The ugliness of the crowd at last week's Tiger Bay featuring Jeff Brandes, Janet Long and Adam Smith

in Uncategorized by

The video from the May 13 taping of Florida This Week at Tiger Bay is now online, including the typically-interesting question-and-answer portion of the program. Already, my friend Alan Suskey has written the Board of Directors to complain about the way the event — Tiger Bay’s rare opportunity to appear before a television audience — was handled.

Again and again, Tigers made speeches rather than asked questions. Again and again, Tigers exceeded the time alloted to ask their questions. Again and again, Tigers attempted to ask follow-up questions. Again and again, as the rules ofTiger Bay were broken by members who are beyond old enough to know better, the leadership of the organization sat on their hands and did nothing.

I reviewed the video from the Q&A portion of the event and made notes about the numerous violations of Tiger Bay policy which occurred. All of the violations involved a member “asking” a question of Rep. Brandes.

The first questioner, Bev Mitland, did not break any rules, but in typical Bev Mitland fashion, she asked some ridiculous question about forcing men to get vasectomies. Hearing that word come out of Mitlan’d mouth was almost enough to make me lose my lunch.

For some reason,at this point no-longer-moderator Rob Lorei decides to jump in and re-ask Brandes the question, then turned to lob a softball to former Rep. Janet Long, who could not have been more bitter or shrill than she was at Tiger Bay. Oh, that voice of hers! (a good question for Janet would have been, if she’s so damn right about the issues, then why did she lose to a guy who ran a pool cleaning company?)

The next questioner, Warren Eisenhower made some sort of mini-speech, but he was brief compared to Terri Bryant who used over a minute to ramble out whatever her question was suppose to be. Yet, none of the Tiger Bay enforcers, who would have tackled Bryant had she been asking the same question of, say, Rick Kriseman, intervened.

Just as they did not intervene when Tom Dunn made his little speech, calling Rep. Brandes a “fraud.”Um, Mr. Dunn, Jeff Brandes is an Army veteran. You should think twice about calling someone who served this country in uniform a fraud just because you disagree with his political positions.

But the worst of these questioners was Betty Morgenstein who asked not just one question, but three follow-up questions as if she were a member of the White House press corp. She actually won the “fang-and-claw” award, despite egregiously violating the decorum of the organization.

Not to be outdone, Anissa Raiford — Janet Long’s daughter — closed the Q&A session with a minute long soliloquy.

Take a look at the video yourself and see just how much teeth Tiger Bay bared.

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.