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Judge rejects St. Petersburg Times’ effort to block street solicitation ban

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Love citing the St. Petersburg Times in an article about the St. Petersburg Times.  Where is the alternative media?

A federal judge Thursday refused to block St. Petersburg’s new ban on street solicitation.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara said there was no question in his mind that the ordinance was content-neutral, narrowly tailored and that a significant government interest was at stake.

“No matter what its genesis was, whatever the legislative intent was is irrelevant,” Lazzara said. “It applies even-handedly to anyone who wants to solicit motorists.”

The ordinance prohibits any transaction between pedestrians and motorists on major city streets, including the sale of newspapers.

With the ban set to take effect Sunday, attorneys for the Times Publishing Co., the corporate parent of the St. Petersburg Times, asked Lazzara to issue a restraining order to stop enforcement until the legal challenge is resolved.

Lazzara rejected that request but not the suit challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance. “There’s not a substantial likelihood that the St. Petersburg Times will prevail on this case,” Lazzara said in explaining his decision.

Continuing reading 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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