Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mitch Perry Report 1.29.13: LGBT community in Hillsborough says they're fighting back

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 8:00 AM

There are several letters to the editor in today's local papers condemning the four GOP county commissioners in Hillsborough County for rejecting a domestic partner registry last week. There have been several allusions over the past week comparing these four commissioners to the four commissioners in Pinellas who voted to remove fluoride in the drinking supply last year — a decision that angered Pinellas citizens and ultimately helped to remove two of those four commissioners when they ran for re-election last fall.

The dynamic isn't exactly the same in Hillsborough, of course. Or it hasn't been in the past. Could the down votes hurt those commissioners in any future runs for office? Undoubtedly (especially in Tampa), but two of those commissioners were just re-elected a couple of months ago, and have no fear of a challenge for years to come.

Yesterday, members of the gay rights group Equality Florida announced they will host a townhall meeting to decide what to do about the situation next week.

Meanwhile, I was in Largo yesterday, where I heard a lot of folks address the local legislative delegation about the worthiness of their respective organizations.

Also at that meeting, Pinellas County school superintendent Mike Grego was asked by Pinellas County state legislator Jack Latvala if he had any thoughts about Gov. Rick's Scott's announcement that he intends to give virtually every public high school teacher a $2,500 pay raise.

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