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POWW ramps up signature drive

in Peter/The Bay and the 'Burg by
Preserve Our Wallets and Waterfronts, or POWW, has amped up its campaign to change the city charter and give voters more rights over future stadium construction.

The political action committee hired Peter Schorsch, a political consultant who led an unsuccessful campaign to replace Albert Whitted Municipal Airport with a waterfront park in 2003, to collect signatures. BUT LET’S NOT FORGET THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME A REFERENDUM QUESTION WAS PUT ON THE BALLOT VIA PETITION. I’D LOVE TO SEE ANYONE ELSE ORGANIZE AN EFFORT TO GATHER 18,000 SIGNED PETITIONS. The group also launched a direct mail campaign and has plans to speak to neighborhood groups about its petitions.

POWW is circulating

two petitions to amend St. Petersburg’s charter. One amendment would require voter approval for any city funding for professional sports facilities. The other would require voter approval for substantial changes to St. Petersburg’s waterfront parks.

Founder Hal Freedman said it is difficult to gather signatures now that there is so much uncertainty surrounding the stadium’s future.
“We aren’t getting the volunteer turnout that we would have gotten before,” he said. It’s unclear whether Schorsch can make a difference. THIS WILL NOT BE UNCLEAR FOR LONG!

He also has his own political ambitions. He’s active in City Council member
Jamie Bennett’s mayoral campaign and is considering running for the council by 2014. Schorsch has even referred to himself as the “white Darryl,” as in state Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, who overcame his own criminal history before becoming a respected politician.
Freedman said Schorsch was highly recommended by others who worked on the Albert Whitted campaign. “He said ‘I can get a bunch of people, I can get signatures,’ ” Freedman said. “That’s what we are hiring him for. He is the guy in the trenches.”

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.

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