Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Rick Baker Back-to-School Meter downgraded by hiring of Nick Hansen

in The Bay and the 'Burg by
Aaron Sharockman writes:

Baker, who has a little more than a month left in his second and final term, has been working until 1 a.m. some nights on his application for (St. Petersburg College’s) top job, he said this week.

He’s also seeking out the help of friends and colleagues, who have begun a letter-writing campaign to support his candidacy.

Baker, who said supporters came forward as they heard about his prospective candidacy, has even asked a political consultant to help coordinate the letters.

Nick Hansen, who was campaign manager for mayoral candidate Deveron Gibbons, has been collecting and organizing the letters.

Nick Hansen? Nick Hansen, field coordinator for Mitt Romney…campaign manager for ex-con Angelo Cappelli…do-boy for Deveron Gibbons…this is who Rick Baker hires to coordinate a letter-writing campaign?

There is a ring of irony to hiring the campaign manager (Hansen) of the candidate (Gibbons) you didn’t endorse despite him (Gibbons) being your campaign manager eight years ago, which led him (Gibbons) to fucking you (Baker) back by recusing himself from the vote to hire the next college president.

But back to Nick Hansen. First of all, it is an insult to political consultants everywhere to describe Nick Hansen as a political consultant. Nick is not a political consultant. He is, maybe, a campaign manager.

This is not a question of what has Nick Hansen ever won? This is a question of what has Nick Hansen ever done well?

After Hansen’s first rabbi, Angelo Cappelli, went to the can for fraud, the Pasty One went to work for Mitt Romney’s local efforts, which ended with this disastrous straw ballot win, which Romney paid for in order to finish ahead of Ron Paul.

A year later, Hansen went to work for his friend Deveron Gibbons, who served as treasurer for Cappelli’s disastrous campaign (during which Hansen actually pimped his own mother in a direct mail-piece for Cappelli).

Hansen’s work for Gibbons should be reason enough not to hire him again. In fact, it’s hard to think of a campaign which ended up being a bigger disappointment than Gibbons’ (no, not Scott Wagman’s because Gibbons had a built-in constituency). Yet, somehow, Bill Foster, maybe seeing in Nick Hansen a certain pasty resemblance, ended up hiring Hansen to help organize his campaign’s GOTV community in the black community.

It is with this curriculum vitae in hand that Hansen was hired by Baker to organize a letter-writing campaign. Except, Hansen, not exactly the most media savvy of operatives, allowed the story to spill over into the newspaper, making Baker look something he has never looked like before: desperate.

In fact, the real story behind Baker’s letter-writing campaign may involve a city administrator e-mailing donors to the “Mayor’s Mentors & More” program, asking them to write letters on behalf of the Mayor.

I was alerted to this situation on Wednesday and put in a public information request for all of this city staffer’s recent e-mails. I will update you if anything turns up. In the meantime, I am downgrading the Rick Baker Back-to-School Meter to reflect his poor decision of hiring Nick Hansen.

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.

Latest from The Bay and the 'Burg

Go to Top