Featured

Charlie Crist an empty suit, yes. Corrupt politician, no

This also explains why the candidate with more money is more likely to win. Because more money means more ad impressions.

Yes, voter suppression is alive and well, and both parties do it. And, no, it has nothing to do with racial issues.

Of course, the ads we see are often misleading, sometimes they are flat-out lies, and every now and then they are even embarrassing — to the campaign that is running them (as was the case two times this year when Rick Scott’s campaign had to pull its own ads — one that featured a convicted fraudster, and another featuring a Tampa man with a conviction for human trafficking). Ouch!

By Chris Ingram

Published: October 13, 2014, The Tampa Tribune

Between the two of them, Rick Scott and Charlie Crist and their respective allies have already spent over $50 million to sway voters’ attitudes — mostly through 30-second television ads that no Floridian is safe from viewing.

By some reports, their ad spending has amounted to nearly 100,000 commercials that have run throughout the state, and there are still three weeks before Election Day. The volume of ads will only increase until then.

Television viewers are no doubt sick of the spots, with most of them being negative, with ominous-sounding music, dark images, and claims of how bad the other guy is.

Crist corrupt

Despite the fact that voters say they don’t like all the negativity, campaigns from coast to coast “go negative” because it works. It works by suppressing the vote when those ads cause voters to say, “I’m so sick of the political ads, I’m not going to vote.”

The hope of the candidate who is airing the ad is that more of his opponent’s voters are going to take that view than his own voters will. The more frequently the negative ads run, the more impressions are made, and thus the more likely that will occur.

This also explains why the candidate with more money is more likely to win. Because more money means more ad impressions.

Yes, voter suppression is alive and well, and both parties do it. And, no, it has nothing to do with racial issues.

Of course, the ads we see are often misleading, sometimes they are flat-out lies, and every now and then they are even embarrassing — to the campaign that is running them (as was the case two times this year when Rick Scott’s campaign had to pull its own ads — one that featured a convicted fraudster, and another featuring a Tampa man with a conviction for human trafficking). Ouch!

But those mistakes happen, and can be forgiven.

What can’t be forgiven is when a campaign runs an ad making a completely false statement. Such as a Scott ad currently airing that says Charlie Crist is corrupt.

Now let me make one thing perfectly clear: I don’t like Charlie Crist.

Crist is a chameleon. He lacks real leadership skills. He’s an empty suit. He’s a… (click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune)

 

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

Click here for more content on Irreverent View.

Please feel free to submit a comment on our blogs. By posting a comment you acknowledge reading and following the terms and conditions of posting found here. You may also submit a comment by e-mail. If you e-mail a comment you consent to your comment and name being posted on the Irreverent View website. If you wish to remain completely anonymous, please state so in your e-mail.

 

Featured

The Glazers fleeced us. Will Stu Sternberg do the same?

By Scott Myers

The banter and conversations are now percolating, at an ever more rapid cadence, for the need for a new baseball stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays in Hillsborough County.  Just in the past week multiple columns and editorials have appeared in the Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Bay Times covering this hot topic.

Thus, I think this is a very appropriate time for us to take a look at how the Raymond James Stadium deal  (30 years lease 1998-2028) has played out to date, and will continue to unfold for the next 13 years or so.  I believe, that after you read my discussion below, you will emphatically agree that taxpayers in Hillsborough should avoid another Ray-Jay experience – which amounted to nothing more than a taxpayer handout to a billionaire.

I am of course referring to Malcolm Glazer (recently deceased), and his family, their businesses and foundations. All of which have benefited for years, and will continue to benefit from the sweat-heart deal they receive from Hillsborough County taxpayers.

Of course the Glazer’s and their foundation (as well as the Bucs organization) love to throw money around and get free publicity for various philanthropic causes and charities they support, but given all the taxpayer money they benefit from, it amounts to just ‘pennies on the dollar.’  No one in the county gets more public welfare from the taxpayers in the Tampa Bay area than the Glazers.  And I would be hard pressed to find a less needy family than they are –  with a current net worth of about $4.5 Billion.

To be fair, here is what the Glazer’s give:

$5 million for the Glazer Children’s Museum which opened in 2010 – total cost was $21 million of which $3.5 million came from Hillsborough County – click here to see the many non-Glazer donors who provided the other $12.5 million.

$13.7 million via Glazer Family Foundation for the years 2001-2012, $5 million of which went to the Cleveland Clinic (which does not operate any hospitals in Hillsborough County), leaving $8.7 million for the Tampa Bay Area – click here to see the foundation’s report (IRS Form 990) for details.

So, for the 12 year period of 2001-2012 the Glazers contributed $13.7 million ($5 million + $8.7 million) to the Tampa Bay community, which equals $1.1 million per year

What the Glazers get

$24.5 million per year for full care and maintenance of Raymond James Stadium. That’s what they get.

My review of Tampa Sports Authority’s stadium budget documents for FY 2011-2012 and FY 2012-2013 show the following approximate costs for each of the two fiscal years:

•  Stadium Operating Expenses over revenues = $ 2 million

•  Bond debt service =$14 million

•  Capital project/improvements =$ 8.5 million  (Capital improvements  include such essentials as ‘suite furnishings, suite ice makers, and suite refrigerators at a taxpayer cost of $2.7 million.  Meanwhile, during the 2012-2013 school year, my autistic son’s teacher’s aide at Freedom High School made $8.29 per hour with no benefits).

•$1.6 million per year after netting out the rent paid by the Glazers ($3.5 million) with the $2.3 million they receive for Ray-Jay naming rights and the $2.8 million they receive as revenue for non-Bucs events at the stadium.  The Glazers get 100 percent of the first $2 million plus 50 percent of everything beyond the $2 million threshold.

So, the Glazers are getting about $26 million per year – and this is a 30-year deal that does not end until 1/31/2028.

9.-Outback-Bowl (1)

Based on what they give compared to what they get, the Glazers are returning just four pennies on the dollar ($1.1 million/$26 million) for every dollar in taxpayer money they receive. Or, read another way, Hillsborough County taxpayers are getting fleeced.

And let’s not forget that the Glazers have Continue reading “The Glazers fleeced us. Will Stu Sternberg do the same?”

Change or update your I.V. delivery method

Irreverent View is going to a new delivery system. If you received this email by Constant Contact you must enter your email address in the subscription box if you want to continue receiving columns by e-mail (see box on I.V. homepage as indicated in the graphic below.  Alternatively, you can click on the “Follow us on Twitter” box.  You will be directed to the Irreverent View Twitter page to be prompted to follow/subscribe.

This is the final email that will deliver Irreverent View content via Constant Contact. Future emails will be delivered through the website automatically as posted, once you “subscribe.”

If you do nothing, you will not receive future content by email.

Irrev View
Click on the image for instructions on how to change or update your Irreverent View subscription. You must change or update in order to continue receiving.

What is killing our reefs?

I happen to be one of those conservatives who believes global warming (or climate change, as it is now more accurately called), is real and caused in part by man. That said, global warming is also partly a natural phenomenon. Some experts suggest man’s contribution to the changes in climate are just 1 percent to 2 percent. Global warming skeptics suggest the impact is practically negligible and that efforts to slow it are unnecessary given the economic and regulatory burdens those efforts create.

Published in The Tampa Tribune, Sunday September 28, 2014 By Chris Ingram

Earlier this month, my wife Amy and I took a trip to St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, for a week of rest and relaxation. It was our fourth visit to St. John in the past 12 years.

St. John is unique, as it is mostly preserved thanks to the generosity of the Rockefeller family, which donated 5,000 acres to the U.S. government in 1956. Following subsequent purchases of land by the federal government, Virgin Islands National Park now covers 60 percent of the island.

St. John and the park are famous for its coral reefs and picturesque beaches — one of which is considered among the 10 best in the world. The park has miles of trails for hiking through mountainous tropical rainforest, and the reefs are favorites of snorkelers and scuba divers — though the latter is prohibited in most reefs within the park’s boundaries.

During our week in St. John, we visited a different beach or two each day, selecting those with the best snorkeling. September is the beginning of what is usually an active hurricane season in the Caribbean, so there are fewer tourists, many restaurants and tourist-related businesses are closed and the normally packed streets of Cruz Bay, the largest town in St. John, are nearly bare.

A colorful (and fast) Reef Squid swims the reefs of St. John.
A colorful (and fast) Reef Squid swims the reefs of St. John.

The trade-off of having to potentially dodge hurricanes is an acceptable one when you consider you can go to the most popular of St. John’s beaches, Trunk Bay in the park, and share it with no more than a half-dozen people on most any day there isn’t a cruise ship in port at nearby St. Thomas.

Although much of St. John will never be developed because of the national park, that doesn’t mean St. John’s ecosystem is being adequately preserved and protected — directly or indirectly.

The first time we went to St. John a dozen years ago, we snorkeled at Trunk Bay and were dazzled by the plethora of fish, sea turtles and vibrant colored corals just 75 or so yards off its sandy beaches. Every time we have been back since that first visit, we have noticed the corals are in decline, and the overall health of the reef appears worse.

Unfortunately, other reefs we snorkeled looked to be in similar deteriorating condition.

The obvious question is: What is the cause of the rapid deterioration of St. John’s coral reefs?

Some suggest that Continue reading “What is killing our reefs?”

Craft beer in Florida meets Karl Marx

I mean come on, this is Flori-duh! We can have a wink and a nod and drink our beer without regulation by legislators bought by Big Beer telling us they know what’s best. Competition is good. Craft beers are winning market share because their beer tastes better than the flavorless mass-produced garbage the big brewers produce. Apparently campaign cash is more important than consumer choice and free markets, and Sen. Kelli Stargel is more concerned with making Karl Marx proud.

By Chris Ingram

State Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) has lead the fight on behalf of “Big Beer” interests to force micro-brewers who produce tasty craft beers to use distributors to sell their products.

Big Beer’s biggest cheerleader has taken thousands of dollars from the Big Beer lobby. She is so overcome with hallucination from her Big Beer buddies’ money, she has proclaimed to be like a mother, saying, “I believe I know what’s best.”

Among other things, the keg monitoring queen apparently knows it is best to limit competition, deny consumers the freedom of choice, increase the cost of buying a beer, and add layers of bureaucracy to budding businesses and the entrepreneurs who start them.

kelli-stargel-216x300
Photo: Florida’s keg beer monitoring queen is Sen. Kelli Stargel.

She is so caught up in the talking points of Big Beer, she has even defended the prohibition-era “three tier” system of beer distribution.

Under this neo-Marxian-like system (one that stresses the monopolistic rather than the competitive nature of capitalism), micro-brewers will be forced into a paper transaction with distributors in order for the micro-brewers to sell their craft beers at their own establishments. No beer will actually change possession between micro-brewers and distributors, but paperwork and money will exchange hands from the micro-brewers to the distributors – who will be acting as the middle-men in this non-transaction transaction; ultimately this will increase the cost to consumers.

Earlier this week Mama Stargel claimed Continue reading “Craft beer in Florida meets Karl Marx”

A Jake Fuller cartoon. Republicans to “Big Beer”: For all you do, this cash is for you!

The Republicans in the Florida Legislature are crawling with scum-bags like Don Gaetz who speaks out of both sides of his big fat mouth!

BeerBill clr
GOP takes its cash and tramples on free-markets and consumer choice in favor of big business.

Thanks to Republicans, you may have cracked open your last craft beer

But before the growler bill they were advocating got to a vote, the Senate Rules Committee passed an amended bill that would allow the sale of growlers but would also heavily restrict the sale of virtually all craft beer sold by microbrewers.

Published in the Tampa Tribune, Sunday, April 27, 2014

By Chris Ingram

In what has to be the new poster child of the laws of unintended consequences, craft beer brewers and their beer-drinking enthusiasts have to be scratching their heads and asking, “What happened?”

Craft brewers — or microbrewers — had gotten the Florida Legislature to consider a bill to allow the sale of growlers, half-gallon sized containers of beer that are prohibited by state law. Along with Florida, growlers are illegal in only two other states.

But before the growler bill they were advocating got to a vote, the Senate Rules Committee passed an amended bill that would allow the sale of growlers but would also heavily restrict the sale of virtually all craft beer sold by microbrewers.

The devil is in the details.

SB 1714 would permit the sale of growlers by microbrewers who sell fewer than 2,000 kegs of beer per year. So far so good, but not great. Brewers producing more than 2,000 kegs per year would be permitted to sell growlers, but they would also be required to distribute all of their beers, regardless of size, through an established beer distributor.

craftbeer1
Fla. Senate leaders want you to pay more for craft beer.

The effect of the distribution requirement would be higher costs to consumers, since the beer distributors would be due a large cut for their role as a middle man. Adding insult to injury, any microbrewery in the state producing over 2,000 kegs would have to sell its beer to the distributor and then buy it back (after a mark-up from the distributor), to sell their own beer in their own microbrewery.

Absurd!

Is it any wonder we call it the “Flori-duh” Legislature?

The bill is being pushed by (Click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune.)

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

Click here for more content on Irreverent View.

Please feel free to submit a comment on our blogs. By posting a comment you acknowledge reading and following the terms and conditions of posting found here. You may also submit a comment by e-mail. If you e-mail a comment you consent to your comment and name being posted on the Irreverent View website. If you wish to remain completely anonymous, please state so in your e-mail.