Tuesday, October 4, 2022

FACTS Expose the Deceptive Pro Rail Tax Disinformation Campaign

Guest post from Dr. Jim Davison who has been involved in the transportation issue in Hillsborough County for over 25 years


Voters in Hillsborough County have been getting mailers from All For Transportation (AFT) extolling their plan for transportation and what a $23 billion sales tax will do for you. 

AFT says their claims are based on the Hillsborough County Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) 4 year old 2045 20 year Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). 

AFT uses their massive 30 year tax to fund an outdated 20 year TPO plan. That is certainly deceptive. But is using a 30 year tax to fund a 20 year plan also fraudulent? 

Let us look at AFT's claims and determine the facts. 


Claim: 700,000 people are moving to Hillsborough County

Fact: Yes, we all know Hillsborough County is great place to live, but what part of the county are they moving to? The vast majority of the increased population in Hillsborough County will be to the unincorporated areas, > 500,000 of the 700,000. Only about 100,00 to the city of Tampa.


Claim: We All benefit from the sales tax and the AFT plan

Fact: AFT states the tax is split 3 ways; 45% to Transit (HART), 54.5% for roads and 0.5% for planning. That statement is misleading. The Mobility Director for the city of Tampa presented the real split to the BOCC; 45% to HART, 39.9% to Hillsborough County, 12% to Tampa and 2.1% to Plant City & Temple Terrace. This is the actual way the revenues will be split and then the different governments will spend the money how they see fit. Hillsborough County with 70% of the present population and growing by over 500,000 more people will get only 40% of the sales tax. HART with less than 2% of commuters gets 45%. Greater than 50% of the sales tax will be spent within the City of Tampa. Some benefit more than others....like Animal Farm.


Claim: Less Traffic. You will be home in time for dinner.

Fact: The Transportation Planning Organization’s (TPO) own studies show a 4 to 5 minutes increase in the average commute and a 295% increase in vehicle hours of delay. You are going to be late with this Plan.


Claim: Safer Roads. A 35% decrease in crashes and fatalities.

Fact: The TPO’s own studies show that there is no difference in the number of crashes and deaths on Local Roads with or without the tax. Yes, the same amount. The TPO also used revenues not available for their use in safety study and did not include the increase in crashes and deaths that rail and rail stations will have on the road network. Deaths on our roads have gone up despite many cars off the road during the pandemic.


Claim: Citizen Oversight. Another Big Lie.

Fact: The AFT Plan calls for and Independent Oversight Committee to be formed and paid for only by the County. The make-up of the committee will include 3 members each appointed by HART, the County and City of Tampa (9 members). Hillsborough County with 70% of the population, Tampa with 27% of the population and HART, a transit agency with 2% ridership, have equal representation. Plant City and Temple Terrace have one member each. 
This is what AFT calls "fair" representation. 

It is not an "Independent" Oversight Committee because the same people who put the $23 Billion tax on the ballot are the same people who will be appointing their members to the committee.  

The only redeeming aspect of this Committee is that they have no power to do anything about how the tax funds are spent - only the county commissioners can make those decisions. The Committee is just another “advisory” bureaucracy taxpayers will be forced to pay for.

All For Transportation states their plan will fix our roads and sidewalks.

Truth lies in an April 19, 2022 memo that John Lyons, the Director of Public Works sent to the Hillsborough County commissioners. Lyons tells the commissioners that with the 30 year $23 Billion sales tax and the allocations per Ordinance 22-9 roads would only be resurfaced once every 30 years. 

The TPO states that with a schedule of repaving once every 28 years the county will have a $1 billion deficit in road maintenance in the next 20 years. 

THE ROADS WILL GET WORSE THAN THEY ARE NOW WITH THE SALES TAX ORDINANCE.


This is just a sampling of the disinformation and outright lies All For Transportation and their rich financial backers are trying to sell the voters.

Do yourself, your neighbors and your Community a favor:

    Demand the Truth. 

    Demand a Reprioritization of Existing Record Revenues. 

    Demand the County FIX Our Roads First.

And Fight an inflationary Tax:  VOTE NO on the Sales Tax Hike in November!




Monday, October 3, 2022

Voters Not Supporting Pro Rail Tax Campaign, AFT's Claim They Are "Community" Supported Rated Liar Liar Pants On Fire False

Pro Rail Tax PAC All for Transportation (AFT) claims they are a "citizen-led" effort supported by the "Community". 

That is not true! Voters are already rejecting the $23 BILLION Rail Tax by not supporting AFT's Pro Tax campaign.

Every single donor to the Pro Rail Tax PAC All for Transportation (AFT) is a special interest - according to AFT's latest campaign filings found on the SOE website (select Political Committee Reports from the drop down).

Not one voter or one individual has donated to AFT to support AFT'S $23 BILLION Rail Tax campaign of deception.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

About That $23 BILLION Rail Tax: Follow The Money

Transformed Tampa Streetcar rendering
Courtesy of City of Tampa's InVision Tampa Plan

Wealthy special interests continue to dole out their dollars in support of the 30 year, ONE PERCENT $23 BILLION Rail Tax on the November ballot in Hillsborough County. 

Developers do not make such huge handouts for massive tax hikes without believing they will greatly benefit from the tax. 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

About That $23 BILLION Rail Tax On The Ballot: DO YOU KNOW?

It's time to scrutinize the $23 BILLION Rail Tax on the November Ballot in Hillsborough County. 

Just as we did in 2018, we will sound the warning again about the massive Bait and Switch Rail Tax do-over. The 2022 Rail Tax again massively overfunds HART - a transit agency with 2% ridership - who financially benefits the most from the tax hike.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Democracy Dies In Darkness: Rail Tax Campaigns Heat Up, AFT Refuses to Debate.... Again


Bankrolled again by special interests donors, All for Transportation (AFT) is kicking off another deceptive campaign to mislead voters about their massive $23 BILLION rail tax on the ballot.

We are right again. AFT admits it is AFT's rail tax do-over on the November ballot. AFT simply used the Tampa Centric 5 Democrat commissioners as their conduit to put their tax on the ballot

Sunday, September 11, 2022

HART's Finances Run Into the Ground by Same People Pushing $20-23 BILLION Rail Tax

Hillsborough County's transit agency HART is a fiscal mess. HART's governing board is responsible. And their solution to HART's fiscal mess they helped create - a massive new inflationary rail tax hike at a time when we are experiencing the highest inflation tax rate in 40 years.

Highest Inflation Tax Rate in 40 years 

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Lawsuit Filed Alleging Democrat Susan Valdes Did Not Properly Qualify to Run for House District 64 Race

Susan Valdes
(image courtesy of Florida Politics)

A lawsuit was filed August 16, 2022 alleging Democrat Susan Valdes did not properly qualify to run for House District 64. The legal Complaint was filed by Maura Cruz Lanz, the Republican candidate for House District 64. 

Friday, August 26, 2022

Lawsuit Filed Alleging Hillsborough County Rail Tax Ballot Language is Unlawful

 A lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Hillsborough County by Plaintiff Karen Jaroch challenging the 30 year ONE PERCENT rail/transit tax ballot language on the November ballot. The lawsuit alleges the ballot language is unlawful and deceitful and should be removed from the ballot.

The lawsuit filed in the 13th Circuit Court is case #22-CA-007158. The Complaint can be found at the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court website here by searching on the case number. The Complaint can also be found here.

The Complaint asks that the rail tax ballot language be ruled defective and the County and the Supervisor of Elections prohibited from placing the ballot title and summary language on the November ballot.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Interview with Steve Meisman, Candidate for Pasco County School Board District 1: Is He the Only Qualified Candidate in His Race?

We recently interviewed Steve Meisman who is a candidate running for Pasco County School Board District 1. 

Meisman, as we posted here, filed a lawsuit against the two other candidates in his race alleging they were not qualified to run in District 1 due to their lack of residency required by State law.

We wanted to asked Meisman why he decided to run for school board and why he filed his lawsuit.

Below is a short introduction for why Meisman is running for school board.



The full interview with Meisman that includes more detail about his District 1 school board race and why he filed the lawsuit is below.




Meisman's website is Steve4PascoKids.com to learn more or to contact him.

Tomorrow, August 23rd, is Primary Election day. School board candidates must get 50% plus one vote to win outright in the Primary. Otherwise the top 2 candidates proceed to the General election. 

The lawsuit will be moot if Meisman wins outright tomorrow.

The court hearing regarding Meisman's case is not scheduled until August 30th.

We will continue to watch and followup until this issue is resolved. 


Thursday, August 18, 2022

Lawsuit Alleges Two Pasco County School Board Candidates Are Unqualified to Run in District 1 Due to Their "Lack of Residency" Required by State Law

Voters in Pasco County take note of a lawsuit recently filed regarding two candidates who filed to run for Pasco County School Board District 1.

Case #2022-CA-2111 was filed August 15th in the 6th District Circuit Court in Pasco County. Plaintiff Steve Meisman, also a candidate who filed to run for Pasco County School Board District 1, filed the Complaint which can be found in its entirety here.

Meisman is seeking an emergency Declaratory and Injunctive Relief that Defendants Al Hernandez and James Washington failed to properly qualify for election as a member of the Pasco County School Board District 1. Meisman also requests that Defendant Brian Corley, Pasco County Supervisor of Elections, decertify Hernandez and Washington as candidates in that race.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Teachers Unions, Education Bureaucracy and Wealthy Special Interests Funding Hillsborough Pro Property Tax Hike PAC - Vote NO!

The Hillsborough County August 23rd Primary Ballot has the Hillsborough County School District's proposed property tax hike on it. This millage rate increase will raise property tax revenues by about $162 MILLION per year. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Hillsborough County's "Equity" Transformation: $18B Rail Tax, Remove Interstates, Race Conscious Solutions, Unconscious Bias, DEI Training, Bigger Bureaucracy and Ballooning Budget

Hillsborough County admits the Tampa Centric 5 Democrat commissioners put a rail tax on the November ballot. The 30 year ONE PERCENT (NOT ONE CENT) $18 BILLION rail tax is part of the County's "transformation" to use "Equity" in everything the County does and in all the County's decision making including transportation.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Deja Vu! Clip from 2018 Interview by Chris Ingram about Rail Tax Boondoggles

It's Deja Vu! Below is a clip from my interview with Chris Ingram in October 2018 about All for Transportation's 2018 rail tax boondoggle. 

2010, 2014, 2016 (did not get on ballot due to Go Hillsborough scandal), 2018 and now 2022. The same wealthy donor class cronies keeps pushing rail tax boondoggles on taxpayers that will greatly benefit them. They and their rail activist allies are at it again in 2022.


Monday, July 18, 2022

An $18 Billion Rail Tax, Accident Prone Trains and 2022 is NOT 2018

The same people who lied about the illegal 2018 rail tax are now pushing the $18 Billion 2022 rail tax. They call it a "moderate" investment and refuse to call it what it is - a TAX. 

These are the same people responsible for why $562 MILLION of unlawful tax dollars was illegally collected. Those funds are still have not been refunded to the TAXPAYERS in Hillsborough County.

How can these people be trusted? 

We already have two of the country's most accident prone "death" trains in Florida -  street level rail lines Brightline and SunRail that cause many accidents and create congestion. 

The $18 BILLION rail tax forces taxpayers to hand HART transit agency, with a ridership of 2%, $8 Billion to fund street level rail in Tampa. Is it fair for taxpayers in unincorporated Hillsborough to fund Tampa rail? Who wants more accident prone congesting creating "death" trains?  

These same people are confident that since voters voted for the illegal rail tax in 2018, voters will vote for the rail tax in 2022. Are they stuck in 2018 believing they they can mislead voters again?

But we're not in 2018 anymore.

And 2018 is NOT 2022!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Election Watch 2022: CTCL's New Election Meddling Coalition, Biden Tries to Federalize Voter Registration & the Hillsborough County SOE's Been Sued

 


CTCL (Center for Tech and Civic Life) is the highly partisan Democrat aligned nonprofit where Mark Zuckerberg dumped at least $350 million to influence the 2020 election. CTCL was founded in 2012 by Tiana Epps-Johnson, a partisan who trained Progressive organizers and Democrat Party operatives. 

Aa a result of the "ZuckBucks" shenanigans in 2020, a number of States, including Florida, enacted new laws prohibiting the use of private money on election activities.

Such laws are not stopping CTCL or their Progressive partners from more election meddling in 2022. 

With $80 Million of funding from the Audacious Project, CTCL launched in April their latest initiative: The U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence

Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Sierra Club Took Over the Hillsborough County Commission and They Are On the Ballot in November.

Activists and leaders with the Tampa Bay Sierra Club, Pat Kemp and Mariella Smith, sit on the Hillsborough County commission. The Sierra Club endorsed them both as well as Kimberly Overman.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Danger Zone Again! Hillsborough County Hands HNTB $700K For Taxpayer Funded PR Campaign Supporting Contentious Political Issue - $18 Billion Rail Tax Referendum

Hillsborough County - you have a problem!

At the June 15th BOCC meeting Hillsborough County staff recommended handing $700K to engineering firm HNTB for a taxpayer funded PR campaign in support of the $18 Billion rail tax on the November ballot. 

The County knows they are treading on very thin ice launching a publicly financed campaign for a political issue - the monster rail tax referendum. 

Thursday, June 9, 2022

"ZuckBucks" Related Lawsuit Filed Against Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections and PR Firm Vistra Communications

A lawsuit has been filed in the 13th District Judicial Circuit Court in Hillsborough County related to the "ZuckBucks" grant the Hillsborough County Supervisor or Elections received in September 2020 - just weeks before the 2020 election. 

The lawsuit was filed by Plaintiff Hardam Tripathi on May 25, 2022 against the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections (SOE) and Vistra Communications, LLC. 

The entire Complaint (case number 22-CA-004366) can be found here. The Complaint is in the first 24 pages with pages 25-173 as Exhibits. The Complaint is focused on Florida Sunshine laws as the case Introduction states:

This is a case about the public interest, and specifically, about the need for transparency in the operations of government and in the conduct of public elections. Plaintiff's Complaint asks only that Defendant, Vistra Communications, LLC ("Vistra") make available to Plaintiff's inspection public documents made transparent by Florida's public records law. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Transportation Explanation: Inflation and Information

With their constituents struggling with skyrocketing gas prices, raging inflation, rising food prices, exploding rents and property taxes, the Tampa Centric 5 Democrat Hillsborough County commissioners (Kimberly Overman, Mariella Smith, Pat Kemp, Gwen Myers, Harry Cohen) put an unnecessary and egregious rail/transit tax on the November ballot. 

This is atrocious, appalling and totally tone-deaf. 

Record property tax revenues are flowing into Hillsborough County, city of Tampa  and to transit agency HART.

Hillsborough County still owes taxpayers $562 MILLION of the unlawfully collected illegal 2018 All for Transportation rail tax.  

Hillsborough County is about to hand YOUR tax dollars to engineering firm HNTB to fund a taxpayer funded CAMPAIGN targeting voters to vote for the Tampa Centric 5's $18 Billion rail tax boondoggle. 

We will continue deconstructing their nonsense and their fiscal irresponsibility, unethical behavior, disinformation/misinformation, false narratives and outright lies. 

First episode of Transportation Explanation is below (about 12 minutes). Direct link is: https://eyeontampabay.podbean.com/e/transportation-information-and-raging-inflation/

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Hillsborough County Democrats Rail Tax Is In the Danger Zone and Worse than AFT's 2018 ILLEGAL Rail Tax

For those who think a rail/transit sales tax hike referendum could not get any worse than the All for Transportation (AFT) ILLEGAL tax perpetrated on voters in 2018, think again.

Who is responsible for putting a more nefarious rail/transit tax hike worse than AFT's on the November ballot? Democrat Hillsborough County commissioners Kimberly Overman, Mariella Smith, Harry Cohen, Gwen Myers and Pat Kemp aka the Tampa Centric 5.  

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Leaders of Tampa Bay Transportation Organizations Request Gov DeSantis Veto TBARTA Funding

Today leaders of No Tax For Tracks, Save Our Streets Pinellas, and Fix Our Roads First sent a request to Governor DeSantis urging the Governor to veto the $1.375 million funding for TBARTA in the budget. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

UPDATE: Consent Agenda Items to Hand Tampa Focused Organizations County Transportation Tax Dollars Were Removed From Today's BOCC Meeting

This is an update to our previous post Hillsborough County Using Consent Agenda to Hand Tampa Focused Organizations County Transportation Tax Dollars

Some concerned citizens contacted commissioners requesting the 3 Consent Agenda items be removed from the Consent Agenda. They also raised their objections to the County handing out taxpayer funds to these organizations.

Kudos to Commissioner White who yesterday asked for the items to be removed from the Consent Agenda so each can be discussed transparently and voted on separately.

Apparently after White's request was made, the Westshore Alliance, the wealthiest district in the Hillsborough County, suddenly decided they did not need the taxpayer funds. The Consent Agenda item handing County transportation tax dollars to the Alliance was deleted from today's agenda. 

Interestingly, the other two Consent Agenda items to hand County transportation tax dollars to the Tampa Downtown Partnership and USF's New North Transportation Alliance (NNTA) were taken off today's agenda. 

These agenda items were moved to the June 15th County commission meeting.

The County must put these items on the June 15 Regular agenda to be openly discussed and separately voted on not rubber stamped thru the Consent Agenda.

We will be watching.

Hillsborough County Hires HNTB, With PR, Marketing and Political Consulting Firms In Tow, For Transportation "Public Engagement" Before Knowing What the Campaign Will Cost Taxpayers

It is rail tax campaign time again in Hillsborough County!

Hillsborough County commissioners voted today to hire HNTB for a transportation public engagement program....right after the Tampa Centric 5 voted to put an $18 BILLION rail tax on the November ballot. 

But no one was told how much this will cost taxpayers. No cost estimate, even if just high level, was provided to the commissioners or the public for how much the County expects to spend with HNTB. 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Hillsborough County Using Consent Agenda to Hand Tampa Focused Organizations County Transportation Tax Dollars


At Wednesday's May 4, 2022 Hillsborough County Commission meeting there are 3 Consent Agenda items for the County to hand taxpayer dollars to three so-called public-private "Transportation Management Organizations" (TMO). 

Items on the Consent Agenda allow no discussion because all the items on the Consent Agenda are voted on with just one rubber stamp vote. Consent Agenda items are supposed to be used for routine, non-controversial agenda items. 

This money is flowing right after the commission voted to put the AFT 2.0 30 year ONE PERCENT (NOT ONE CENT) $18 BILLION rail tax do-over on the ballot.

All three of these TMO's are primarily Tampa focused. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

Democrat County Commissioner Pat Kemp Gets 4 Pinocchios For Claiming the ONE PERCENT AFT 2.0 Rail Tax Do-Over is a ONE CENT Tax Hike

On April 15, Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, a Tampa Centric Democrat, spoke at Cafe Con Tampa

Kemp spoke about the proposed AFT 2.0 $18 Billion rail tax do-over. She already knew the Tampa Centric 5 Democrats (herself, Kimberly Overman, Mariella Smith, Gwen Myers, Harry Cohen) would put it on the November ballot. Kemp had to catch herself several times as she spoke because the actual vote to put it on the ballot had not yet taken place.

At Cafe Con Tampa Kemp admits what we already have said - AFT 2.0 is almost the exact same as AFT's illegal 2018 rail tax. She touted that AFT 2.0 mandates 45% ($8.2 BILLION) of the $18 BILLION tax be DEDICATED for transit. 

Kemp never said a word about DEDICATED funding for new auto/vehicle lane capacity....because AFT 2.0 has NONE

Just like AFT's illegal 2018 rail tax, the $18 BILLION AFT 2.0 rail tax provides ZERO funds dedicated for much needed new auto/vehicle lane capacity, especially in South County.

Kemp gets into real trouble on April 15th when she calls AFT 2.0 a ONE PENNY tax - go to about 8:10 in the video

Someone in the audience pushed back on Kemp that it is a ONE PERCENT (NOT ONE CENT) $18 Billion tax on the ballot. Kemp doubled down and insisted AFT 2.0 was a One Cent, One Penny tax.

Of course that is false aka a lie. Kemp was attempting to spread disinformation to obscure the truth of how massive the $18 BILLION AFT 2.0 rail tax is.

Five days later on April 20, Kemp voted at the public hearing to put AFT 2.0 on the November ballot. She voted for the County Ordinance and ballot summary language (see below) that clearly states the AFT 2.0 rail tax do-over is a 30 Year ONE PERCENT sales tax hike.




"One Cent" and/or "one penny" is nowhere to be found in the Ordinance and ballot summary language. 

Kemp's actions speak louder than her words. 

Kemp understands the burdensome funding buckets and restrictive earmarked funding percentages within the rail tax. She knows AFT 2.0 is a massive ONE PERCENT tax because that is what she voted for.

We know AFT 2.0 is an inflationary 13.3% tax hike from 7.5% to 8.5% - the highest in the State. It will add to the raging inflation rate of almost 10% in Tampa Bay. 

Kemp misrepresented AFT 2.0 as a One Cent tax - to obscure the truth that the rail tax do-over is a massive 30 year ONE PERCENT $18 BILLION tax hike.

Kemp gets Four Pinocchios for trying to spread disinformation.



Monday, April 25, 2022

As Their Constituents Struggle, Tampa Centric 5 Puts Inflationary $18 Billion AFT 2.0 Rail Tax Do-Over on November Ballot That Benefits Wealthy Special Interests Donor Base

It's On! 

The Tampa Centric 5 Democrat Hillsborough County commissioners put AFT 2.0 30 year ONE PERCENT (NOT ONE CENT) $18 BILLION rail tax do-over on the November ballot. 

Taxpayers have not been refunded one cent of the $562 MILLION of unlawfully collected 2018 AFT rail tax dollars. No problem, just put AFT 2.0 on the ballot.

The ONE public hearing (historically always 2 public hearings were held about sales tax referendums) last week was just a required checkbox in the process. Forty-four people made public comment at the hearing almost evenly split between 40 who opposed and 44 who supported. 

However, there were more people who opposed protesting the rail tax outside County Center before the hearing who did not make public comment.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Beware of "Deceptive Divas" As the Burdensome AFT 2.0 $18 BILLION "Old Path Backwards" Rail Tax Hits the November Ballot

The Tampa Centric 5 county commissioners will vote tonight at the Hillsborough County public hearing to put the AFT 2.0 30 year ONE PERCENT (NOT ONE CENT) $18 BILLION rail tax do-over on the November 2022 ballot. 

After the Florida Supreme Court threw out AFT's 2018 rail tax as illegal and unconstitutional last year, AFT's largest donor Jeff Vinik said "While today’s court ruling is a setback, we must look ahead and forge a new path forward for 2022..."

But the "new path forward" in 2022 is the "old path backwards" from 2018.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Cannot Trust Those Closely Intertwined With All for Transportation Especially As AFT 2.0 $18 BILLION Rail Tax Do-Over Is Put on the Nov. Ballot

The local rail cartel includes elected officials, unelected bureaucrats, transit activists, some local media allies, lawyers and wealthy special interests who keep funding rail tax boondoggle referendums. 

These people are closely intertwined with the pro rail All for Transportation (AFT) Political Action Committee (PAC) funded by the wealthy special interests. Their collusive behavior and cozy relationships breeds distrust.

They work together, whether ethical or not, and have stacked transportation decision making positions in Hillsborough County with themselves. The result is they reside within their own group think bubble they rarely venture out of.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Politics Has Taken Over HART Board, Start Regime Change by Removing the 2 AFT Board Members Who Inflicted a Big Legal Mess on Hillsborough County


The All For Transportation (AFT) 
2.0 30 year 1 PERCENT (NOT 1 CENT) $18 BILLION rail tax do-over is all but assured to get on the Hillsborough County November ballot. The rail cartel's Tampa Centric 5 Democrat county commissioners have the votes to do it. 

HART's dismal ridership is less than 2% of the total population in Hillsborough County. No worries...With AFT 2.0, taxpayers will be forced to hand 45%, or about $8.2 BILLION, of the massive tax to transit agency HART. 

HART will use the new Billions, in addition to HART's current .5 millage rate property tax revenue and other revenue sources they receive, to pay for costly rail projects in Tampa that benefits wealthy downtown special interests. 

Who governs and provides oversight of HART? Who would be overseeing any new Billions to HART?

The HART Board. 

And who sits on the HART Board?

Sunday, April 3, 2022

With Every Word They Say, Every Game They Play - We'll Be Watching the 5 Democrat Commissioners Focus on Tampa Rail/Transit Not Needed New Road Capacity

We are right again! 

Hillsborough County commissioners Kimberly Overman, Mariella Smith, Harry Cohen, Gwen Myers and Pat Kemp are the Tampa Centric 5 county commissioners. All five are Democrats. Overman, Kemp and Smith are countywide commissioners whose focus is the urban core of Tampa, not unincorporated Hillsborough where most of their constituents reside. 

The Tampa Bay Business Journal (TBBJ) article confirms this in their March 23rd post about the motion by Myers for a do-over AFT 2.0 30 year ONE PERCENT (NOT ONE CENT) $18 MILLION rail tax on the November ballot:
The motion was spearheaded by Commissioner Gwen Myers, who threaded the line between the commissioners looking out for unincorporated Hillsborough County's interests (Stacy White and Ken Hagan) and the Tampa-focused commissioners (Pat Kemp, Kimberly Overman, Mariella Smith and Harry Cohen).

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

As Hillsborough Pushes $18 BILLION Rail Tax Forward the Tampa Bay Times Admits AFT 2.0 Is To Fund Transit

Hillsborough County Commission Chair Kimberly Overman said the following at last Wednesday's March 23rd BOCC meeting as she pushed to put an AFT 2.0 do-over 30 year ONE PERCENT (NOT ONE CENT) $18 BILLION rail tax on the November ballot

"A transportation improvement plan that requires a single occupancy vehicle for a family to economically survive in this County is irresponsible and will NOT be a policy that will "allow" our communities to thrive, our businesses to thrive and is "in direct conflict to our responsibility towards equity."

Monday, March 28, 2022

Dr. Jim Davison Presents Plan to Fund Transportation In Hillsborough County Without A Tax Hike

Hillsborough County can fund its transportation and transit NEEDS without a massive new sales tax hike. Go directly here to watch Dr. Jim Davison's presentation at Cafe Con Tampa last Friday of an alternative transportation funding proposal that requires no additional new taxes.

Unfortunately at last Wednesday's BOCC meeting, all of the Hillsborough County commissioners except Commissioner White voted to move forward on putting another AFT 2.0 do-over 30 year 1 PERCENT (NOT ONE CENT) $18 BILLION rail tax on the November ballot. 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Hillsborough's On the Road Again To Putting 30 year 1 PERCENT (NOT 1 CENT) $18 BILLION AFT 2.0 Do-Over Rail Tax Hike on Ballot



Skyrocketing gas and food prices, raging inflation, many businesses and families financially struggling and so much economic uncertainty. No problem - Hillsborough's on the road to unnecessarily burden taxpayers even more with higher sales taxes, the most regressive tax that hurts the poor, lower and fixed income the most.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Shameful! Hillsborough County Deceptive Transportation "Open Houses" Mislead the Public AGAIN To Push Another Massive Tax Hike Scam

Post by Dr. Jim Davison and Sharon Calvert

All taxpayers are being hit hard by raging inflation and skyrocketing gas prices. Hillsborough County has yet to refund one penny of the unlawfully collected $512 MILLION illegal All for Transportation tax back to the taxpayers.

Some Hillsborough County commissioners and County staff don't care. Those who want to raise taxes at this time are not compassionate people. 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and these commissioners want to unnecessarily burden Hillsborough county taxpayers with higher taxes. They want to unnecessarily burden struggling businesses with higher taxes.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Russia-Ukraine War Must End the Failed Globalist Agenda and Dump Biden's Costly Greenie Weenie Manifesto

End Biden's globalist Green New Deal Manifesto

Our prayers go out to the people of Ukraine. Ukraine's history is quite tragic and one of agreements made and agreements broken. Stalin tried to exterminate the Ukrainians by starving them during the Holodomor famine in the early 1930's. They are a very strong people. We are watching their courage and strength fighting Putin's Russia today.

And unfortunately we are all being harmed by the mess the ruling class globalists have created over the last decades. The fact these ruling class globalists - who only seek raw power - could not (or would not) understand that Putin also only seeks raw power - is a total failure on their part.

As a result, not only is our energy security seriously threatened, people are dying. These globalists have actual blood on their hands. And Biden is a globalist. He wants to strengthen institutions of “global governance” to empower global governance and impose global rules over sovereign nations and peoples. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Follow the Money! As the Rail Cartel Hamster Wheel Pumps Again Hillsborough County Launches Another Fraudulent Tax Hike Scam



Deja Vu Hillsborough County!  

The cronies are pumping their rail tax hamster wheel again.  

It's 2010, 2016 and 2018 in Hillsborough all over.

Instead of the County directly using Parsons Brinkerhoff and local PR crony Beth Leytham as they did with the 2016 Go Hillsborough rail tax hike scam, this go round the County just merged with the All for Transportation Transit (AFT) rail cartel cronies. The County is shamefully rewarding the very same people who funded the illegal AFT rail tax. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

#DrainTheCountySwamp Part 1: Vote Out Tax Raising Commissioner "Crony Cohen"!

The Tampa Bay Times just reported the inflation tax in Tampa Bay is raging at 9.6%. Of course everyone knows the real inflation rate of food, household goods, gas, furniture, vehicles, etc. etc. is in the double digits. 

Crony Tax Raising Harry Cohen 




Hillsborough County commissioner Harry Cohen doesn't care. He is one of the Tampa Centric 5 Democrat commissioners pushing to put another massive $18 BILLION rail tax boondoggle on the November ballot.  

Harry Cohen is running for re-election in November. He wants to burden all Hillsborough County residents and businesses with higher taxes. 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

No Surprise! 90% of "ZuckBucks" in Swing States Went to Big Blue Urban Counties, Surprise! Hillsborough County SOE Does Not Refer ANY Potential Election Crimes to State Attorney

Florida and other states including Georgia, Arizona, Ohio. Texas, Idaho, Kansas, Indiana, Texas and Tennessee passed bills that ban "private" funding of elections and/or prohibit "private" funds from being handed directly to local election officials. Democrat Governors of Michigan, Louisiana, Wisconsin and North Carolina veto'd such bills passed by their State legislatures. The Pennsylvania House passed their bill in December and has sent it over to the State Senate.

New York Congresswoman Claudia Tenney analyzed where the partisan "ZuckBucks" were handed out in 2020. No Surprise! She found that in a number of "swing states", 90% went to the Big Blue urban Counties.


Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Hillsborough County Commission Pursues "Equity" Agenda - Residents Can Weigh In

The Democrat majority Hillsborough County commission is using American Rescue Plan (ARP) COVID relief funds the County received last year to identify initiatives for promoting equitable outcomes. According to this 2021 County document:
The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners has retained a strategic consultant to develop an equity profile for Hillsborough County that will be used to inform strategic equity spaces including, but not limited to, income bias, economic opportunity, health care, criminal justice, housing, land use/zoning, transportation, food security, and educational access/the digital divide. Additionally, the resulting profile and data will be used to guide the design and implementation of an “equity lens” through which actions taken by the County are examined to assess and measure questions of equity.
At the 6/16/2021 BOCC meeting, the commissioners awarded MGT of America, LLC a contract for $141,452.00, with change orders approved up to an additional $25,000, to create a Hillsborough County "equity" profile. 

On December 17, 2021, Hillsborough County posted this notice on the County's website asking residents to weigh in on "Equity". The county commission wants County processes, procedures, policies and spending be implemented through an "equity" lens.  

Monday, January 24, 2022

Pinellas Transit Loses Over Half Its Riders, Spending More Than Doubles

Repost from Tampa Bay Guardian


Three months in to its fiscal year 2022, PSTA’s bus ridership year over year has declined another 20%, according to its own official reporting. PSTA, which is the taxpayer-funded Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, ended its fiscal year 2021 (FY2021) with ridership 46% lower than it was in FY2015.

The data thus shows that the ridership in FY2022 continues to plunge, and has not stabilized after the “COVID-related” plunge over the previous 18 months.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Hillsborough SOE Craig Latimer's $2.9M "ZuckBucks" Issue and His Problematic Relationship With the Highly Partisan Democrat-Aligned Nonprofit CTCL

In September 2020 Democrat Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections (SOE) Craig Latimer took over $2.9M of "ZuckBucks". He received his "ZuckBucks" from the highly partisan Democrat activist nonprofit CTCL. There are a lot of questions that deserve answers from SOE Latimer.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Hold On To Your Wallets Hillsborough County! AFT Rail Tax Charade 2.0 is On Its Way


Hold onto your Wallets! The Tampa Bay rail cartel are at it again.

The Tampa Centric Five Democrats have the votes to put AFT 2.0, another 30 year, 1%, $16B (probably $18B now) rail tax on the ballot in November. Democrat commissioner Pat Kemp told us this last September. Having the votes is all they care about - silly little things such as refunding the illegally taken $521 MILLION AFT funds and getting real public input don't matter.   

It's a done deal. The Vinik bailed out Tampa Bay Times confirmed what we already knew:

The county scheduled a series of community meetings beginning next month in anticipation of a proposed sales tax referendum on the November ballot.

The Town Hall meetings charade the commissioners planned to have last year have been rescheduled. As we noted before, the commissioners ignore the fastest growing area in Hillsborough, South County, where they scheduled NO meetings.

It looks like the County renamed these meetings to "Open Houses" because they are NOT Town Hall meetings where those who attend get to publicly speak.

What is an Open House? It's an "informal" event for the public to "drop by" anytime during the hours of the Open House to view an exhibition or whatever the Open House "host" is trying to sell the public. 

These meetings are to sell the public that the County has no money to fund transportation in the County. That is a lie and we've seen that rodeo before.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Happy New Year Tampa Bay! Tampa Democrats REMOVE FDOT's Plan to Widen/Improve I-275 North of Downtown

Tampa Centric Five

Happy New Year Tampa Bay from the Tampa Centric Five Democrats on the Hillsborough County Commission. 

The Tampa Centric Five appointed themselves to Hillsborough County's Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) and sent their Happy New Year wishes for more traffic congestion in Tampa Bay. 

As they ironically expressed their concerns about "rapid growth" in Tampa Bay, they voted to ELIMINATE FDOT's plan to improve and add capacity to 10 miles of I-275 from downtown to Bearss Avenue. 

This FDOT I-275 improvement project has been in FDOT's plans for decades. The project has been in Hillsborough TPO's Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for years and years as North Hillsborough and south Pasco growth has exploded...until the Tampa Centric Five Democrats appointed themselves to the TPO.