The Jeff Vinik-inspired Hillsborough County transit tax is in deep trouble. judging by the actions of his band of mercenaries.
Rena Frazier and Christina Barker, members of the failed team that could not sell the regressive tax increase to NAACP members two weeks ago, are begging voters to fill out general election ballots "from the bottom up."Below is a screen shot of Vinik pawn Christina Barker’s laughable post on social media:
The suggestion is inane. With so much passion at the top of the ticket, any voter following her advice needs his melon refitted. You can count the number of voters who might oblige on Jason Pierre-Paul’s right hand.
Vinik’s crew apparently has just stumbled onto the realization that with a cluster of state and local amendments and referenda on the ballot, voters are inclined to vote “no” overwhelmingly on issues they are unfamiliar with.
A reported poll, taken by proponents of the transit boondoggle, shows the tax winning, 48-43 percent. Remembering the pasting that Moving Hillsborough Forward received in 2010, the Vinik cabal is sweating bullets. Polls showed Moving Hillsborough Forward winning above 50 percent immediately before the election, but it was beaten down to 42 percent when the actual vote was taken.
In the last three weeks, opposition has coalesced: the NAACP, No Tax for Tracks, Americans for Prosperity, residents in Hillsborough’s unincorporated areas, progressive voters and independent businesses say they would absolutely get shredded by the new tax.
The latest black eye for Vinik came Thursday when the Tampa NAACP was targeted with a hate letter that included death threats -- less than two weeks after it came out against the proposed transit tax. The threats were leveled at all African Americans. Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum was specifically mentioned.
Addressed to NAACP President Yvette Lewis, the handwritten letter, postmarked from St. Petersburg, criticized the chapter for opposing the tax that would burden low-income families and displace a minority community.
Vinik has gotten this far by paying off ethically challenged local media, certain government agencies/officials, out-of-town grunts who collected signatures, and a gaggle of influence peddlers.
Tax opponents are concerned about the voting procedures, equipment, and ballot counting in the office of Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer. Tampa Bay Beat will have more on the conduct of the election tomorrow.
Jim Bleyer, a former reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and Tampa Tribune, writes the Tampa Bay Beat blog.