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Mitch Perry Report for 9.16.15 — Sam Rashid ignores Rick Scott’s call to step down from Aviation Authority

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Sam Rashid is still a member of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority as of 7 a.m. this morning, despite the fact that by doing so, he is directly snubbing Gov. Rick Scott, the man who appointed him to the agency last year and is now calling on him to resign from the board.

“Governor Scott expects him to resign and would accept his resignation,” spokeswoman Jackie Schutz tells the Tampa Bay Times’ Steve Contorno in this morning’s paper.

The reason why the governor is telling Sam Rashid it’s time to move along now is because of the disparaging “slut” remark that he made on a Facebook posting two weeks ago, in reference to Tampa public relations consultant Beth Leytham and her involvement with the Go Hillsborough transportation plan.

Rashid is being quite the drama queen in all of this. He originally denied that the remark was sexist in anyway. Then he apologized (sort of), then he said he would leave if the governor wanted him gone. After Scott essentially said last week that his resignation would be appropriate, Rashid then said he would wait until WTSP aired reporter Noah Pransky’s report on Leytham, an extremely influential player in local politics.

That report began airing on Monday night. The story used public documents and text messages to question whether Leytham’s close relationships with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and County Commissioners Sandy Murman and Ken Hagan meets the definition of lobbying, and whether she should be registered as a lobbyist. Leythem denies the allegations, saying her actions don’t reach the legal definition of a lobbyist.

Back to Sam Rashid. If he refuses to resign by the end of today, isn’t it time for Scott to go ahead and fire him, or is he OK with his edict being ignored?

On Fox News last night, Carly Florina told Megyn Kelley that “character matters” when talking about Donald Trump’s outlandishly disparaging remark about her looks that he made about her in the pages of Rolling Stone. 

Trump has with a straight-face denied the comment, saying he was talking about her persona.

Character matters. Whatever Rashid’s point was in his original Facebook post has been lost because he crossed the lines of what most consider civil discourse with his remark.

In other news..

We wrote a lot about one poll yesterday — the Public Policy Polling survey that showed that a majority of Floridians would prefer if Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush went ahead and quit their campaigns, right now.

That same poll shows that while Democrats in other states are “Feeling the Bern,” in the Sunshine State, it’s nothing but Clinton.

While in Southern California, Bush is channeling Ronald Reagan in touting his new tax reform plan.

L.A. Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra says Republicans like Bush and Rubio can go “Trump lite” or stand up for Latinos tonight and on the campaign trail.

NextGen Climate is also bringing up the Gipper in trying to push the GOP candidates to address climate change.

And U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor is attempting to gin up popular support for her bill that would reform the student loan system for university students.

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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