Mayor Bill Foster’s very bad week

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There are days in political campaigns that just don’t go well. Walking neighborhoods, a door gets slammed in your face one too many times. The big-time fundraiser doesn’t return your call. Maybe there’s an article that doesn’t reflect well on you. Perhaps your opponent gets a little earned media, a good-news day.

Every campaign experiences bad days. And the bad days are a bi-partisan exercise — both sides have to cope with bad days.

What you hope for is that the bad day doesn’t turn into two bad days. You work extra hard, you go to bed, wake up, start again, and try to make the next day better.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster had a bad day on Wednesday, but it may be turning into a bad week.  

It started on Wednesday when news broke of the retirement of St. Petersburg Police Chief Chuck Harmon.  

Harmon managed to get a phone call in to Kameel Stanley and Mark Puente at the Tampa Bay Times before he thought to call his own boss, Mayor Foster, with the news.

More news broke later that day in the Tampa Bay Times that the mayor’s talks with the Tampa Bay Rays were not going well. This is an area where the thing the mayor might have thought sounded good a few months ago now sounds ill-conceived. He was playing hardball, if you will, with Major League Baseball and the Rays owners, unwilling to give them any wiggle room in their contract — and they’re looking to move, anyway.    

The last bit of bad news came from the mayor’s own state senator, Jeff Brandes, who decided to file a bill to repeal red light cameras. Perhaps it is unfair to say Mayor Foster was a champion of red light cameras, but he certainly supported the ill-fated venture.

Today, the Times came out with a blistering editorial on Foster and the Rays:

“the best hope for keeping Major League Baseball in Tampa Bay and protecting St. Petersburg taxpayers is a new mayor.”

Mayor Foster’s next shot to turn his luck around is a debate with Rick Kriseman on Tuesday. If he can’t change his luck, then he’ll be on-track for possibly another lousy week.  And with only eight or so weeks left in the campaign, you can’t have too many more of those.