On the drawback of Patrick Manteiga’s La Gaceta, redux

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As I have written before, I am an avid reader of La Gaceta, the tri-lingual newspaper published by Patrick Manteiga, whose columns are always chock full of interesting tidbits. But if the newspaper has one drawback, it’s that it is put out just once a week without a fully-functioning website on which stories could be updated.

Like this week’s “As We Heard It” column from Manteiga, in which Manteiga writes about the “death” of a bill that gives Hillsborough County agencies the choice to opt out of the 63-year-old Civil Service Board.

“State Senator Arthenia Joyner is our hero. We’ve fought over the years to prevent county government and agencies from having the ability to opt out of Civil Service and the protection it’s offered to government workers and the county’s citizens for the last 60 years.

“The bill that would led to Civil Service’s death was single-handed killed by Senator Joyner.

“We know the end of Civil Service would have led to friends of elected officials getting the best jobs and the highest pay. Civil Service has been a check on the human nature of elected officials to help the ones they know and give jobs to less-than-apt nieces and nephews of large campaign contributors.

“This would also hurt qualified Blacks and Hispanics seeking government employment.

“Joyner remembers patronage systems of the past and knows it still happens when government jobs aren’t under Civil Service purview.

“Once again, we salute Arthenia Joyner.”

That was on the front page of the edition of La Gaceta delivered to my house on Friday. However, by Friday night, Manteiga’s column was no longer accurate.

Despite protests from Sen. Joyner, the Senate passed a proposal 27-10 that, in effect, kills Civil Service. The bill had overwhelmingly passed the House on a 105-3 vote, including support from the Hillsborough delegation, such as Tampa Democratic Reps. Mark Danish and Janet Cruz, as well as Rep. Darryl Rouson.

Manteiga’s reporting was old news. And it has stay old news until the next edition ofLa Gaceta is published on Thursday. 

Blogs like this one are often criticized for being too fast with their pronouncements. Well, the opposite is sometimes true for newspapers that end up being lapped by the events of the day.

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.