Sunday, February 28, 2021

Breaking: No Tax For Tracks Issues Statement on Yesterday's FL Supreme Court Ruling Striking the AFT Transit Tax

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

 Orignally Posted FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2021

No Tax For Tracks, the formal opposition to the All For Transportation transit tax, has issued the following Statement on Florida Supreme Court Ruling Striking the AFT transit tax.

 No Tax For Tracks Statement

On Florida Supreme Court Striking Down the All for Transportation Transit Sales Tax

Tampa, FL—February 26, 2021  NoTaxForTracks celebrates the Florida Supreme Court ruling yesterday that threw out the 1% All for Transportation (AFT) transit sales tax in its entirety as unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful.  

NoTaxForTracks thanks Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White for filing his legal challenge against AFT in 2018. We are grateful to those who supported NoTaxForTracks and our effort to get the truth out about AFT’s deceptive tax hike referendum.  

NoTaxForTracks Officer Sharon Calvert stated, “AFT was a 30 year $16 Billion rail tax that was a massive transfer of wealth from unincorporated Hillsborough to the City of Tampa. The wealthy downtown Tampa developers and special interests who funded AFT do not care about road needs in unincorporated Hillsborough.”  

AFT had charter language that conflicted with Florida State law. NoTaxForTracks publicly warned about AFT’s potential legal issues and provided that warning to local media in 2018 who failed to report about them or inform the voting public. 

With the AFT transit tax gone, this is a time for a Reset.   

NoTaxForTracks Chair Karen Jaroch stated, “The AFT sales tax prohibited funding new road capacity and prioritized costly rail, that was already on the road to obsolescence, before the pandemic landed the knockout punch. This tax unlawfully took $300 for every man, woman and child in Hillsborough and the reset needs to include returning these funds back to them in the form of a rebate, which has the added benefit of providing a much-needed economic stimulus.”  

NoTaxForTracks spokesperson Jim Davison stated “The Supreme Court decision helps our struggling small businesses in a time of the pandemic and provides a second chance to fix our roads and transportation issues in a more equitable manner. 

NoTaxForTracks spokesperson Tom Gaitens stated “Tyler Hudson, AFT and the BOCC owe the residents an apology for their malfeasance and violations of the Public Trust. Their rush to place a tax on Hillsborough County residents to fund their rail transit dreams not only cost taxpayers $472 million and unnecessary legal expenses, but also lost time in improving, widening and building new roads to meet the ever increasing population. Common sense tells us".  

Hillsborough County has transportation needs that must be addressed and we will stay engaged on this issue. 


A copy of the No Tax For Tracks Statement can be found here. 

Posted by Sharon Calvert

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

Friday, February 26, 2021

Manatee County Commission – Corrupt to a Fault

WEST COAST         

Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD 

One of the most certain ways to tell if a governmental unit such as a city, a county or a major state department is corrupt is to look at the way they handle disciplining their own board members.

Just in case you have not been following the latest Manatee County Commission debacle regarding the distribution of the Corona vaccine, here are some links to bring you up to date.

WFLA 8 On Your Side Staff, by: Chip Osowski: Manatee sheriff investigating whether Commissioner Vanessa Baugh broke state law with vaccine event

Tampa Bay Times by Ryan Callihan: DeSantis threatens to divert vaccines from Manatee after backlash on access

WTSP by Liz Crawford: 'I was horrified': Rep. Crist on DeSantis' vaccine site in wealthy Manatee County neighborhood.

FOX 13 By Kimberly Kuizon: Crist pushes US Attorney General to investigate DeSantis, vaccine clinics

The public in Manatee County is incensed over Commissioner Baugh's actions and even Charlie Crist, who is really difficult to rile up, and I know Charlie well, was in his words horrified at what went wrong in the DeSantis ordered Lakewood Ranch pop-up vaccine site.

There's just no excuse for what Commissioner Baugh did. She violated the law; she violated the public trust; she insulted everybody who lives in Manatee County, and made the whole vaccine registration program look like a farce.

Then, when her fellow commissioners had the opportunity to boot her out of her position as chair and probably off the County Commission, what do they do? They vote four to three to keep her right there.

What should that tell you? What else is going on behind the scenes at the Manatee County Commission? Who else is wielding influence over the commissioners? Who has what on whom?

Somebody's got something on someone, or they would have voted to throw her out and make themselves look like heroes. It seems to me maybe they are more afraid of retribution from the chair after she's out than worried about her illegal activities while she's in the Commission chair seat.

If her fellow commissioners are worried about her future, I would offer they needn't be. I'm sure she has a great future out in Lakewood Ranch at SMR.

Check out this link FOX 13 By Kimberly Kuizon and Haley Hinds: Baugh to remain Manatee County Commission chairperson, but deputies now investigating vaccine site

I was most disappointed in commissioner at large George Kruse's vote to keep Baugh on the County Commission and especially keep her on as chair. It just didn't make any sense.

Asking the Manatee County Sheriff to investigate this issue is akin to putting the fox in charge of the hen house. Not likely to be very objective.

Representative Christ’s call for the Department of Justice to investigate this whole mess is a good one simply because there certainly isn't anyone in the DeSantis administration who would give a complete and fair assessment to the illegal actions of this public servant.

The Manatee County Commission continues to struggle with extricating itself from the politics of the 60s and meeting the needs and the responsibilities of governing in a modern society.

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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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Take Action to Support SB1130 and Eliminate TBARTA Once and For All!

Tampa, Fl

From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

TBARTA, the Tampa Bay Area Transit Authority, is a wasteful, duplicative and crony bureaucracy that must go. We have been advocating for eliminating TBARTA for almost a decade.

Senator Jeff Brandes has given us the opportunity to get rid of TBARTA with his SB1130 bill to dissolve TBARTA. 

 Here's our latest podcast (about 5 minutes) explaining why we must get rid of TBARTA once and for all. Eliminating TBARTA will ensure this agency never becomes a regional taxing authority that would empower and enrich crony special interests.

 The Florida 2021 legislative session begins March 2nd.

Take action today to help protect the taxpayer. SB1130 needs a champion and companion bill in the State House.

Voice your support for SB1130 by contacting Speaker Sprowls, Senate President Simpson and your State House and Senate Representatives at:

A big Thank You to Senator Brandes for providing that rare opportunity to get rid of an unnecessary and wasteful bureaucracy.

 Support Senate Bill 1130!

Posted by Sharon Calvert at 1:35 PM 

 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, February 21, 2021

COVID Vaccine Distribution in Manatee County - Random Luck or Living in the Right ZIP Code


WEST COAST        

Opinion by:  
E. Eugene Webb PhD 

Governor Ron DeSantis's decision to politicize the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Manatee County has literally opened Pandora's box.

Governor DeSantis, a Republican, has ignored federal guidelines and prioritized getting senior citizens, one of Florida’s biggest voting blocs, vaccinated first.

His most-recent foray into vaccines for votes occurred as he worked with Lakewood Ranch developers to provide a pop-up vaccination site just for them.

For more information check out this article from NBC News By Corky Siemaszko: Florida governor accused of playing politics with Covid vaccine

The parent company of Lakewood Ranch Schroeder - Manatee Ranch (SMR) has given millions of dollars to the Republican Party.

It turns out the Lakewood Ranch area in question has one of the county's lowest COVID case rates and lowest COVID death rates.

Here is more:

Tampa Bay Times By Ryan Callihan and Jessica De Leon: Well-off Manatee residents get special vaccine access, courtesy of DeSantis

Tampa Bay Times By Ryan Callihan: DeSantis threatens to divert vaccines from Manatee after backlash on access

Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, a Republican who has close ties to Governor DeSantis, helped arrange the use of a Manatee County Sports Complex located in Lakewood Ranch to serve as the vaccine distribution site.

As the decision to provide the vaccine pop-up site, began to come apart Commissioner Baugh defended her decision to support the effort frequently saying, “I'm sorry if you're upset, but I would do it again."

The question seems to be is Commissioner Baugh sorry or not? So much for protocol.

Meanwhile, there are literally thousands and thousands of seniors in Manatee County who have gone onto the website filled out all the information and are waiting for the supposed lottery draw of their name to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

The question now becomes is that lottery process truly a lottery? We know it has an age definition of 65 and older but does it also have a zip code component, or a political party affiliation component?

I'm one of those over 65 people who just went online, filled out all the information, and I'm patiently waiting for some form of notification that I can go get a COVID-19 vaccination.

My zip code is 34221 I don't know if I'm in or out, I don't know if I'm part of the lottery or sitting in a little bucket over here with a red R on the side that says he can wait.

The Manatee County Commission needs to get their act together an establish a citizen's review group of two or three or four people with cross party affiliations and let them act as an oversight committee on the determination of how these lottery entries are selected.

If it's truly random that's fine. If they're being sorted by zip code or any other attribute the public needs to know that.

Governor DeSantis is well within his legal rights to do what he did at Lakewood Ranch, and the other places where he is set up or proposing to set up pop-up vaccination sites.

At least, he is in his legal rights, as long as there is some hint of fairness. If all of these pop-up sites end up in Republican voter and/or contributor's strongholds throughout the state, then it's time for a serious investigation.

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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Friday, February 19, 2021

The NRP And the GOP Will There Be A New Republican Party?

WEST COAST        

Opinion by:  
E. Eugene Webb PhD 

Well, the battle lines are starting to become clearer between the Republican establishment who hates Trump almost as badly as the Democrats do, and the fervent Trump supporters who would like to see him reelected in 2024.

There's also some chatter about The Republican Party splitting into two factions.

So, if there's going to be a new Republican Party it's going to need a name. Just to keep things simple let's go with the New Republican Party or the NRP.

The GOP continues to be dominated by a group of old white men most of whom are very wealthy and totally out of touch with the reality of today's cultural shifts. They long for the good old days, for lower taxes, fewer social programs, and more individual responsibility. They are war adverse, isolationists; and genuinely believe that climate change is a bigger business than it is a problem.

Inspired by the four years of the Trump administration, this group of new Republicans will be younger, more diverse, quite possibly a little less better educated, and deeply untrusting of their GOP counterparts.

While there is a lot of old money out there in the GOP, a lot of it is slowly dying off both literally and figuratively. In the meantime, there is a growing amount of very wealthy young and middle-aged Republicans who have begun to feel deeply disenfranchised by the current Republican Party.

As tension continues to grow between former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the battle for who will be the voice of the GOP will heat up.

Former President Trump, unlikely to wait for the GOP establishment to decide his fate will quite likely move to establish a political party like structure to begin developing funding sources and support for his approach to the 2022 midterms.

Will Donald Trump run for president in 2024? It's hard to say at this point. But it already looks like we will see one Trump on the ballot in 2022, and I would not be too surprised to see at least one more.

The traditional Republican Party has emerged from serious defeats and major disasters before. But they have never suffered such a serious defeat while having the defeated candidate remain so personally and politically popular.

It's always been easy for either political party to quietly dislodge its losing presidential candidate and open the door to new opportunities at the top of the party.

This time it's different Trump is still there, still driving the news cycle, still drawing large donations, and he's not particularly happy with the way the Republican Party is being run.

When Donald Trump finds a structure he doesn't like, he tears it down and builds a new one.

He's done it before, he's probably going to do it again.   

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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Sunday, February 14, 2021

January 6th, 2021 How Close Were We To A Government Collapse?

WEST COAST        

Opinion by:  
E. Eugene Webb PhD 

As the impeachment proceedings unfolded this past week, The American public has been able to see exactly what went on during the attack on the capital.

Significant amounts of previously unknown and seen video indicate the level of violence, the degree of sophistication, the intensity of the perpetrators, and the sheer terror of the moment.

It would seem, that the reality of what took place is just now starting to sink in.

As I sat and watched the impeachment proceedings, it is easy to understand how the members of the US House and the US Senate, their staff, and all of the other people working in the Capitol building at the time of the attack we’re in fear for their lives.

I will simply leave the adjudication of the responsibility of former president Trump to the impeachment proceedings and to the investigations, charges, and prosecutions that will certainly follow.

What I would like to do in this Post is present some questions for you to consider as you ponder what happened to the United States on January the 6th 2021.

In the impeachment proceedings and in the lead up to those proceedings you heard any number of politicians, and pundits indicate that our democracy was under attack. I will admit that I for one, at least in the early going, thought much of that was hyperbole generated by the intense political feelings surrounding the event.

As I've watched and listened to the impeachment proceedings, viewed the videos, listen to the presentations of both sides, my view of the events has modified slightly.

So here are five questions for you to consider as you think about your country and the freedoms you enjoy.

1. What would have happened had the capital attackers managed to capture and or kill Vice President Pence?

2. What would have happened if capital attackers had managed to capture and or kill Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi or Senate President Chuck Schumer?

3. What would have happened if the capital attackers had decided to occupy The Capitol building and not leave?

4.Thinking about the question above, what would have been the likely response of president Trump, and lacking any response from President Trump, what would the actions of the military have been?

5. Since virtually the entire chain of succession was in the Capitol building at the time of the attack, what does the command structure look like when everyone that command might pass too was rendered in effective because of the insurrection?

Looked at in the window of these five questions and many more, the issue really becomes how would our government proceed in an orderly fashion, who would assume control, and on what authority could they or would they take action to secure the capital?

I do not propose any answers to any of these questions at this point.

In fact, I am not sure there are any answers at the moment.

I merely raised them for you to think about and begin to appreciate the fragility, not weakness, fragility of our democracy.  

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.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.  


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