Thursday, June 5, 2014

Rallies in the Rain and PSTA on the Run

The Eye took a road trip over the Howard Frankland last Tuesday, May 27th, to Pinellas to check out some sign waving events regarding the Greenlight Pinellas referendum.

Luckily for me, the rain was just letting up as I got to the intersection of Belcher Road South and Brian Dairy Road in Largo where the events were taking place.  I pulled in to park and saw NoTaxForTracks Pinellas, the PAC opposing the Greenlight Pinellas referendum, had their signs planted and supporters with signs at 3 of the 4 corners of the large intersection. When I walked over to the intersection I then saw some supporters of the pro-referendum Connect Tampa Bay huddled around a bus bench across the street. The bus bench was not directly at the intersection but a ways down from the intersection.

I brought my camera to capture the fun and caught up with Betsi Burgess, a volunteer with NoTaxForTracks Pinellas, for a quick man on the street interview.

Barbara Haselden, the campaign manager for NoTaxForTracks, was there. I interviewed Barbara to find out why they were at this particular intersection this day.  I also got the latest information on the NoTaxForTracks campaign, including Greenlight Pinellas deciding to run away from having to speak at the same event as NoTaxForTracks that Greenlight had been scheduled to speak at too.

I did note that all the NoTaxForTracks supporters are voters who live in Pinellas.  I did see some supporters of Connect Tampa Bay who live in Hillsborough, and of course cannot vote in Pinellas, but came over to support their cause.  Regardless of that, the NoTaxForTracks supporters out numbered and way out signed the pro Greenlight folks.

NoTaxForTracks PAC raises their own private money to pay for all their own signs and literature.  Many of the Connect Tampa Bay supporters were holding the Greenlight Pinellas signs that taxpayer funded PSTA is handing out. The pro referendum supporters simply have to go to PSTA and pick up as many Greenlight Pinellas signs they want, all at taxpayer expense.  Convenient huh?
Greenlight Pinellas yard signs used to urge SUPPORT FOR Greenlight
paid for by taxpayers
Connect TampaBay had created a Facebook event so I went there that evening to see any comments posted and this was the first comment I found.  I captured the text but this comment must have been deleted as it no longer appears on their page.
I don't want to bust on the people that did show up today, But man we need to take some lessons from this one... if you are going to have a rally for the cause, you need to have some signs ready for the people to use ! thanks Bruce for giving me your sign as you were leaving, but I could have used it an hour earlier, when I showed up there at 5:00, I felt like Newman & Redford in the last scene of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid !...yes I know that some NTFT people are seeing this, but I got to hand it to them, they came out in force today and much better prepared...WE HAVE TO MATCH THAT EFFORT... WE NEED TO FIGHT RHETORIC ... WITH FACTS ! ! they were packing more baloney than Oscar Meyer out there today.. I know we took a lesson today..But WE WILL LEARN FROM THIS.. and be ready the the next rally...
Below is now the first comment displayed which appears to be a response to the above comment that got deleted.
Comment from Connect Tampa Bay event on Facebook
So we learned something else. Not only do Connect Tampa Bay supporters use taxpayer funded Greenlight Pinellas yard signs to urge SUPPORT FOR the referendum, they also pick up as many Greenlight Pinellas taxpayer funded pamphlets they can to distribute.  How easy is that when someone else (the taxpayer) gets to pick up the tab? 

That's what happens when taxpayer funded entities are allowed to use taxpayer funded resources to support a referendum to raise taxes that benefits them.

Just like NoTaxForTracks volunteer Betsi Burgess indicated, this is a David and Goliath battle, and I'll add it's Round 2, but once again NoTaxForTracks proves who the real grassroots activists are on this issue.


  1. You are an idiot. I saw the greenlight pinellas people on ALL corners, including the one on the star center side where you were interviewing. Funny how they werent afraid to walk over and confront you face to face. Even funnier that you interviewed them on "your" side but refuse to show them here, because then you would have no argument. There is a interview showing a NTFT being interviewed on facebook with all of you huddled in the back ground, and one of your guys even pulled them away from the interview! Your lies are showing!! Better tuck in your petticoat before the public figures it out.

    1. We chose not publish the interview with the Greenlight supporter because we did not have permission to use it. She did not come across well and we could have used it to further support our point of view. Actually, she was present in the Walmart video we posted too - isn't that interesting? When we publish videos we report them straight unlike that silly, childish editing done on the interview with the NTFT supporter. Keep it up with your ad hominem attacks and rudeness. We are sure it helps your cause immensely.