Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tampa Bay Partnership Expensive Ride to Nowhere

The Tampa Bay Partnership (TBP) has decided to weigh in on the Greenlight Pinellas project by questioning the effectiveness of the opposition.
Those in opposition to the Greenlight Pinellas plan organized and hosted their campaign kick-off event last week and have gained some traction. Several recent articles have alluded that No Tax for Tracks Pinellas is the second generation of opposition stemming from No Tax for Tracks Hillsborough, which “defeated” the 2010 transit referendum in Hillsborough County but just how effective was that group four years ago?

Post-election polling conducted by Kenney Group in the weeks following the defeat of Hillsborough’s 2010 transit referendum finds that just 6 percent of voters said they were even somewhat convinced by No Tax for Tracks. In fact, 75 percent of those who voted against the referendum did not recall hearing anything from the opposition group. By comparison, 26 percent of voters said they were very or somewhat convinced by the campaign to support the referendum – Moving Hillsborough Forward.
TBP cites a poll where "just 6 percent of voters said they were even somewhat convinced by No Tax for Tracks", yet "26 percent of voters said they were very or somewhat convinced by the campaign to support the referendum – Moving Hillsborough Forward." What are the internals of that poll?  How many lived in the county vs the city?  What was the demographics or party affiliation?  Reporting results of a poll that provides no information of who was polled is basically meaningless.

However, TBP goes on to state "what went wrong for Hillsborough transportation in 2010 shows that a hostile political environment, struggling economy and anti-tax sentiment (isolated from the referendum itself) was really what defeated the Hillsborough initiative".

Well, what ever.  It's not news there's a substantial part of the population, even in Hillsborough County, that are not eager to tax and spend for comprehensive yet unaccountable plans.

Could Tampa Bay Partnership, a supporter of Greenlight Pinellas,  be getting a little skiddish and felt the need to raise some fear, uncertainty and doubt about the Greenlight Pinellas opposition?

Tampa Bay Partnership supports Greenlight Pinellas
Once again, No Tax for Tracks is the David fighting against the Goliath of the Big Business backed Tampa Bay Partnership.  Now add the newly formed million dollar PAC Greenlight Yes, which is headed by Ronnie Duncan, the unelected chairman of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, and PSTA openly coordinating with Greenlight YES.  Not to mention PSTA has already spent $400,000 on education, and has budgeted another $150,000 for even more education.

Add that up, and Greenlight Pinellas proponents have spent or will spend at least $1,550,000, much of which is taxpayer funded, to "educate" Pinellas voters.

Too bad they are not spending that money to improve transit services in Pinellas.

Recent polls are indicating a downward trend in support for Greenlight Pinellas, especially when the voters are educated about the new tax, 61% opposed the tax hike.

No Tax for Tracks Pinellas kickoff was attended by well over 100 citizens.

Connect Tampa Bay unveiled their plan in Tampa on January 30th with about 30 people attending.

How much money did No Tax for Tracks raise and spend, back by a few concerned citizens?

Just under $25,000.

What percentage of the votes did No Tax for Tracks get?


How much money to the Tampa Bay Partnership backed Moving Hillborough Forward PAC spend, funded by some of the largest businesses in Tampa Bay?


What percentage of votes did Moving Hillsborough Forward receive?


How much money did MHF waste per vote?

Who was most cost effective?

Tampa Bay Partnership concludes
[I]f No Tax for Tracks Pinellas wants to ride the “success” of their sister group in Hillsborough County they may find that success can be hard to measure.
If Tampa Bay Partnership wants to ride on their success in 2010, it will be a very expensive ride to nowhere.

Who won on the only metric that counted in November 2010, the popular vote?

The citizens supporting No Tax for Tracks won.

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