‘Do you see why it’s hard to leave this?’

On a recent Friday night I was a guest of Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee as he patrolled Plant City and surrounding areas of Hillsborough County. The sheriff told me he tries to keep active with “real law enforcement” at least twice a week by participating in such patrols.

By Chris Ingram

Special correspondent, the Tampa Tribune

Published June 27, 2011

On a recent Friday night I was a guest of Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee as he patrolled Plant City and surrounding areas of Hillsborough County. The sheriff told me he tries to keep active with “real law enforcement” at least twice a week by participating in such patrols.

On the back roads heading toward Johnson’s BBQ in Plant City for a bite to eat, we passed a bar called Kelly’s Hideaway. The sheriff mentioned the place used to be very popular with the locals — and that on the weekends it kept deputies busy.

“Old-timers used to joke that if you came into Kelly’s without a gun or a knife they’d issue you one at the door,” Gee said.

Real-world police work

As counties go, Hillsborough is a vast geographic place with diverse neighborhoods of people — yet most of us fail miserably at getting beyond the shadows of our own friends, neighborhoods and other comfort zones, much less visiting places like Kelly’s Hideaway, or even knowing they exist.

Law enforcement officers, on the other hand, see those realities of the “real world” every day.

“We’ve got the best crop of deputies we’ve ever had,” Gee told me with his trademark low-key demeanor.

New recruits of the department are sent to two weeks of military-style boot camp. If they make it through, they get a conditional offer of employment and are sent to the police academy.

“It’s not just about doing push-ups and the physical conditioning; it’s about building camaraderie,” he says.

That solidarity is important in the difficult situations deputies face on the job.

But shootouts Continue reading “‘Do you see why it’s hard to leave this?’”

Bill Nelson’s big fat lie about Social Security

Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is engaging in typical Democrat party scare tactics by suggesting Republicans are engaging in a risky scheme to privatize the depression-era social welfare program.

He knows you’ve been scammed, but won’t admit it

By Chris Ingram

Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is engaging in typical Democrat party scare tactics by suggesting Republicans are engaging in a risky scheme to privatize the depression-era social welfare program.

The problem with Senator Nelson and his ilk in the Democrat party is that their tactic is not only misleading, but they are also lying about the law regarding Social Security entitlement, and, most importantly, they lack any honest proposals to extend the life of the program.

Social Security = legalized government theft

Earlier today I received the following unsolicited e-mail from Senator Nelson’s congressional office: Continue reading “Bill Nelson’s big fat lie about Social Security”

What is the real story behind Mike Bennett’s short-lived congressional campaign?

Mike’s decision to pull out of this race had nothing to do with his belly, or heartburn, or wanting to spend time fishing or the proverbial “time with the family.” Mike Bennett is too smart and isn’t that shortsighted to allow belly issues to dictate his political future (which he incidentally says he still has).

Bennett claims he “didn’t have the fire in the belly…”– but is that what was really going on?

By Chris Ingram

I like Mike Bennett. His poorly chosen words about making people walk hundreds of miles to vote (as he alleges) like they do in Africa notwithstanding, he’s a political pro who knows what he’s doing.

So when he came out with his “I don’t have the fire in the belly” line as he announced his withdraw as a candidate for the 11th Congressional District (currently held by Kathy Castor, D-Tampa), I laughed.

Photo: Mike Bennett

Mike’s decision to pull out of this race had nothing to do with his belly, or heartburn, or wanting to spend time fishing or the proverbial “time with the family.” Mike Bennett is too smart and isn’t that shortsighted to allow belly issues to dictate his political future (which he incidentally says he still has — a political future that is, not belly issues).

No, Mike Bennett’s withdraw has everything to do with Continue reading “What is the real story behind Mike Bennett’s short-lived congressional campaign?”

Sen. Latvala is nobody’s lackey

In a body full of undistinguished do-nothings, that’s not really saying much, but Latvala is genuinely a good guy who is smart, capable, independent and well-intentioned.

By Chris Ingram

Special correspondent, The Tampa Tribune

Published June 14, 2011

State Sen. Jack Latvala is one of my favorite members of the Florida legislature. In a body full of undistinguished do-nothings, that’s not really saying much, but Latvala is genuinely a good guy who is smart, capable, independent and well-intentioned.

I haven’t always sung the praises of Latvala. In fact, over coffee last week, he reminded me my Irreverent View column’s endorsement of his opponent last year was the only one he didn’t get.

I’m not afraid to admit I was wrong about him. At the time I thought he was just another career politician climbing the ladder.

During this year’s legislative session Latvala and a few other senators served as something of a speed bump to the heavy-handed tactics of Continue reading “Sen. Latvala is nobody’s lackey”

Republican activist files complaint with RPOF and Hillsborough GOP

Please consider this a formal complaint to the HCREC and the RPOF board. I cannot believe that this is occurring 12 months before the National Republican Convention is coming to Tampa. Where is the unity in the local and state GOP?

Activist: “Why would the RPOF and REC’s sit still for this?”

By Chris Ingram

Earlier today Bay area Republican gadfly Michael Pinson — who has a long-running fued with progressive Democrat blogger Peter Schorsch — sent a complaint via e-mail, to Hillsborough County Republican Party Chairwoman Deborah Cox-Roush about Schorsch’s involvement with GOP politics.

Specifically, Pinson raises his concerns about Schorsch’s involvement in GOP campaigns as well as the odd support he receives from what could best be described as third-string GOP operatives.

Pinson, who has also been an outspoken critic of many Republicans for not being “conservative enough,” has his critics, but in the case of the complaint against Schorsch, he’s right on the money.

Schorsch it should be noted has frequently referred to Pinson as a feminine hygeine cleaning product on his blog, and Pinson has pending legal action against him for it.

In my opinion, people like Peter Schorsch are the problem with American politics.  

Irreverent View obtained a copy of the letter from Pinson, which is presented below unedited. It’s a good read, if not a little verbose.

Here it is: Continue reading “Republican activist files complaint with RPOF and Hillsborough GOP”