Count me out of this year’s Florida Netroots Awards

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I’m not entirely positive, but I am pretty sure I’ve been fortunate enough to win the most Florida Netroots Awards these last two years of any “progressive” in the state.

In 2010, this site was voted Best Local Blog, while I was recognized for having the Best Twitter account, for Best Use of Social Media, for writing the Best Ongoing Series of stories. In 2011, unable to win the same awards two years in a row, SaintPetersBlog was voted Best National Blog and Best State Blog in Florida and I was recognized for writing the Best Post of the year.

I remain honored to have had my work recognized and honored by my colleagues in the blogosphere.

Yet, these recognitions and honors did not come without much hand-wringing, if not controversy.  My friend Benjamin Kirby wrote a detailed post about this hand-wringing, pointing out the fact that I wasn’t much of a progressive anymore and certainly not a Democrat. Just as then, I disagreed strenuously with the former, but readily agreed with the latter.

No matter, I was entirely eligible to win the awards for which I was nominated.  The rules for eligibility are:

“…[T]he best writing, posting and online activism in the state of Florida amongst the left-wing blogs, politicians and activists.”  Seems to make sense so far.  “…[T]hey can’t be Republicans, Libertarians or Tea Party activists.”

Yet, after winning, I felt a twinge of guilt about the whole affair.

Nominations for this year’s Florida Netroots Awards recently opened, but under a dark cloud.  The man who all but created the Florida Netroots Awards, Kenneth Quinnell, announced yesterday that he was moving on from his once-great blog. It is literally the end for his Florida Progressive Coalition website.

I’ll have more to say about Quinnell’s decision later on, but let me deal with the issue of the Florida Netroots Awards.

Count me out.

As great as it is to participate — and I will be offering my annual list of nominations — I no longer belong.  I am still a progressive, especially on civil, gay, human and women’s rights, but I am as far removed from the Democratic Party as I have been in quite a while.

Therefore, I am asking Kenneth Quinnell to discard any nominations I may receive for this year’s awards.

Certainly, there are those who are more deserving.

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.