Uber and Lyft denied free markets

Even better, the driver was a delightful man who knew how to carry on a conversation using flawless English, with just a slight Sudanese accent. His name was Abbas. He came to the U.S. as a political refugee from Sudan 10 years ago. When he arrived, he had little more than the shirt on his back. A decade later, he has a college education, owns a fleet of 10 cars and employs over a dozen people.

Protecting the candle makers

Published in the Tampa Tribune, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Chris Ingram

I frequently travel on business to Jacksonville and have used local cabs to get to and from the airport. On a recent trip, the cab I was dispatched can only be described as less-than-suitable. It was old, smelled like cigarette smoke, the air conditioning didn’t work, and I had to dig between seat cushions, assorted crumbs and trash to find a broken seat-belt locking mechanism.

After picking me up, the driver asked if I minded if he stopped for a second to pick up some items that someone had left out with their garbage. He collected his new-found treasures and placed them in the trunk on top of my suitcase.

My prior experiences with cabs in Jacksonville haven’t been much better, and my occasional cab encounters in Tampa have been similar.

Last week in Jacksonville, I tried Uber. My car showed up early. It was a late-model sedan. It was clean. Everything from the power windows, air conditioning and seat belts all worked.

Uber
Photo: Uber’s ap allows customers to place their ride request.

Even better, the driver was a delightful man who knew how to carry on a conversation using flawless English, with just a slight Sudanese accent. His name was Abbas. He came to the U.S. as a political refugee from Sudan 10 years ago. When he arrived, he had little more than the shirt on his back. A decade later, he has a college education, owns a fleet of 10 cars and employs over a dozen people.

Abbas is an American success story with deep lessons about the value of a good education, picking yourself up from nothing and turning yourself into something, through hard work and determination.

He has learned a lot about American government and burdensome regulations by helping with Uber’s fight in Tallahassee to break the monopoly that traditional cabs have in most markets.

Hillsborough County is one of those markets. In fact, we’re one of the worst — (Click here to read the 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 at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.

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Breaking: FBI raids Hillsborough County Commission Offices

Three commissioners arrested by FBI

By: Dub L. Entendre

Reminiscent of a previous raid thirty years ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigations raided the offices of three undisclosed members of the Hillsborough County Commission today.

fbi raid
Photo: Agents raid government center.

Stunned citizens and county government employees were shocked by the scene of armed agents entering One County Center around 1:30 p.m. today. The agents arrested three commissioners and a number of staffers, and later removed hundreds of boxes and several computers from the building.

“It was like a scene out of a movie, I tell you,” Ben Had, a witness to the raid said.

The three commissioners whose offices were raided were arrested and escorted out of the building.

“All of them appeared to be male. I don’t think Commissioner Murman was one of those arrested, as they all were wearing cheap JC Penney brand type shoes and all had their heads covered by their suit jackets,” said Richard Cranium, a witness, in referring to Commissioner Sandy Murman, the lone female on the seven-member board.

According to the FBI, the arrested commissioners were taken to an undisclosed location near Guantanamo Bay, Cuba leaving all the dumb legal experts to believe the three commissioners are being investigated for terrorist activities.

“I’m pretty sure Mark Sharpe was among them. I think he’s been working with the Taliban to take over the world and force everyone to take public transport and use those stupid CFL light bulbs that aren’t that bright,” said erstwhile citizen activist, Shanda Lear.

“They have been removed from the country for security reasons. We expect they will all sing like canaries under questioning from our investigators,” said FBI spokesperson Carrie Oakey.

FBI field director Joe King, added, “This is not a laughing matter.”

Ideological opposites set a good example

Kevin and I scheduled the day for him to attend his first meeting as my guest weeks in advance of the actual date. I had all but forgotten which day it was when I invited Tim to attend as my guest the same day. When I realized they were coming on the same day, a slight panic set it.

Panic because I wasn’t sure how it was going to go over with these two ideological polar opposites sitting together at the meeting. I considered telling one of them a little white lie to keep him from coming to the meeting on the same day as the other.

By Chris Ingram

Earlier this week, Kevin Beckner and Tim Euler were inducted into the Rotary Club of Tampa. I was proud to have sponsored both of them as members of the Tampa club, which celebrates its centennial anniversary next year as part of the international civic organization.

Kevin Beckner is a Hillsborough County Commissioner, a Democrat, and the county’s only openly gay elected official. He had spoken at the club earlier in the year and was interested in Rotary, so I invited him to come back as my guest and consider joining.

Tim Euler is the new Head of School at Cambridge Christian School in Tampa, where my girls are students. Tim is an unapologetic Christian conservative and a Republican. Tim moved to Tampa from Orlando over the summer, and we developed a friendship; as with Kevin, I asked him to be my guest at Rotary.

Kevin and I scheduled the day for him to attend his first meeting as my guest weeks in advance of the actual date. I had all but forgotten which day it was when I invited Tim to attend as my guest the same day. When I realized they were coming on the same day, a slight panic set it.

Panic because I wasn’t sure how it was going to go over with these two ideological polar opposites sitting together at the meeting. I considered telling one of them a little white lie to keep him from coming to the meeting on the same day as the other.

I decided to Continue reading “Ideological opposites set a good example”

Hoe Brown to challenge incumbent for Republican Party post

Hoe Brown, a good man and a good Republican has qualified to run for Hillsborough County Republican State Committeeman. His opponent is a nice guy, but somewhat of a clown who is deeply entrenched in the status quo of party politics and tends to use his position more for his own self-promotion (he’s one of just three delegates from Hillsborough to the Republican convention this summer) and ego gratification. Irreverent View is proud to support Hoe Brown for state committeeman. Brown’s campaign released the following press release early this afternoon.

Brown would bring a breath of fresh-air and seriousness from Hillsborough County to the RPOF

Hoe Brown, a good man and a good Republican has qualified to run for Hillsborough County Republican State Committeeman. His opponent is a nice guy, but somewhat of a clown who is deeply entrenched in the status quo of party politics and tends to use his position more for his own self-promotion (he’s one of just three delegates from Hillsborough to the Republican convention this summer) and ego gratification. Irreverent View is proud to support Hoe Brown for state committeeman. Brown’s campaign released the following press release outlining his vision for the party.

Chris Ingram, publisher

For Immediate Release

Local Businessman and Activist Hoe Brown Files to Run for Republican State Committeeman

(Tampa, Fla.) – Tampa businessman Hoe Brown filed paperwork with the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections today making him a duly qualified candidate for Republican State Committeeman from Hillsborough County. The position is a non-government, unpaid position on the Republican Party of Florida’s state committee. Every Florida County has two elected members who serve on the committee; members are elected by Republican primary voters every four years.

“I want to thank all of those people who have encouraged me to run and are supporting my campaign,” Brown said.

“Since announcing my candidacy nearly three months ago, we have had Continue reading “Hoe Brown to challenge incumbent for Republican Party post”

‘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?’”

Stupid is as stupid does

Tampa, Florida — Hillsborough Attorney Renee Lee is in hot water over a lunch with former Commissioner Kevin White and the text messages she sent to him.

WTSP 10 reporter Mike Deeson reports: County Attorney Renee Lee in hot water after lunch, text messages with former Commissioner Kevin White

Tampa, Florida — Hillsborough Attorney Renee Lee is in hot water over a lunch with former Commissioner Kevin White and the text messages she sent to him. Continue reading “Stupid is as stupid does”

Michael Ciftci is shifty

So this little piece of Squirrel poop Michael Shifty – I mean Ciftci who is a twenty-something candidate for Tampa City Council district 3, sent the following e-mail to the editors of Creative Loafing (where my Irreverent View column is cross-published) earlier today. Ciftci sent the e-mail in response to my column of earlier today which pointed out what a zero Ciftci is as a candidate for public office. CLs editors asked me if I had any comment to Ciftci’s claims.

Watch out Tampa! This guy is squirrel poop and he will say or do anything to advance his unaccomplished self

By Chris Ingram

So this little piece of squirrel poop Michael Shifty – I mean Ciftci, who is a twenty-something candidate for Tampa City Council district 3, sent the following e-mail to the editors of Creative Loafing (where my Irreverent View column is cross-published) earlier today. Ciftci sent the e-mail in response to my column of earlier today which pointed out what a zero Ciftci is as a candidate for public office. CLs editors asked me if I had any comment to Ciftci’s claims.

Here’s Shifty’s e-mail to the CL editors: Continue reading “Michael Ciftci is shifty”