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

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My life is now so further enriched by Ernest Hooper sharing that he saw on a bumper sticker, “Violence Begets Violence” — that’s not even an interesting bumper sticker.

I don’t understand what has Adam Smith so bent out of shape, but to label Rick Baker the Loser of the Week in Florida politics because “the passage of time is not helping the former St. Petersburg mayor’s image” is a severe misreading of the state of affairs in St. Petersburg. This surprises me because Smith, although he writes mostly about national and state politics, typically has a good feel for the local scene.

Yet, he got this one really wrong.  Trust me, about 80% of the community and political leaders in St. Pete — even Baker’s former political adversaries — look longingly on Baker’s time in office when it is compared to the current administration.  Moreover, I have yet to speak to one (!) significant figure in city affairs who believes “the passage of time is not helping” Baker’s image.

Only a Times reporter, employed by a company increasingly at odds with Baker’s St. Petersburg-centric worldview, would say such a thing.

Notice this line in an editorial about how drivers could pay tolls to cross a new Howard Frankland Bridge:

“The last thing this region needs as it seeks to become a seamless economic and cultural force are bridge tolls that would divide us.”

That’s newspeak right there.  Only the Times and self-serving regional Chambers of Commerce are seeking to make Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa a “seamless economic and cultural force.”

You have to fight this kind of thing every step of the way.

There was so much to write about last week that I did not have time to weigh in on some of the things John Romano had to say, so I may revisit some of them this week.  That said, dude is on a heater, offering sharp takes on local politics.

Do yourself a favor and go back and read What will St. Petersburg mayor fight for if not police station?The powerful piece of paper that is the Tampa Bay Rays lease, and Democrats and the Pinellas County Commission: A long legacy of losing.

Smart stuff, real smart stuff.

Finally, a note about an ad I saw in the Times. Take a look at this ad for Luekens and ask yourself just how effective is this design. I mean, really, is someone going to scroll down the impossible-to-read list and say, “Yes, the Franciscan is $12.99 a bottle. Let’s go to Luekens!” There has to be a more creative way to market this company.

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.