Hoe Brown is not a slumlord

Hoe’s office location always seemed to be a bit odd, but I attributed it to his thriftiness. While I’ve never seen his bank statement, I imagine it is sizeable; one could argue his wealth was achieved in part by being frugal. In addition to running his office in a “low rent” part of town, he drives a Jeep Cherokee that I would guess is close to ten years old. Flashy Hoe is not. And he’s not some Daddy Warbucks living and working in a mansion. He works in the same place with the same conditions of the “slums” he’s accused of renting out.

By Chris Ingram

I am disappointed in my friend Hoe Brown, the Tampa Port Authority chairman who it was recently reported has some rental properties with questionable conditions and that lack necessary permits. If I know Hoe as well as I think I do, he is disappointed in himself as well.

I have known Hoe for seven years. In fact, I have been to his offices on Stanley Street countless times. I’ve seen and spoken with some of his tenants while there, and even witnessed some of them pay the rent. 

Hoe’s office location always seemed to be a bit odd, but I attributed it to his thriftiness. While I’ve never seen his bank statement, I imagine it is sizeable; one could argue his wealth was achieved in part by being frugal. In addition to running his office in a “low rent” part of town, he drives a Jeep Cherokee that I would guess is close to ten years old.  Flashy Hoe is not. And he’s not some Daddy Warbucks living and working in a mansion. He works in the same place with the same conditions of the “slums” he’s accused of renting out.

Since knowing Hoe, I have commented to others on many occasions that he is one of very few Republicans who bridge the divide between the two largest factions within the party: the country clubbers who write the checks, and the grassroots activists who do the grunt work.  I say this from having seen Hoe “in action.” You’re just as likely to catch him at a black-tie donor affair, as you are to catch him out putting up yard signs into the wee hours of the night during campaign season – something I’ve never seen GOP heavyweights such as Al Austin or Don Phillips ever do.

The media’s accounts of Hoe’s properties in my estimation are probably accurate, but Continue reading “Hoe Brown is not a slumlord”

For voter suppression, take I-95 north

The reaction to last month’s Supreme Court ruling that rendered Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional was full of typical hyperbole about the impact the court’s decision will have on minority voting rights.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The reaction to last month’s Supreme Court ruling that rendered Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional was full of typical hyperbole about the impact the court’s decision will have on minority voting rights.

The overturned section related to the formula by which nine states and some jurisdictions in other states (including just six counties in Florida) are brought under Section 5, which requires them to get federal permission – “preclearance” – for even the most minor changes in voting procedures.

In his opinion, Chief Justice Roberts wrote Section 4 “[uses] obsolete statistics,” and that the coverage formula “violates the constitution.”

To wit, the Supreme Court did not overturn the act itself, just Section 4, and effectively Section 5. Congress is free to consider rewriting the law, though if it wants to ensure fair voting it should look elsewhere.

Such as the 15 states (mostly in the Northeast and in states that strongly tend to favor Democrats), that don’t permit any form of early voting or “no-excuse needed” vote by mail (previously referred to as “absentee” voting). Among those states are New York, Massachusetts, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Despite the fact that these Democratic Party-leaning states have more restrictive voting opportunities than Florida, our state and its Republican elected officials are frequently vilified by the media for so-called “voter suppression.”

While the state Legislature did tighten some of the rules regarding early voting in 2011, it reinstated most of them this year. But even under the pre-reinstated laws, Florida had far less-restrictive elections than in 15 states, as well as some others that permit early voting and/or no-excuse mail balloting but that are more restrictive than Florida’s.

Yet the liberal mainstream media rarely looks in its own backyard. It’s much easier to label Florida’s legislators and our governor as right-wing voter suppressors than it is to do a little research and then point out that Florida has some of the most progressive voting laws in the country – all of which were instituted by Republicans (not Democrats), and that New York (home of the liberal mainstream media) has among the most oppressive voting laws in the country.

For example, the Obama Network (aka MSNBC), noted in a propaganda report that the effort to overturn provisions of the Voting Rights Act Continue reading “For voter suppression, take I-95 north”