all know what she is thinking.
You can see a sample ballot, find your precinct and a lot more very useful information at the Pinellas County Supervisor of elections web site.
I am a registered Republican, and the Governor’s race is especially important to me.  Florida is a great state; I have lived here for almost 50 years, and I could not be happier.
The Republican race for governor has been a bit of a roller coaster what with DeSantis and his Trump endorsement really throwing a wrench in what had appeared to be a predictable outcome for Adam Putnam.
If you listen carefully Putnam and DeSantis are basically saying the same thing each with a slightly different inflection. Recently, Putnam has made a good point in emphasizing that this is Florida and not Washington, and we are voting for a Governor not a President.
I am not sure you can govern Florida with all its complexities with one eye on Washington and one eye on Tallahassee.
We already have a clown show in Tallahassee with the Florida Legislature, and I don’t think we need to add a second ring to that circus with a governor trying to coddle too and emulate President Trump.
No matter what you think of Rick Scott one of his greatest assets has been his ability to focus on Florida. Adam Putnam exudes that same ability.
We are enjoying one of the longest sustained periods of economic growth in the Country, and in Florida and we all know the longer these trends continue the more fragile they become.
Florida needs a Governor in love with Florida not Washington.
Please don’t set out this primary. Your vote is extremely important.
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Contributor to: Rick Scott for Senate 

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Vinik's 30 Year "All for Transit" Tax Hike Constrains Roads, Creates Gridlock - Vote NO!

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

A standard definition of "road improvements" or "improve roads and bridges" includes (emphasis mine): "Road improvement" includes construction of new roads or improvement or expansion of existing roads and related appurtenances But transit advocates who wrote the egregious Vinik massive 30 year $17 BILLION transit tax hike intentionally narrowed that standard definition of road improvements.

In the ballot summary language that will be on the ballot in November, they deceptively included as the very first item the massive tax would be spent on as "improve roads and bridges". The transit advocates then used 5 pages of big government regulations to specifically PROHIBIT and LIMIT using the Vinik tax hike BiLLIONS for new roads and adding new lane capacity for cars and vehicles FOR 30 YEARS.

How many Hillsborough County voters who signed the Vinik massive 30 year tax hike petition to raise the overall sales tax rate to 8% - the HIGHEST in the state - were told the fine print details?

How many voters in unincorporated Hillsborough, especially fast growing South County, were told that the BILLIONS raised by Vinik's massive 30 year tax hike put strict limitations and prohibitions on its use for new roads and adding much need lane capacity in their part of the county?

The Vinik massive tax hike petition language - that would be added to the Hillsborough County Charter for 30 years if passed - specifically states: (8) Limits on New Automobile Lane Capacity.

The Eye was contacted by numerous people who were approached by the paid petition gatherers to sign the petition. We were told the petition gatherers deceptively told them the "one-cent" hike was to "improve roads".

That is simply not true. The massive Vinik tax hike is not a one-cent tax hike but a 14% tax hike that increases the county's sales tax revenues 100% over 30 years.

Vinik and his Tampa urbanist transit supporters even admit Hillsborough County's population will grow 50% or more over the next 30 years. There will be 700-800K more residents in Hillsborough County over the next 30 years, the vast majority in unincorporated Hillsborough.

Yet the transit advocates who wrote the 5 pages of big government regulations gobbly gook provided ZERO dedicated money from the 14% Vinik tax hike Billions for new roads and new lane capacity for automobiles.

There's a reason why the transit advocates who wrote the 5 pages of big government regulations did so.

Below is the FORCED spending of the Vinik massive 14% transit tax hike over its 30 years.

Vinik massive tax hike Forced Spending
for 30 years

While over $7.5 BILLION MUST be spent on transit, NO LESS THAN over $2.6 BILLION MUST be spent on costly fixed guideways/rail in Tampa. Less than 2% use transit in Hillsborough County and less than 3% use transit in Tampa.

The Vinik tax hike FORCES taxpayers in unincorporated Hillsborough to pay BILLIONS for costly transit in Tampa while PROHIBITING and LIMITING the use of the tax hike they are paying to be used for much needed added road capacity in unincorporated.

The transit advocates who wrote the forced spending regulations added a new transportation bureaucracy they would control. They specifically enabled it to be stacked by Vinik and his downtown Tampa allies.

Innovation and technology are disrupting transportation and traditional transit. But the transit advocates who wrote the tax hike big government regulations do not want any changes to their forced spending plan for 30 years. Their heavy handed regulations includes restrictive Reallocation of Expenditure Categories language.

That language requires a 75% super super majority - by that stacked newly created transportation bureaucracy - to change any mandated expenditure allocations - for 30 years. And the transit advocates will only allow an expenditure allocation change to be made in the Maintenance, Congestion Reduction and Safety General Purpose (road) categories.

In the spending spreadsheet above, the $1.36 BILLION of the "Remaining" category of General Purpose road funding can be use for ANY transportation improvement including transit. But the $1.5 BILLION "Remaining" transit funds must be used for transit. The transit advocates who wrote the absurd regulations made sure that road money could be used for transit but transit money could never be used for roads.

The transit advocates, of course, provided NO provision for changing the transit expenditure allocations. NO LESS THAN $2.65 BILLION MUST be spent for Tampa fixed guideways/rail no matter what - no matter how much waste or unnecessary spending or failure occurs.

But Vinik and his behind schedule Under Water Street development will greatly benefit….

Vinik's "All for Transportation" tax hike is a massive unnecessary tax hike written by transit advocates to constrain and restrict new road capacity in growing Hillsborough County for 30 years. It is a total misnomer.

Instead it is the "All for Transit" massive 30 year tax hike scam on county taxpayers.

Vinik's "All for Transit" massive tax hike will create gridlock in Hillsborough County.

Vote No in November!

Posted by Sharon Calvert at 1:49 PM

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This post is contributed by EYE ON TAMPA BAY. The views expressed in this post are the blog publisher's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet.

Cross Posted with permission from: Eye On Tampa Bay

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Print Media Pity Party

It’s the old Harry Truman adage, "If you can’t stand the heat get the hell out of the kitchen."

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.
This week some 200 newspapers around the country all printed editorials about how bad they are being treated by everyone from Trump down to the public. All the time they were claiming their independence, value to democracy and their really hurt feelings.
It seemed to me to be the gasp of an industry on the verge of extinction.
I don’t consider myself to be part of the mainstream media, and they as a general rule they don’t consider independent bloggers as much above dirt. I don’t “report” on anything; you won’t see any “breaking news" here, and you won’t find me in a line screaming obnoxious questions at some public figure.
For the first time in modern history, the mainstream media is faced with a president who is not impressed with their efforts, coward by their persistence or particularly interested in what they say. And he is not afraid to swing back when they attack.
It’s the old Harry Truman adage, "If you can’t stand the heat get the hell out of the kitchen."
To me, the mainstream medias biggest mistake with Trump has been they have allowed him to lure the media into the gutter where many of them belong.
Since the media are frequently loose with the facts, Trump and an ever-increasing number of political and public figures feel free to do the same.
One thing I think the media may be missing, although some have seemed surprised, is the reaction from the public. They would like to blame the public’s negative and sometimes hostile reaction on “those awful Trump supporters” but the fact is the print and electronic media credibility has been slowly slipping into the toilet over a number of years.
I think it is a bit laughable that 200 major newspapers thought it was wise to dedicate their editorial page to an attack they claim is the result of one man’s effort.
The recent print media cries about their protection of our democracy are self-serving at best as they take every possible opportunity to tear down the very institutions that they claim to love with rudeness, bias, and self-interest.
If it were true that the media are the real bastions of our democracy, the I would offer we are in a great deal more trouble than we think.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Vinik Tax Hike DOUBLES County Sales Tax Revenue, Increases COUNTY'S Tax Rate 100%

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

Guest post from Hillsborough County resident and small business owner Tim Curtis.

Who among the "Transit Tax Hike supporters" will tell the whole truth about Vinik's transit tax hike petition effort to raise the total sales tax rate in Hillsborough County to 8% - the highest in the state?

The so-called “one penny” or $.01 increase isn't a "1%" or even a 14+% increase. This is a county levied tax hike. It is a 100% INCREASE in the COUNTY Sales Tax Rate.

As a small business owner, the current state sales tax rate I must collect and remit to the state is 6%. The other 1% of the current 7% total sales tax rate collected is the county sales tax rate. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that an increase from 1% to 2% is a 100% PERCENT INCREASE.

The transit tax hike will DOUBLE the county's sales tax rate with the vast majority of the 100%  increase in the county sales tax revenue paid by taxpayers in unincorporated Hillsborough.

Local media, including Sue Carlton and others at the Vinik bailed out Tampa Bay Times, continue misleading the public that this is a “one penny” tax hike. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Instead of this “mad dash” to unnecessarily take an additional $15-18 BILLION out of taxpayer pockets, the mad dash should be insisting elected officials properly prioritize the current and growing county revenues. Ensure our county roads, neglected for almost a decade, are fixed first and then lets talk about where additional transportation funding is needed.

Two years ago, the BOCC-appointed Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) diligently examined the county budget. They prepared a report, unanimously approved by the bipartisan CAC, containing recommendations on the budget. The CAC meticulously identified $3 BILLION in potential savings.

Why is there a “mad dash” to unnecessarily increase the county sales tax rate 100% instead of a “mad dash” to examine whether the identified potential savings in other areas of the county budget can be used to fund transportation?

Hillsborough County and the local economy is growing – both resulting in booming revenues unanticipated a few short years ago.

I personally know the misleading talking points being used by those gathering petition for the 100% county sales tax rate hike petition effort.

Last week at my place of business, I was approached by a nice young lady who asked if I would “sign her petition”. I engaged her in conversation and learned she had only recently relocated to Tampa from out of state and was doing this work to earn money.

I applaud her for that and assume a temp agency is being used to hire paid petition gatherers.

However, I asked some very pointed but polite questions about the petition and she told me she was told “it is a one per cent increase”. When I questioned her again and showed her the math questioning how that can be, she assured me that she was told “one per cent”.

Obviously, people that was hired to gather the transit tax hike petitions know nothing about Hillsborough County or the transportation issue.

The city of Tampa power brokers behind this Vinik and associates funded transit tax hike petition effort are being dishonest and intentionally using misleading information to deceive taxpayers and voters.

But are you getting a 100% raise or revenue increase next year?

If not, then why should the county?

Especially a 100% county revenue increase that will greatly benefit Vinik, his Under Water Street development and the city of Tampa…but will be paid for on the backs of taxpayers in unincorporated Hillsborough.

Eye Note: There is another citizen led transportation funding proposal that does NOT require any massive 30 year sales tax hike. Fund Transportation and No Tax Hike Is Needed!
Voters and taxpayers deserve to hear both proposals and be fully informed.
Unfortunately biased local media is suppressing information and intentionally shutting down any other proposal so they may cheerlead for Vinik's massive transit tax hike.

This post is contributed by EYE ON TAMPA BAY. The views expressed in this post are the blog publisher's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet.

Cross Posted with permission from: Eye On Tampa Bay

Sunday, August 12, 2018

2018 Primary Election – Are you confused?

Putnam was my guy for Governor, but DeSantis has put on quite a run, I am struggling with my decision. 

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by:
E. Eugene Webb PhD
: So You Want to Blog.
You might think that since I write a lot about politics, I would have this primary election thing all figured out and be ready with a handful of recommendations on who you should vote for.
Well, you would be wrong.
Since I am a registered Republican, and my wife is a registered Democrat, we get all of mailers, door hangers and robocalls.
I have dutifully sorted through them, and I find little compelling information.
The debates are proving useless as it now seems the in-vogue thing is not to answer a debate question no matter what it is. I wish one of the debate moderators would ask a candidate for Governor what his/her name is, so we could maybe get one straight answer.
Watching a bunch of billionaires and millionaires slug it out in a so-called debate is entertaining but not particularly informative unless you consider the fact that no matter how much money these guy’s have very little of what they promise can actually be delivered.
I wish there was another woman running for governor. I am really over Gwen Graham playing the “mom” card.
In the Senate race, I am all in on Rick Scott, you will note in my disclosures, I am a contributor to his campaign.
There is something nice about having a governor who has more than enough money already, so he will not be easily influenced. It is also a concern of mine that if DeSantis wins the Governor’s office, he will immediately be on Trump’s short list for Vice President in 2020 since I firmly believe VP Mike Pence has had enough.
It would be much easier for DeSantis to roll with Trump. We might have Ron for a little over two years before he moves on, so his lieutenant Governor becomes a key decision.
In the long run, Florida might just be better off with Adam Putnam. Calm, cool headed, there won’t be a lot of fireworks from Tallahassee, but my bet is a lot of good things will get done. Adam will not be on Trump’s VP short list, so he can focus on all things Florida.
On the Democratic side, my wife is not a big fan of Jeff Green, thinks he looks a bit shifty as he talks out of the side of his mouth. She is also over the Gwen Graham “mom” thing but maybe not enough to vote for someone else. She seems to perk up when a Phillip Levine ad runs.
As to the local races, this election cycle has been a blizzard of mailers, TV ads and pseudo debates it is very hard to sort out who is the best candidate. County Commission, City Councils, School Board in all these races I would take the Tampa Bay Times recommendations with a grain of salt. Look for honesty and integrity.
I always have the biggest problem with the Judge candidates. We hardly know these people; the incumbent has a significant advantage so who do you vote for?
The Tampa Bay Times has long been a good source of information on the Judge races, although with the changes at the Times and its growing self-serving nature, you may want to do some research on your own.
It boils down to this. If you like leaders who are wealthy you have some to choose from. If you like normal, people who want to serve their community you have a few to choose from, and if you want professional politicians who like the lime light, the backslapping, the free meals and really don’t worry that much about what you think or what you need your choices are endless.
I am getting ready to fill out my mail in ballot, and if yours is still laying around somewhere in the house, now would be a good time to go get it and start making some decisions.
E-mail Doc at mail to: or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
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Contributor to: Rick Scott for Senate 

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Tampa Bay Times Endorses Predator by Proxy Kathleen Peters

Tampa, Fl

Tampa Bay Beat
Published By Jim Bleyer

Screen Shot Courtesy Tampa Bay Guardian 
The editorial endorsement of State Rep. Kathleen Peters for the Pinellas County Commission represents another #MeToo fail for the Tampa Bay Times.
Peters, gal pal of disgraced predator, former State Sen. Jack Latvala, has been insensitive to the victims of sexual harassment but more than sympathetic to the perpetrators that permeate the political culture in Tallahassee.
In 2017, Peters voted to make confidential the identity of alleged victims in an allegation of sexual harassment . The law she voted for said that “the disclosure of such information could harm alleged victims by placing them at risk of further harassment and retaliation.”
“Six months later, Peters was calling on such alleged victims to step forward,” noted the Tampa Bay Guardian in a well-circulated blog post. “Any harm to the victims was apparently less important than defending her political  tag team partner and mentor Jack Latvala.”
The detailed Tampa Bay Guardian article is here.

Peters (center) was guest of honor at Church of Scientology dedication of Narconon center that uses a controversial rehab technology. Peters, Jack Latvala, and Chris Latvala are frequent high-profile guests at Scientology functions.
Peters, rendered ineffective by House Speaker Richard Corcoran when she prioritized Latvala’s agenda in the lower chamber, is in a tough three-way race for the District 6 county commission seat.  Her main foe is conservative Barb Haselden, an insurance executive who successfully led the 2014 fight against the Greenlight Pinellas sales tax increase.
Haselden’s NoTaxForTracks grassroots effort, though outspent more than seven to one by special interests, torpedoed Greenlight Pinellas by 62-38 percent.
GOP voters in the district need to ask themselves whether Peters will represent them, Latvala, or the Church of Scientology where she attends functions on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, though his gubernatorial aspirations have been shattered by a libido in overdrive, Latvala has been diligently doling out contributions from his PAC to candidates including longtime buddy Peters.
Some of the contributions from Latvala’s PAC went to other committees that made their own contributions to the campaigns of State Sen. Denise Grimsley, a Republican running for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, and Peters.
Since March, Latvala has given $105,000 to The Committee for Justice, Transportation and Business, which is run by longtime GOP consultant and lobbyist Dave Ramba. That committee directly gave $13,000 to Grimsley and a committee she controls on July 11, the same day it gave $1,000 to Peters’ campaign.
The paper’s support of Peters represents another case where the #MeToo movement doesn’t apply to its employees or political allies.  The Times excused the charges against Latvala to the bitter end—his resignation from the Florida Senate.  It harbors a proven predator, Barry Edwards, in its parent Poynter Institute, and has retained a high profile newsroom personality who harassed a coworker, forcing her departure in 2007.
Meanwhile, the Times will publish any unproven accusation against Kevin King, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman’s chief of staff.  The paper took it on the chin last year when Kriseman handily beat its favored candidate, Rick Baker, in its backyard.
The Times and the National Football League are the two most adept entities in America at exacerbating an already severe crisis into Armageddon-like proportions.
Scientologist Pat Clouden, head of the church’s Concerned Businessmen’s Association of Tampa Bay, managed to attract Peters to kick off a new initiative to spread panic about marijuana with the use of Scientology-printed materials from the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.               Cross Posted with permission from: Tampa Bay Beat 

This post is contributed by Tampa Bay Beat. The views and opinions expressed in this post are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Bay Post Internet or the publisher.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Media Suppresses Information to Cheerlead for Vinik's 14% Transit Sales Tax Hike

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

A massive 30 year 14% sales tax hike is totally unnecessary to fund transportation needs in fast growing Hillsborough county. There is no need to take an additional $15-18 Billion out of taxpayer pockets to fund transportation.

As we posted here, Hillsborough County commissioners took action regarding an alternative transportation funding proposal. We could find no local media reported about this action taken by the commissioners or the alternative funding proposal.

Citizen and Hillsborough County resident Dr. James Davison, who presented his alternative transportation funding proposal to the county commissioners on April 4, directly contacted the Tampa Bay Times (Times) and other local media outlets regarding his funding proposal. He sent the Times and other local media a copy of his transportation funding proposal on July 4th.

Below is a copy of the letter Dr. Davison sent to the Times on July 4th that with his permission we are posting:

To the staff of the Tampa Bay Times; 
So that there is no confusion I have attached a copy of the Transportation Revenue Plan presented to the Hillsborough County BOCC on April 4th at their regular meeting. Its total revenue is $8.469 billion of which at least $6.2 billion goes to transportation including $2.014 billion in new revenues for transit. Money is also included for roads, congestion relief/safety, sidewalks/trails and other infrastructure, all without raising taxes. There is a slight increase in the sales tax, ¼ percent, from 2021 to 2026. From 2027 to 2045 the sales tax in Hillsborough county remains at 7%. The revenue plan is spread over 25 years. If you extend the plan to 30 years the numbers increase dramatically, but the tax level remains the same, 7%. These are conservative estimates and at the request of Mr. Merrill were verified for accuracy and validity. On June 6th at their regular meeting and after meeting with Ms. Wise, Mr. Fesler and Mr. Brickley the county administration did so verify to the plan’s estimates and the BOCC voted unanimously to send the plan on to the Citizen Advisory Committee for their opinion and deliberation. Copies of the plan were given to several TBT reporters, the same attached here. A unanimous vote by the BOCC on any transportation plan in Hillsborough county I think would be news. I have never seen any mention of the above in any of your columns, the editorials or in the pages of the Tampa Bay Times. On the contrary you have chosen to publish a plan put forward after the BOCC voted on the 6th, whose numbers have not been vetted nor its impact modeled. One that raises the sales tax to the highest in the state for 30 years and is knowingly regressive in its application. That is your right as a free press. 
As we celebrate the 4th of July and are all aware that American men and women are in harms way around the world I hope we can celebrate our freedoms and rights but remember our responsibilities. 
I have had the pleasure of knowing several journalists and professors of journalism. They have assured me that there is no course or curriculum at any American university school of journalism or any ethic in journalism which teaches or supports the suppression or withholding of this type of information from the public. You have therefore learned this on your own and have done so knowingly. I am a staunch supporter of a free press. Even Pravda or the Cuban Granma have a right to publish in America, but I remind you, this is America and the truth will get out whether or not you choose to live up to your responsibility. 
I hope you and yours have had a safe and happy 4th of July

Jim Davison DO.
Davison's proposal is also a citizen led funding proposal with numbers and estimates that have been vetted. But according to Davison, the Times nor any other local media he contacted, would report about his citizen proposal that county commissioners actually took an action on. Davison, disturbed by the lack of fair journalistic reporting by local media on the issue of funding transportation, told the Eye when we contacted him:
Suppression of information by the press is not part of the 1st Amendment and has always led to tragic consequences for the people in the past. It will here too for the people of Hillsborough County.
The Times and local media cannot claim ignorance. They are aware there are alternatives to the Vinik and associates funded massive 30 year 14% sales tax hike proposal.

The Times and local media must have their marching orders. They have become information gatekeepers who refuse to fairly report and inform the public of any other transportation funding proposal but Vinik's massive 30 year 14% transit sales tax hike.

It is easier for local media to suppress information and shut down healthy public debate over different transportation funding models. Because it is very difficult for anyone to defend a massive transit tax hike that is not needed.

The Times and local media are intentionally ignoring Davison's funding proposal so they can cheerlead for the special interests/astroturf funded 14% transit sales tax hike,

The financially distressed Times, who was bailed out last year by the wealthy transit tax hike donors Jeff Vinik and Frank Morsani, is the transit tax hike's biggest cheerleader accomplice. The wealthy downtown special interests bought their media megaphone to do the cheerleading for them. 

The media is now part of the storyline not reporters.

The Times latest pro Vinik tax hike cheerleader is Sue Carlton, who the Times never discloses is the wife of Times editor John Hill. Carlton's Times article about the proposed 14% transit sales tax hike in Hillsborough County uses a picture showing traffic congestion in Clearwater. 

Cannot make such nonsense up but it does fuel the fire that the Times has no credibility when it comes to the transportation issue in Tampa Bay. They cannot figure out that Clearwater is in Pinellas County not Hillsborough.

Information is key to public debate, especially regarding transportation funding and contentious tax hikes. But the Times and local media refuse to acknowledge or report about another citizen's transportation funding proposal.

Instead the Times and local media have instituted a media blackout of reporting on any transportation funding proposal except Vinik's 30 year 14% transit sales tax hike - that will greatly benefit him.

And it's called media bias.