City Councilman Karl Nurse, Internet troll

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Why is it that I have such problems with Pinellas Democrats? Is it because the Republican campaigns I advise have been beating them for nearly 18 years? I suppose that’s it.

Whether it be Ed Helm and the Greater Tarpon Springs Democratic Club or Pinellas County Commissioners Janet Long and Ken Welch accusing me of intimidating them, it’s the Democrats in my backyard who have always given me fits.

The latest local D to mouth off about something he knows nothing about? St. Petersburg City Councilman Karl Nurse, who commented on a story on this website that coverage of the City Council District 7 race “should always start with a disclosure that Newton is an advertiser and therefore must always be given the better spin.”

That’s typical Karl Nurse, who has been trying to put a knife in my back for years (yes, Karl, I know it was you who wrote “Run, Forrest run” on that note to Jamie Bennett.)

What Nurse is alluding to is the fact that District 7 candidate Will Newton spent an entire $900 to advertise on SaintPetersBlog. For that lordly sum, Nurse would have you believe that our thumb is on the scale for Newton.

This, of course, overlooks the fact that I contributed $500 to Newton’s opponent, Lisa Wheeler-Brown. If I was to disclose something at the start of every District 7 campaign story, that would be it.

But that is beside the point. Our coverage has been exceedingly fair. Most of it has been written by Janelle Irwin, who is incorruptible.

Yet Nurse, without any proof to back up his accusation, messaged me last night to say that “Your staff is very aware of who to go easy on.”

That would be news to both Janelle and I.

All we have done is report every inch of an otherwise low-key race. Janelle has profiled all of the candidates, written about all of their fundraising efforts and documents as many of their positive and negative campaign externals.

Yes, I weighed in to say that a vote for Newton would be a check on Rick Kriseman and Nurse and Darden Rice, but that’s straight analysis.

This kind of bias is far less slanted than what can be read in the Tampa Bay Times, but I doubt Nurse sent a nasty note to Paul Tash.

Of course Nurse himself is extremely biased about this race. The multi-millionaire white dude who represents what should be a minority-access district has contributed $2,000 to Wheeler-Brown.

Nurse should disclose that every time he comments about this race.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.