Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mitch Perry Report 8.14.14: PSTA retreats (again)

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 9:08 AM

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A day after the Tampa Bay Times editorial page slammed PSTA for its new policy regarding public records requests, Executive Director Brad Miller reversed himself on Wednesday, and will no longer list the names of those who make such requests on the agency's website.

Miller could have gone two ways after the Times editorial — hunkered down and said that his intentions weren't as nefarious as depicted, or back down to the power of the editorial page. He chose the latter, showing that he's learned that it doesn't really pay to fight the media. That's what he did earlier this summer when confronted by WTSP's Mike Deeson (following up on a blog post by David McKalip) about alleged misuse of Department of Homeland Security funds to promote Greenlight Pinellas.

That blew up in his face when he had to return over $350,000 in DHS funds after the agency said that the ads didn't meet the requirements for an "anti-terrorism" campaign (thanks in part to the intervention by Congressman David Jolly). That followed an earlier claim by state Senator Jeff Brandes — who said PSTA was skirting the line between education and advocacy — that was ultimately rejected by the FL Dept. of Transportation's Inspector General.

None of this has anything to do with the merits of Greenlight. But it's another distraction that advocates of the transit tax can ill afford. For those who want this measure to pass, there simply can't be any more unforced errors.

In other news…

Tonight in Plant City there will be a forum for those young undocumented immigrants who qualified for DACA in 2012 or hope to sign up for it this year. 

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie's got a running mate.....and the plan to redevelop Tampa's Riverfront Park appears closer to coming together.

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