Cl attended the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce's annual "Hob Nob" over at the Tampa Bay Times Forum last night, along with about 400 other folks. The "news" aspect of this event is always the straw poll results announced at the end of the confab, but should it be? The pro-business Chamber crowd generally supports Republicans, or do you really think it means anything that E.J. Otero is a serious threat to knock off Kathy Castor in her bid for re-election for Congress this fall? (Otero edged out Castor amongst the Chamber crowd 45-36 percent). Or perhaps you think Republican Warren Wesley has a serious chance against Democrat Janet Cruz in HD-62? Well, he does according to the Chamber straw poll, losing narrowly 51-49 percent.
There were some interesting tidbits, undoubtedly. Check this site later today or first thing tomorrow to read some of our stories on some candidates we engaged with, including with embattled Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Rob Turner.
Did you know there is the possibility of a property tax referendum going on the ballot in Hillsborough this fall that would give the public the option of raising taxes to pay for over $80 million in park projects, including the Friendship Trail Bridge? We write the word "possibility" advisably, since our survey with four Board members indicates that the proposal may never get to the ballot.
The national homebuilders groups are fearful that such staples as the home interest mortgage deduction could be swept away under tax reform plans (that aren't being debated yet on Capitol Hill). So yesterday they held a rally in Tampa, and were able to persuade some of Tampa's leading politicos to advocate on their behalf.
And although we know some Democrats like to criticize Rasmussen polls as skewing conservative, they'd be fools not to take seriously their survey released yesterday that shows Connie Mack up by 9 points.