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Is Rick Kriseman’s campaign wasting tens of thousands of dollars on TV ads to nonresidents?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Rick Kriseman‘s campaign has spent more than $46,000 on television ads directed to households located outside of St. Petersburg city limits.

According to a review of cable company Spectrum’s “public inspection file,Kriseman’s campaign and the Florida Democratic Party have spent $46,974 on ads broadcast on two Pinellas County-centric zones that do not include portions of St. Pete.

Broadcasters are required to keep a log of the political advertising that airs on their channel.

Here’s what’s in the file about Kriseman and the FDP.

More than half of the ads supporting Kriseman are airing in the Middle Pinellas and the North Pinellas zones.

And where are those zones?

Well, this is the Middle Pinellas zone:

 

And this is the North Pinellas zone:

In case you’ve forgotten, here are the boundaries of the City of St. Petersburg.

It’s clear after comparing the Spectrum graphics with the map of the city that the cable company carved up the three zones, in part, so that St. Pete was contained entirely in one zone, the South Pinellas zone. The Middle Pinellas zone begins at the city’s edge and moves north, but it does not look there is any overlap between the Middle Pinellas zone and the city of St. Pete. Certainly, there is no overlap between the North Pinellas zone and the city.

Yet, Kriseman’s ads are being targeted to those two zones.

There may be a perfectly good explanation for this targeting. For example, during the presidential primary, candidates have to buy airtime on Boston TV stations to reach New Hampshire voters.

Maybe Kriseman’s hoping to catch St. Pete residents who happen to be watching BayNews 9 while they wait in their doctor’s office in Palm Harbor?

Kriseman campaign has raised more than $542,000 for his re-election, plus whatever he raised in June for his political committee. Not even with that kind of money can he afford to waste more than 50 percent of his TV ad buy.

If Kriseman ends up losing the mayoral race, someone should have to explain why his campaign spent as much money advertising in Clearwater and Tarpon Springs as it did in Midtown St. Pete.

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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