Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Can't Run a Campaign but Think They Can Run a Train

The Eye has been posting since last year about the distrustful and deceitful activity that continues to be associated with the Greenlight Pinellas referendum and it's advocacy campaigns. Yesterday's Tampa Bay Times editorial admits
The political campaign for the Greenlight Pinellas transit referendum already has jumped the track.
Greenlight Pinellas advocacy campaign jumps off its tracks
That may be an understatement but we appreciate the Times realizing the train wreck PSTA, Yes for Greenlight and the entire Greenlight Pinellas advocacy campaigns have become. 

In 2010 during the Hillsborough transit referendum both advocacy campaigns, Moving Hillsborough Forward who supported the referendum and who opposed the referendum were set up and organized as transparent political action committees (PACs).  Thus the campaigns had to follow the campaign finance rules disclosing who their donors were, how much their donors contributed and where they expended their money.  That information exists today and can be found at the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections website.  

NoTaxForTracks is setup as a PAC in Pinellas just like the PAC was in Hillsborough in 2010.  A PAC provides the legal transparency required by the campaign finance rules. 

Therefore, we questioned why the Yes for Greenlight campaign was setup as a 501c4 nonprofit that enables the campaign to hide their donors and campaign contributions. The Times agreed too, with these statements about the nonprofit status of Yes for Greenlight:
….it made a serious error in organizing itself so that its financial contributors can be kept secret. 
….business and community leaders have to create a smart grass-roots campaign that is highly visible and entirely open about its finances
Yes for Greenlight should reorganize as a different type of political committee that is legally required to disclose its donors….
Taxpayers and voters in Pinellas deserve better.  Inquiring voters want to know where "the campaign money is coming from and where it's going".  The only assumption one can make is that Yes for Greenlight has something to hide and did not want their donors to be disclosed.  One could refer back to Moving Hillsborough Forward's donor list (link above) and perhaps speculate if the same or similar special interests will be donating to the Yes for Greenlight campaign.

This is also a reminder that as reported by the Tampa Tribune 
PSTA CEO Brad Miller said there will be coordination between the two campaigns….
And PSTA already has enough black eyes as we posted yesterday.

The Tampa Bay Times is correct that the Greenlight Pinellas campaign is now a train wreck. 

These folks cannot even run a campaign.  Do you think they can run a $2 Billion train?

Update:  Brad Miller, CEO of PSTA, was serious about his taxpayer funded Greenlight Pinellas campaign coordinating with the private Yes for Greenlight private advocacy campaign. Yes for Greenlight has a picture of Brad Miller, with his Greenlight Pinellas button on, speaking at the Yes for Greenlight campaign kick off event on the Yes for Greenlight Facebook page.  This event was held in the morning so Miller is speaking at this event on PSTA/Pinellas's taxpayer time.  And the caption with Miller states:  New campaign asks for Yes on Pinellas transit referendum.  Is this legal, unethical or what?  Anyone outraged?
Brad Miller, CEO of PSTA, coordinates his Greenlight Pinellas
campaign to ask for a "yes vote" with the private Yes for Greenlight campaign

1 comment:

  1. The Greenlight Pinellas public education campaign shows light rail running on the CSX corridor. Ask Brad Miller if he has had any negotiations with CSX.