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

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Five things I think I think about today’s Tampa Bay Times.

Always nice to see my suggestion for Winner of the Week in Florida politics line up with Adam Smith’s final choice.

On Thursday, I tweeted to Smith:

Winner of the Week = @JackLatvala: Ethics reform passes; Weatherford backs down on camp. limits.

On Sunday, Smith wrote: ” …the Republican from Clearwater saw his sweeping elections and ethics reform bill unanimously pass the Florida Senate with only a few technical changes. An impressive feat that underscores Latvala’s experience and skill.”

Anna Phillips and Mark Puente’s duo-column in Sunday’s St. Pete Times (the re-worked Neighborhood Times) is increasingly a fun-read, although I wish the blurbs they cobble together for the column first made it into the Bay Buzz — and as they happen.

One question for Puente … what’s the rest of the story with this nugget: 

After St. Petersburg City Council members thanked the nine members of the Redistricting Commission at Thursday’s meeting for volunteering, neighborhood activist Theresa “Momma Tee” Lassiter erupted with anger.

“I’m sick of being left out,” she told the council, noting that she isn’t dumb and has an associate’s degree. “I’m tired of being played. I may not be rich, but I do care . . . You always get vanilla, white folks.”

Sounds like Lassiter had more to say.

Of all the morning agenda-setters in Florida politics, such as my “Sunburn” or the Jacksonville Times-Union‘s “Florida Morning, the Times/Herald‘s “Five Things to Watch in Tallahassee” is one of the most disappointing, especially considering the T/H is first among equals within the the Capitol Press Corps. The only other tipsheet worse than the Times/Herald‘s is the a certain one which basically links to nothing other than Times/Herald stories.

Even when I agree with the editorial board, I still have to question its underlying motivations.

The ed. board opines that “the real threat to the integrity of elections is in absentee ballots” and “there’s mounting evidence that it’s Florida’s mail ballots — not its Election Day polls — that are most susceptible to fraud.” 

I’ve previously wondered whether the entire enterprise of absentee voting is “right” and so you won’t hear me arguing with the Times about absentee balloting being susceptible to fraud.

However, it’s important to remember that, though it won’t admit it, the Times is opposed to mail-in balloting because the extended voting period necessary to allow for this process diminishes the newspaper’s ability to influence elections through its coverage and editorials. For example, the Times candidate recommendations mean less since they are offered well after mail-in balloting has usually begun. The Times Publishing Co. doesn’t care for that.

Hence the editorial.

I dedicated a full blog post to Carolyn Eastman’s taking credit for “developing, researching and brokering” Lane DeGregory’s Pulitzer Prize-winning story story of a feral foster child “The Girl in the Window.”

“Developed, researched and brokered…” What does that even mean?

As a respected colleague answers, “Whatever it was, we now know that she (Eastman) is the kind of person who talks to reporters for her own aggrandizement and financial gain.

“… Real journalists, with or without Pulitzer Prizes, are unamused. … Lots of people who don’t get paid three and four and five times what social workers and reporters get paid provide tips and information and phone numbers and documents to reporters for altruistic reasons or malevolent reasons or just because they are curious about something.”

I agree with my colleague’s final assessment that “Broker” Eastman has a lot of damn nerve — not to mention the IQ of a head of lettuce — to be claiming an iota of credit for the weeks of blood, sweat, toil and tears that a Lane DeGregory puts into every story.

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.