Today on Context Florida: Christie & Nixon, paid college athletes, citizen engagement and Believe It Or Not

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Today on Context Florida, Martin Dyckman starts by saying comparing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to Richard Nixon is unfair – to Nixon. Christie may (or may not) have ordered the George Washington Bridge closed to “punish” the Democratic voters of Fort Lee, but Nixon never targeted children.

Talk of paying college football players is heating up, Tom O’Hara writes; as a simple online search proves. Universities need to hire players since only raising stipends will not eliminate the hypocrisy plaguing major college sports.

Peter Schorsch strongly advocates citizen engagement in public hearings, even though studies show that a person’s sense of political power diminishes when attendance increases. It is a curious paradox: when government pumps out more information, it seems that citizens trust government less.

The 2014 Florida GOP, according to Daniel Tilson, is getting citizens “primed and ready” for its version of “Believe It Or Not” in an effort to get people to vote Republican. Although there is no estate tax, no income tax and millions paid as incentives to corporations, the GOP wants voters to believe “big government” is the problem.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.