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Columns

African-American Voters Ditch Cruz, Gravitate Towards Dana Young

October 19, 2018 - 6:00am
State Sen. Dana Young
State Sen. Dana Young

Could House Minority Leader Janet Cruz’s insults to African-American voters cut any deeper than bragging about endorsements from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, an unapologetic racial profiler, and the Tampa Bay Times which took many not-so-subtle racist jabs at Andrew Gillum during the Democratic primary?

Cruz’s associations are taking a toll on her challenge to unseat Republican state Sen. Dana Young. In fact, black voters in the Hillsborough County district are gravitating toward Young, who shares common ground with that constituency on education, housing, gun safety and other issues.

Michelle Williams, a key activist in Tampa’s African-American community, praised Young for being receptive and empathetic to the concerns of black families. During this important interview presided over by "Florida You Judge," it becomes evident that Young is successfully peeling off a constituency that Cruz needs in order to have any chance of victory.

Williams criticized Cruz’s incessant mud slinging obfuscating the culpability of the Hillsborough County School District for its financial woes.

Meanwhile, the Cruz campaign in desperation mode, inexplicably touts support from Mayor Buckhorn and the Times. Neither are popular among African-American voters.

Buckhorn’s racial profiling drew a slew of negative headlines for Tampa from coast to coast. The Seattle Times, through the Associated Press, was one of many outlets reporting Buckhorn’s race relations debacle that saw blacks targeted by the Tampa Police Department. A Department of Justice investigation declared minorities were issued an inordinate number of violations. Buckhorn refused to apologize to the black community.

The police chief who moved in lockstep with Buckhorn’s shameful actions was Jane Castor, Cruz’s daughter-in-law. Now running to succeed Buckhorn as mayor, Castor also has yet to issue a full apology.

The Tampa Bay Times' coverage of the Florida gubernatorial primary deliberately painted Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum with less-than-subtle inaccurate inferences that appeal to bigots.

That was when the Times was all-in for the vacuous candidacy of Gwen Graham whom the paper expected would give it special access and a modicum of influence if she prevailed. Bob Graham, Gwen’s father, sits on the board of the Poynter Foundation. The Poynter Institute is the parent organization of the the Times.

Bob Buckhorn
Bob Buckhorn

The above abhorrent Buzz headline contains a verb reserved for physical confrontation and combat. That hardly applied to the story in which Gillum called for protection of Dreamers and criticized House Speaker Richard Corcoran for demonizing immigrants.

This follows on the heels of the Times’ constant depiction of Gillum as a criminal, months after an official statement that he was not a target of an FBI investigation into city of Tallahassee contracts. As far as the Times is concerned, when Gillum is not “under a cloud,” he is “brawling.”

Here are some recent articles where the Times used a form of the word “brawl” in its headline:

  • "Pacific Cruise Liner Brawl Sends Guests Fleeing to Cabins"
  • "Momessen Appeals Penalties after Boys Basketball Game Brawl"
  • "Deputies Search for Group Involved in Pinellas Strip Club Brawl that Critically Injured Woman"
  • "Judge Releases Tampa Man Accused of Wine Bottle Brawl on Delta Flight"

Those stories involved aggression and physical altercations. The Times editorial staff intentionally employed that verb to describe the articulation of a political position by the only African-American in the race.

Cruz knows she is in trouble with the district’s African-Americans. A recent cynical mailer showed her picture alongside photos of Gillum and Attorney General aspirant Sean Shaw. No other Democrats were depicted in the mailer: no Bill Nelson, no Jeremy Ring, no Nikki Freed. But they are white, so the “message” would lose its intended effect: to give the aura of Cruz as a friend of African-Americans.

Jim Bleyer, a former reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and Tampa Tribune, writes the Tampa Bay Beat blog.

Comments

You mean this Michelle: MICHELLE WILLIAMS AKA MICHELLE CONNORS, or whatever FRAUDULENT name you are using is a CONVICTED REAL ESTATE SCAM ARTIST / CREDIT CARD THEIF & ABUSER OF THE ELDERLY. Dana Young should do her homework. Janet is beloved in our community.

So, if Cruz is a jerk, then Cruz is a jerk. So what? What's the issue? Trump is a jerk. Scott is a jerk. Lickspittle DeSantis is a jerk. Plenty of jerks to go around ... and there's bound to be a Democratic one every once in a while. Currently, politicians and realty -TV "stars" have apparently cornered the jerkdom market! Hopefully, the majority of voters aren't jerks and don't favor jerks!

Wishful thinking...talk about truth in reporting...there is none here...

No, not even close.

Argumentum ad hominem, Jerry. If your position cannot be supported with facts, data and logic. . .then you resort to personal attacks!

How & Why did Janelle Irwin get hired back by Schorsch to provide free earned media cheerleading support for the $16 Billion rail tax? There is formal local opposition to the tax but Irwin refuses to acknowledge that or even speak to those who oppose. That is not journalism!

I'm putting my name to this comment just so Nancy reads it and considers just how embarrassing this coverage is -- and I say this as a supporter of Dana Young. There are as many falsehoods in this piece as there were in Donald Trump's op-ed for the USA Today. There was a day when, with Allison N. running around covering as much as she could and Kevin's coverage of federal stuff, along with Nancy's insightful columns, when I admired SSN. I still have hope for it, but it just can't be taken seriously so long as its publishing this faux-analysis.

Good Lord! I’m agreeing with Peter Schorsch! Dana Young is not “peeling off” the African American vote.

This criticism from an insecure, envious, morally challenged pay for play blogger..obviously didnt view the video...and is an ally of the Buckhorn-Cruz-Castor cabal. This is Peter Schorsch: http://tampabaybeat.info/pay-for-play-blogger-continues-to-disgrace-himself-with-racist-tweet/

Jim, I know you get up every day and wish that your site had 1/10000th of the influence mine does, so I am not gonna waste my time going back and forth with you other than to say if you think I'm part of a cabal that includes Cruz and Castor you're dumber and more wrong than you've ever been. Dana Young was at our wedding for goodness' sake.

Well we see why Jim is a former reporter...………..And another repub exaggerated, lying hit piece to deflect the damaging votes Dana Young made on massive corporate welfare repubs love and taking building, maintenance state money and giving it ALL to charter schools leaving public schools unable to keep their buildings, A/C, etc up...…….So Jim just how much and by whom are paying you for these hit pieces?...………….In fact just who pays for SSNs?

Maybe Jim is a former reporter because he retired and got fed up spoon feeding ca-ca his mainstream media bosses pushed on him and now gets to pursue the truth. Keep showing no fear, Jim. A lot of us appreciate you.

Obviously you are a Cruz acolyte, “Jerry” (no last name). Guessing you are Peter Schorsch or Bob Buesing.

If Dana Young voted the way he says then SHE is reprehensible and striving to destroy public education to support a Charter program that is riddled with corruption, misrepresentation and nepotism! You might want to check how many current legislators have family involved in the Charter Pork Barrel or former legislators who are involved themselves.

You are right on. Check Dana's voting record- its atrocious and shameful that she can even hold public office while my kids sit in mold infested classrooms without AC while she's profits off votes she does take that make her family money. This is absurd and we've had it. So Jim- what is your real issue with Janet? its Dana lining your pockets! your are not a journalist- you are a propaganda peddler. #wewontbefooled

Why is it only racist is you’re white?

Only a racist would ask that question. ;^P

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