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Guido Maniscalco calls on Jackie Toledo to “be honest with the voters” over recent allegations i Tampa City Council race

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Guido Maniscalco said this afternoon that Jackie Toledo, one of his two opponents in this Tuesday’s Tampa District 6 City Council election, needs to be honest with voters regarding published reports about a mailer sent out by a political action committee with connections to her campaign.

The Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Danielson reports that that Anthony Pedicini, Toledo’s campaign manager, has a relationship with Auston Molina, the man identified as being involved with Moving Tampa Forward, a political action commiteee responsible for two anonymously issued mailers last week that defended Toledo and criticized Maniscalco and Tommy Castellano, the other candidate in the District 6 election. District 6 encompasses West Tampa, Seminole Heights and a portion of South Tampa.

The mailers accused Maniscalco and Castellano as being “failed” politicians and asked, “Will they do anything to beat this woman?”

Maniscalco lost a race for Tampa City Council in 2011. Castellano lost a Republican congressional primary election in Hillsborough County in 2010.

“These most recent revelations are only the latest in a series of questionable actions by the Toledo campaign and her paid consultant, Anthony Pedicini,” said Maniscalco in a press release issued Sunday afternoon. “Whether we’re talking about her superimposing her image over that of the Mayor, improper use of the City of Tampa seal, improperly invading an active highway construction site without the proper permits and insurance or this most recent dust up concerning the Moving Tampa Forward PAC, one thing is clear… Ms. Toledo does not know how to be honest with the voters of District 6.”

Maniscalco then went much further, saying that Toledo’s whole campaign “has been woven with a thread of deceit and misleading information.  She has exhibited an arrogant attitude that she thinks she is above the law and that the rules don’t apply to her.  Tampa voters deserve real leadership and honest answers.  They certainly deserve better than what Ms. Toledo is offering.”

These are by far the most incendiary comments made by Maniscalco in the race, where he has attempted to be above the battling against Toledo, a transportation engineer who become the establishment candidate of thas raised he race,  enjoying support by   Republicans like Dana Young and Jeff Brandes, and even by Democrats like Lisa Monteleone. She has dominated in fundraising, raising $126,482. In comparison, Maniscalco has raised $38,079. Castellano has raised $31,997.

Toledo’s campaign is being run by Pedicini, a highly effective GOP political consultant who has been accused of nefarious actions in the past.

Bryan Farris, Maniscalco’s campaign manager,  said that Pedicini has “acted recklessly, trying to hide his gutter-style campaign tactics behind a Political Action Committee of nefarious origins that he obviously controls.  We hold Ms. Toledo responsible for these actions and would remind her of the old southern adage…When you lie down with pigs, you’re bound to get some mud on ya.”

Neither Toledo nor Pedicini were available for comment Sunday night.

But their campaign has been under siege ever since Toledo was busted by the FDOT for not asking for permission to film a commercial in a restricted construction zone. Even when challenged by reporters about the negative fallout, Toledo’s campaign said they would not stop airing the ads.

Nine days ago, Maniscalco invited the press to the West Tampa jewelry store that his family has owned for decades to participate in a press conference where a friend of his announced he was filing a complaint with the city of Tampa for Toledo’s unauthorized use of the city’s official seal for a campaign portrait.

Tommy Castellano then felt embolden enough on Thursday to release his statement totally cracking on Toledo, calling her and her campaign “an embarrassment.”

The election takes place this Tuesday, with the polls opening at 7. a.m.

 

 

 

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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