Why Rick Kriseman won’t tell me when he’s filing for mayor of St. Pete

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Former state representative Rick Kriseman is, by one account, hours away from filing to run for Mayor of Saint Petersburg. I only know this because I have several sources close to Kriseman’s camp. I, unfortunately, don’t have a very good relationship with Kriseman because his Rasputin is my bete noire is Kevin King. As long as Rick is listening to Kevin, two things will happen: 1) Kriseman will not beat Bill Foster and 2)I’ll never have a direct line into Kriseman’s orbit.

That said, it’s not my feud with King that is keeping me from learning more about Kriseman’s plans. 

No, the reason why Kriseman is all but sneaking in to file his candidacy paperwork is because he’s afraid I’ll do to him what I may or may not have done to Kathleen Ford when she announced her campaign in 2009.

This was Cristina Silva’s account of Ford’s kick-off in front of City Hall. 

Was someone trying to spoil Ford’s press conference? 

Ford said she found a flyer that looks as if someone was trying to get the homeless at City Hall for her press conference. 

“Come see candidate speech at City Hall,” the flyer reads.

The flyers promise free T-shirts, food and drinks for everyone and bus passes for the first 25 spectators.

“Present flyer at end of speech for $1!” it reads.

There were at least four people at the press conference who might have been homeless based on their personal appearance. No one passed out any of the promised items and no one appeared disappointed.

The only disruption came when one homeless man yelled at Ford, “You sure are a lot prettier than the mayor.”

Carl Williams, a homeless man, said someone handed him the flyer at Williams Park at about 11:20 p.m.

Not wanting to be late, he and a friend rushed over to City Hall. He said he wasn’t disappointed when he didn’t get any of the freebies.

“I have a bus pass,” he said. “I could probably use an extra one, though.”

Williams said the man passing out the flyers was at Williams Park a few weeks ago handing out flyers that advertised a new auto shop on U.S. 19. Williams said the man was black with a large beard.

Ford and some of her mayoral opponents said they had nothing to do with the flyer. Jamie Bennett, Bill Foster, a spokesman for Scott Wagman and a spokesman for Deveron Gibbons said they didn’t produce it. Candidates Sharon Russ and Paul Congemi could not immediately be reached for comment.

 

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.