5 things I think I think about today’s Tampa Bay Times

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Today is a big day for Tampa Bay’s media community: Journalists from four continents converge today on the Tampa Bay Times Forum for their first look at the view they will have of the Republican National Convention.

I am not ready to agree with his suggestion that the organization should be named Visit Tampa Bay, but I agree with Ernest Hooper’s assessment that the name change from the Tampa Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau to Tampa Bay & Co. has been less than effective.

I’m still letting what I ascertained from last week’s ‘New Media vs. Traditional Media’ panel sink in, but one impression keeps coming to the forefront: Metro Columnist John Romano is still not entirely comfortable in his new role.  Or maybe he’s just still finding his way, despite some very good offering the past couple of months.  John strikes me as a very humble man unlike a lot fo columnists who act like caricatures of themselves.

In one columnTampa Bay Times reporter Adam Smith sure caused a lot of headaches for those of us working in Pinellas politics.  Not only did he inaccurately place Rep. Jeff Brandes in John Thrasher’s camp over Jack Latvala’s, but he made it sound as if former Mayor Rick Baker won’t run for Mayor of St. Petersburg in 2013.

Smith wrote in his Sunday column: “Don’t worry, Mayor Foster. Your predecessor all but ruled it out — at least in 2013 — when we asked him last week.”

“It’s not my intention,” (Rick) Baker said. “I’m not saying I never will. I’m not saying I won’t down the road.”

Come on, Adam, you know Rick better than that.  You have to read between the lines, buddy.

As for the State Senate race, Smith writes that it could be a proxy fight between John Thrasher backing Brandes and Jack Latvala backing Frishe. In fact, Smith writes, “Brandes is expected to be in the Thrasher camp.”

Say what?

I’m sorry, Adam, but that’s not entirely accurate.  In fact, suggesting that Brandes vs. Frishe would be a “proxy fight” is the kind of inflammatory analysis which has almost led to this entire situation spiraling out-of-control.

The reality is, yes, Jeff Brandes is likely to run for the Florida Senate.  Why? Because, as his camp will tell you, there’s as much risk in running against a generic Democrat in a lean-Democrat seat in a presidential year as there is running in a primary for the Florida Senate against a well-established Republican like Jim Frishe.

In other words, it’s six of one, half-a-dozen of the other.

But just because Brandes may run against Frishe, that doesn’t mean he’s on Team Thrasher.

I ddon’t even know if I agree with Smith’s choice for Winner of the Week in Florida politics.  Smith says it was Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown because  last week he vetoed his City Council’s plan to spend $750,000 on new furniture for a new county courthouse. The old furniture is fine, said the mayor, who is expected to be overridden by the council. Smith writes “it sounds like Brown is the one with his finger on public sentiment in these tough times.”

I’m hard-pressed to agree with Smith while Brown refuses to back a proposed city ordinance that would ban discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender individuals.

Sports reporter Tom Jones names the topic of “football is a violent sport” as one of the sports debates, arguments or statements “we’re sick of hearing.”  Not only do I vehemently disagree with him — I think we’re just scratching the surface of this debate — so does Gary Shelton it seems who, in the same edition Jones wrote his column, offered a must-read about former NFL players grappling with concussions.

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.