Now Tom Tillison’s just being silly with his post about the Pinellas GOP canceling controversial speaker’s appearance

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I could go paragraph-by-paragraph through BizPacReview’s Tom Tillison’s post about Pinellas Republicans ‘sparking controversy by dis-inviting terrorism expert,’ and pick fights with issues large and small. But I won’t.

I’ll let it slide that Tillison cites the WatchdogWire Florida, and not SaintPetersBlog, as the source for news that Dr. Jonathan Matusitz’s appearance has been canceled. I won’t quibble with Tillison’s diction, such as when he writes about how Chris Latvala “resorted” to Facebook to say that he was disappointed” in the decision to invite Matusitz — “resorted” being employed to make it sound as if Latvala had done something nefarious.

No, I won’t engage in a back-and-forth. Because that’s not what my issue with Matusitz’s appearance has been about. It’s simply about inviting a controversial, apolitical speaker to address an organization which should be spending its time organizing precincts, raising money, and training volunteers.

However, I will refute two point … Tillison’s ridiculous assertion that cancelling Matusitz’s speech is a “continuation of political correctness that may one day lead to American soldiers being beheaded in our streets, as we saw occur last month in Britain?”

Say what?

Read that again. Because some associate professor’s speech has been cancelled, that may one day lead to American soldiers being beheaded in our streets? My readers know that I am usually not at a loss for words, but I genuinely don’t know how to begin to refute such slippery slope logic.

Another silly assertion Tillison makes is that the cancelling of Matusitz’s presentation is “an indication of the influence on local politics by Hassan Shibly, the active executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations?”

For my part, I’ve never met Hassan Shibly, nor have the other local Republicans who were upset with the invitation to Matusitz. Whoever Shibly is, he has less than zero influence on local politics in Pinellas County.

I know Tea Partiers like to imagine enemies everywhere, but that’s not how we act in Pinellas. So, yes, our Republican leaders — legends like Congressman Bill Young and State Senator Jack Latvala — have not embraced the Tea Party.

That’s just the way we like it in these parts.

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.