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

in Uncategorized by

The morning must-read:

The men took Cook away to a place called the “The Hole,” two doublewide trailers on the church’s 500-acre California compound where, other high-ranking church defectors have told the Tampa Bay Times, Miscavige sent underperforming executives. The windows were covered with bars, and security guards controlled the only exit, Cook said.

Cook said she was held there seven weeks with more than 100 other Scientology executives. They spent their nights in sleeping bags on ant-infested floors, ate a soupy “slop” of reheated leftovers and screamed at each other in confessionals that often turned violent. For two weeks, she said, Miscavige had the electricity turned off as daytime temperatures in the desert east of Los Angeles topped 100 degrees.

Sue Carlton should do us all a favor and just never write about real politics again.  At least not until she takes a course in research methods.

In one paragraph, she writes:

“Scott’s approval ratings hovered at the bottom of the pile, 29 percent last May and 33 percent in December. Some smart Scottsters saw it was time for a makeover and ordered up the political version of a mani-pedi, a day cruising the aisles at Sephora and a team of nip-and-tuckers to have at him.

And then down a few paragraphs, she attempts to connect the dots:

“Last month, a Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll showed his numbers climbing, if not by leaps then at least to a more respectable 43 percent of voters approving of his first year. As a pollster put it: “The makeover’s working.”

But, as any poli sci major would tell you, you shouldn’t attempt to connect the results of one poll with the conclusions of another.

Alright, now John Romano is starting to get his sea legs, wading into the real, thick issues facing the city.  He weighs in on the need for a new police department headquarters and, after taking the nickel tour of the current shop, he’s firmly on the side of those who want a new building. Now!

Romano writes:

“If this was a restaurant, OSHA would close it. If it was a school, the fire department would evacuate it. If it was your home, you would give arson a passing thought.”

“The price tag is large, but the need is real. Somehow, St. Pete must find an answer.”

I’m sure the police department really needs a new building, I’m just not sure about the price tag.  And like former Mayor Rick Baker, I really don’t want to see all of our capital money tied up into one building.

In one column, Daniel Ruth does a fine job skewering two of my favorite targets, Bill Foster and Bubba the Love Sponge.  His lampooning of Foster’s reoccupation with treating so many issues facing the city as bigger secrets than the Social Security numbers of SEAL Team 6 is spot-on.

I’ve communicated a lot with the Mayor over the last 72 hours, since the shooting at Scene occurred, trying to make clear what the rest of us, including Ruth, seem to know: If Foster is going to decline to discuss public issues in public because he fears a lawsuit will be filed, then nothing — from zoning, to land use, to taxes, to vendor contracts, to construction projects — will ever be the subject of a discussion

Look for Michelle and I’s wedding to appear in Sunday’s Love Notes column.

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.