Monday, June 10, 2013

Tampa Bay Times 2nd swing, gets it half right

The Tampa Bay Times was shamed enough to at least update in their blog the article I referenced in my post on Friday.  However, Bill Varian still got things only half right in his post on TBT's Political Buzz blog "Calvert objects to claims she misused committee appointment".
A primary challenger to Republican Victor Crist's Hillsborough County Commission reelection campaign last year says she objects to accusations she used an appointment to the county's Citizens Advisory Committee as a soapbox for her campaign. 
First, it should be noted, Crist appointed Calvert after hearing rumors she might challenge his reelection in 2012, which the Times has previously reported.
First, let's look at the timeline. Crist appointed me at the beginning of 2011, long before I was thinking of running for office. After the 2010 rail tax referendum and what I saw from some of our county agencies, I wanted to learn more about how our county government operated and serve in a capacity to make it operate better.  On January 28, 2012, the Tampa Bay Times wrote this (whatever "whispered" means....):
Calvert, of Lutz, is whispered as a prospective challenger to Crist for the County Commission, though she's not saying if she will pursue his seat or another.
I was appointed and served on the Citizens Advisory Committee over a year before I decided to run. Crist could not have appointed me after hearing rumors I might challenge him in 2012 because there were no such rumors in 2011. I filed to run in March 2012.

Second, Bill Varian adds a small reference to Terry Kemple at the end of his update:
The move is seen as a move by some commissioners to keepTerry Kemple, an anti-gay-rights activist and school board candidate, from serving on a proposed diversity committee to which he has sought appointment.
However, Bill misses the real story regarding Commissioner Miller using me as his scapegoat for his "ire" against Kemple.  As stated in my previous post:
Instead of Commissioner Miller admitting that his proposal to prohibit candidates from serving on voluntary committees was specifically aimed at Terry Kemple, he deceptively used me as the example. Commissioner Miller proposed an end around to his own previous procedural maneuver to prohibit Terry Kemple from serving on any committee.
Instead of pointing to me, Bill Varian should have asked Commissioner Miller why he used me as his scapegoat to target Terry Kemple? And why didn't Bill ask Commissioner Miller why he was doing an end around his previous procedural maneuver to keep Terry Kemple off of the Diversity Panel and also to throw Terry off a committee he has been serving on for years?
Third, County Commissioners themselves comprise the entire board of the Environmental Protection Commission and they serve individually on many agency boards, committees and authorities.  Do they ever try to promote "their" agenda while serving?  So the County Commissioners want to prohibit and remove citizens who currently serve or want to serve on volunteer citizen committees and decide to become a candidate. Then the Commissioners too need to be removed from their committee assignments when they file to run for re-election and become a candidate.  Think they use their committee assignment influence during their campaigns? 

Time to start taking away the benefits of "incumbency"!

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