Bill Foster pisses on my leg, tells me it’s raining

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It’s at moments like the one I’ll describe below that I wonder why in the hell I support Bill Foster’s re-election campaign.

In an e-mail sent last night to the “Foster Family”, Hizzoner writes, “Our campaign has just completed its first comprehensive voter opinion poll and we are most pleased with the results. … This is in contrast to recent blog posts – and even reporting by the respected news media – suggesting otherwise.”

Recent blog posts, huh? Who do you think Foster is referring to there?

Maybe this blog post? Or did he mean this blog post?

“Unlike the other automated “polls” they refer to, generally considered unreliable by most experts,” Foster continued, “our survey was conducted by a respected Washington, DC-based public opinion research firm through live interviews with likely voters.”

Jeez, Bill, why don’t you just call me a liar and be done with it.

For the record, the automated polls Foster is criticizing are the surveys from St. Pete Polls, directed by Matt Florell. I asked Florell to respond to Foster’s criticism.

“I am very confident in our polling results,” said Florell. “A few months ago, we predicted the outcome of the Gainesville Mayor’s race and the House District 2 Republican Primary, so we have a track record of recent accurate polling to stand behind.”

But Foster’s criticism of automated polling is besides the point. My issue is why is Foster calling out “recent blog posts” when I know he has seen the results of the poll commissioned by supporters of “The Lens” which also showed Ford leading Foster 24% to 22%.

I asked Foster about this and he said the aforementioned e-mail had “absolutely nothing to do with” me. Really? Are there other local blogs which commissioned polling? (Yes, one time, Steve Lapinski’s, but Foster wouldn’t know that.)

“If you are polling, then check your science,” Foster told me. “Apparently your numbers are significantly different than ours.”

That’s when I asked him about the poll from McLaughlin and Associates showing him trailing Ford by two points. 

“That was then,” Foster said. “This is now.”

That comment really got me hot. 

What, Mayor Foster, do you think has changed in the last three weeks? Have you spent money on paid media? No. Have you shined on the stump? No. Has Goliath Davis abandoned his vendetta against you? No. Has some scandal engulfed Kathleen Ford or Rick Kriseman? No.

No, what’s changed is that there was a series of “recent blog posts” dogging Ford for not showing up to debate. These blog posts drove some of the coverage in the “respected news media.” And, of course, a dude in a chicken suit showed up.

Who was responsible for all of that? 

The guy you just called out in your e-mail.

Hey, Mr. Mayor, do me a favor next time: Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.