5 things I think about today's St. Pete Times (4/18)

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The good folks at First Avenue South are holding their collective breaths today until thePulitzerPrizes are announced later today. Don’t look for the Times to win any first-place trophies, says this handicapping of the awards, but the newspaper may take home something for its “Under the Radar” series.

There certainly is a lot of good reporting in Adam Smith’s story about the close relationship between Sen. Mike Haridopolos andFrank Tsamoutales, but it’s misleading to put the story under a headline which reads “Haridopolos’ steady partner in climb” so that it sounds like Haridpolos steady partner in crime. Actually, there is a lot of smoke to this story, but I don’t see the fire. Smith even writes, “Indeed, Tsamoutales’ client list has not grown with Haridopolos’ ascension.”

Thank you, Adam, for calling out David Byrne as the Political Loser of the Week:

Sure, the Talking Heads frontman humiliated Charlie Crist, requiring him toapologize in a painful-to-watch YouTube video for using one of Byrne’s songs without permission in an online campaign ad. But suing for $1 million over an online video watched by dozens and that nobody with two brain cells viewed as a Talking Heads endorsement of Crist? Talk about a psycho killer.

For all of the conservatives and Republicans who constantly say that Floridians are taxed too much already, reporter Graham Brink writes about ” How Florida stacks up nationally when it comes to paying taxes.” The big picture? Here are state collections, per capita:

State tax collections

1. Alaska: $7,145

44. Florida: $1,729

50. South Carolina: $1,577

U.S. average:$2,339

Ernest Hooper’s column isn’t horrible today, with worthwhile shout-outs to the NAACP,South Florida student body president Cesar Hernandez, the SunTrust Tower and The Rack. Don’t get me wrong, though, as not horrible as Hooper’s column is today, the newspaper is a long way off from seeing one of its columnists win a Pulitzer. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, the Achilles’ heel of the St. Petersburg Times is its weak line-up of opinion columnists.

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.