Kathleen Ford ducks Creative Loafing — and why it matters that she’s ducking Tiger Bay

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Another day, another duck by alleged mayoral candidate Kathleen Ford.

I describe her as an “alleged” candidate because she has shown very few signs of, you know, being an actual candidate. No events. No interviews. No press conferences. Little to say on her website. All she’s done is fill out the candidacy paperwork and participate in a candidate forum last week.

As for her latest duck, it comes a week after she was called out on this blog and by the Tampa Bay Times for ducking the July 10 mayoral candidates forum hosted by the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club (more on that later). Today’s ducking is of Creative Loafing, specifically reporter Mitch Perry.

In the latest edition of CL, Perry writes that he “contacted her recently to ask for a sit-down interview. We didn’t hear back. When we asked for that same interview in person last week, the 55-year-old attorney smiled, and moved along.”

That’s two ducks in two weeks.

So why is Ford ducking the community and the media? Well, it has little to do with the fact that she’s leading in some polls. It’s simply because Ford is not fast enough on her feet at these forums.  Unless she bites her tongue, she gets herself into trouble at candidate forums or when smart people ask her tough questions.

Take her performance at last week’s forum, which was sponsored by the NAACP and The Weekly Challenger. How did Kathleen introduce herself to the mostly black crowd at this event? By stressing that she had relatives who fought for the Union during the Civil War. This was such a condescending statement that Adam Smith, political editor of the Tampa Bay Times, named Ford the “panderer of the week.” 

This kind of verbal snafu is nothing new from Ford.

She once famously argued for tougher code enforcement because “Snell Isle is only going to be so nice if the Old Northeast is a good buffer.” As a council member, she accused then-police Chief Goliath Davis of lying and suggested he was tipping off drug dealers about investigations without offering any proof.

In 2009, without any evidence, she suggested the police knew of drug dealing at the Midtown home where an 8-year-old girl was shot and killed in a gang-related shooting.

In a Chamber of Commerce candidate interview during her last campaign, she recklessly claimed Bill Foster knew of rumors that the late council member John Bryan engaged in pedophilia and lied about it. She has mischaracterized the adoption of the city’s investment strategies. 

And, of course, there was that matter of describing Go Davis as the “HNIC” of St. Petersburg

In other words, Kathleen doesn’t have anything nice to say, so she’s shutting up.

Don’t for a second buy Ford’s excuse that she can’t participate in the Tiger Bay panel because she has a two-week trial. This is a woman who made just over $17,000 last year from practicing law. This is less than half what the clerks in the city legal department Ford wants to lead earn. Yet, rather conveniently (and just as early ballots are being mailed) Ford has a two-week trial.

Puh-leeze.

She’s ducking Tiger Bay. She’s ducking Creative Loafing. She’s ducking the rest of the media. 

She’s not a candidate, she’s a shut-in.

Material from the Tampa Bay Times was used in this post.

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.