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Did TBARTA break the law in voting to oppose Hometown Democracy?

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From Creative Loafing: It’s not surprising that TBARTA (Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority) passed a resolution opposing Amendment 4, also known as Florida Hometown Democracy. After all, Amendment 4 is an expression of citizens’ dissatisfaction with the sort of politicians who sit on TBARTA’s board (along with one developers’ lawyer). As Carl Hiaasen says, Florida’s politicians & developers are “squirming like worms on a frying pan” at the idea of letting citizens have a real say in growth management, as Amendment 4 would allow.

Although predictable, TBARTA’s action may be illegal — despite what their lawyer, Don Conn, says. (No surprise there, either. Mr. Conn specializes in stuff his law firm euphemistically calls, “Florida’s Growth Management System,” which they cluelessly illustrate (on their own web site!) with a photo of hellish sprawl.)

Politicians, like anyone else, can spend their own time & money expressing their own opinions; and our government can spend our money providing us with factual information about ballot items. However, our government should not spend its time and our money telling us how to vote — and Florida has a law that says so.  Read the rest of the story here.

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.

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