Wednesday, February 14, 2018

District Rays Candidate Hagan Challenged As His Teflon Wears Thin

Career politicians, especially those who park themselves in the same position for 16 years, know how to work and game the system. 

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

After 16 too long years, District Rays Candidate Hagan is violating the spirit of term limits and running again for a single district seat he already held. He doesn't care that he's setting a horrible precedent doing what no other commissioner has done in the 34 years of the county charter.

When asked why, after 16 too long years, he is running again, the District Rays Candidate has said he has "things" he wants to complete. Of course! The candidate for District Rays wants to complete his pursuit of a new Rays stadium - that he's been pursuing for most of his 16 too long years as a county commissioner.

But besides a baseball stadium, what are the other "things" Hagan wants to complete? Hagan must have an earth shattering list of things to complete that he feels entitled to egregiously flip flop back to a seat he already held.

The Times even reached out in December to the county commissioners to ask each commissioner about their priorities. They got crickets from the District Rays Candidate Hagan. As the current longest serving commissioner, District Rays Candidate Hagan was the only commissioner who did not respond. Perhaps the holidays kept Hagan from getting his scripted response from his PR confidante in time to respond.

We checked Hagan's campaign website owned by HCP Associates, a professional marketing/PR firm. No list there either or much of anything else - considering Hagan's been in office for 16 years. The District Rays Candidate Hagan's professionally created website is just a shell to collect some donations of at least $100 (the big donors send checks directly) with a small blurb of political gobblygook.

From Candidate Hagan's website
Hagan may consider himself "experienced", but after 16 too long years, he is a career county commissioner who refuses to respect term limits.

Where did that first bullet about standing firm to manage the budget and growth "without increasing taxes" come from? District Rays Candidate Hagan is living in his own alternative universe, echo chamber or the Twilight zone to make such stuff up.

Did Hagan erase or BleachBit his past?

Candidate Rays campaign website also touts he wants to create high-wage, high quality jobs. Well..

In pursuit of a new baseball stadium, Candidate Rays Hagan has stated it could be more than just a ball park, but about creating an entertainment district - more restaurants, retail and fern bars. Are those high wage jobs? Is that what's needed in Ybor?

According to this article from the Economic Research of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis , 86% of economists surveyed stated state and local governments should ELIMINATE subsidies to professional sports franchises. That article also stated:

In a 2017 poll, 83 percent of the economists surveyed agreed that "Providing state and local subsidies to build stadiums for professional sports teams is likely to cost the relevant taxpayers more than any local economic benefits that are generated."No wonder economists state that...especially when all the shady wheeling and dealing is being done in the dark. And in the case of District Rays Candidate Hagan, he was wheeling and dealing behind closed doors with his campaign donors.

Subsidizing sports stadiums for wealthy sports team owners does not create high wage jobs nor does subsidizing big retailers like Bass Pro. Is creating a place to host bachelorette parties part of Hagan's high wage jobs vision? Who was the local lobbyist for Bass Pro? Surprise! Hagan's cozy, close PR confidante Beth Leytham.

Bass Pro Shops recently sold their Brandon store and two other Bass Pro stores in Florida to Starwood Property Trust for a lease-back arrangement. Hmmm...

Past actions and behaviors are the best indicators of how one will behave and act in the future - not words on a website or some well scripted political rhetoric.

Hagan has been systematically recommending sales tax hikes and cunningly seeking risky financing schemes for years. It was Hagan who got Mike Merrill, former county bond/debt manager, his position as County Administrator in 2010 and the two of them have been pushing tax hikes and a baseball stadium ever since.

Something else unprecedented is Hagan has raised almost a HALF MILLION dollars for a single district county commission race, tons of it from those who cannot vote for him. It's not about District 2 for Hagan, it's about keeping his fingers in the county taxpayer cookie jar.

District Rays Candidate Hagan's campaign donations confirms he must deliver the goods to his special interests donor base.

After 16 too long years, District Rays Candidate Hagan thinks the county cannot live without him.

But the so-called "teflon" that District Rays Candidate Hagan thinks still surrounds him has worn thin or perhaps totally worn off.

Republican voters in District 2 can reject Hagan's arrogance and entitlement attitude.

In the August Primary, they should vote for Chris Paradies.
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

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Kriseman administration to south St. Pete – protection or a message?

The answers to these questions are important for everyone who lives in St. Petersburg. 

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog
An extra visible police presence during the Martin Luther King Parade and the “after party” which follows the parade and lasts into the evening has stirred a continuing dust up between the Kriseman Administration and the citizens of South St. Petersburg.
Here is a revealing VIDEO by John Muhammad from MLK Day. You can get some detail in the Tampa Bay Times from Zachary T. Sampson: Police presence at Martin Luther King Jr. Day after-party raises ire

The NAACP has weighed in as reported in this article by Tampa Bay Times  Sara DiNatale: NAACP continues to question police presence at Martin Luther King Jr. Day after-party

Being the good soldier, he is St. Police Chief Tony Holloway has taken full responsibility for the bad feelings in South St. Pete blaming it on a “communications” problem but never really addressing the two key issues. Did Mayor Kriseman or anyone  on his staff see, review and/or ok the plan and why the dramatic change from soft presence to a very visible and aggressive presence as demonstrated in the VIDEO?

Holloway has a history of taking responsibility and fending off responsibility for major police faux pas from his bosses and his somewhat charming way of doing it usually works.

Having worked the MLK event from both the administrative side and the police department side I know that in the past, this event is one previous administrations have taken very seriously and the planning was a joint effort between the Police Department and the Administration.

Mayor Kriseman’s responses so far have been rather lukewarm indicating one of two things. Either he just left the whole thing up to his police chief with no review, follow-up, concern or input to the increased policing plan indicating a complete lack of respect for the event, or he was onboard with the plan and wanted to ensure there were no major issues to cloud his re-election hype.

It could also be that he was just too busy taking a victory lap following his re-election to be involved.   

The real question here is this an ill-conceived MLK Day moment exacerbated by poor “communications” or is this a message to south St. Pete that now I’m back in office and don’t need your votes this is how things are going to be.

The people raising these questions, the NAACP, Brother John Muhammad and others need to press on and not let the Mayor punt this one to his new Deputy Mayor or send her in order to calm the waters. 

The answers to these questions are important for everyone who lives in St. Petersburg. 
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Friday, February 9, 2018

My football boycott – season wrap up

NFL Television ratings continue to tumble. 

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD

In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

If you have been following this Blog, you probably know that following the decision by NFL players to protest the National Anthem and the NFL’s totally lame reaction, I decided I had had enough of the minority privileged disrespecting our flag and all it stands for.
The actions were disgusting enough but the NFL, and most of the owners seemed to be like a deer caught in the headlights not knowing which way to jump.
In my most Post, My NFL protest continues – and it’s working I looked at the NFL’s declining TV ratings, arguably the NFL’s pocketbook, and things continued to get worse as the season rolled along.
It appears things got even worse for the Super Bowl, here are some links:
“An estimated 103.4 million people watched the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, the smallest audience for television's biggest yearly event since 2009.”

We did not watch the watch the Super Bowl, so you can count us in the missing viewers.

What has been most interesting is how not watching football on TV has affected some of our buying habits. Making a genuine effort not to purchase products from companies who support the NFL, we have made a surprising number of new discoveries in household products that we buy on a recurring schedule and have permanently switched to them.

We also made a change in local grocery stores and have been avoiding the chain restaurants that support the NFL.

I hope the $5 million or so the advertisers ponied up for the Super Bowl Commercials was worth it.

We kept a loose running total of diverted purchases in house hold goods, retail, restaurant, small ticket and big-ticket items, and it looks like to total added up to about $4500.

I noted with interest some if not all the winning Eagles Team planned to boycott a trip to the White House. It seems like a good idea to me. They have no respect for the country. Why would they have any respect for the office of the President?

I hope they follow through or better yet the White House declines to send or rescinds the invitation.

Why give these people another platform to give us the finger?

As the year goes on we will continue the effort always looking for that little NFL logo on the package or ad and making our buying decisions accordingly.

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
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