Tuesday, October 16, 2018
  • Bay Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Valdes fires back, and draws a blistering response from Alvarez

[SEE UPDATE AT THE END FOR FIGHTING WORDS FROM ALVAREZ]

Victor DiMaio on Thursday released this announcement on behalf of Florida State House hopeful and Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes:

"Susan Valdes hoped the race between Democrats for House District 62 would be one with respectful discussion over issues and solutions for the district. She wants to keep the race positive, but it seems her opponent chose to get nasty just one day after she joined the field. Michael Alvarez is hiding behind his high-paid, out-of-town consultant who is trying to impugn the integrity of the supervisor of elections and 14-year School Board Member Susan Valdes, who are fellow Democrats."

The release, which referenced this controversy over the timing of Valdes's resign-to-run letter, included this quote from Valdes: "Instead of having an honest discussion about education, the affordable housing crisis, healthcare and all the other critical issues facing the voters of District 62, my opponent is choosing to throw mud. Instead of a new day, Alvarez is offering politics as usual."

The release criticizes Alvarez from "hiding behind" a consultant even though DiMaio is also a consultant.

In the notice, Valdes promises again to keep her campaign positive.

UPDATE:

Alvarez’s team is not letting this go. They forwarded a page of emails (not the original emails, but text re-typed from the emails) that seek to show the Supervisors of Elections office would normally close at 5 p.m. on Friday, therefore Supervisor Craig Latimer would have extended business hours to accept Valdes’s resign-to-run letter.

[As our previous post indicates, the law requires state and local elected officials to submit resignations 10 days before qualifying to run for another office. “The law doesn’t say it has to be submitted by close of business, or by a specific time,” said Gerri Kramer, spokeswoman for Latimer’s office. “The Division of Elections told us the letter was valid, so we accepted.”]

An email even later Thursday from his campaign manager, Tom Alte, included this quote from Alvarez:

“I couldn’t help but notice that Board Member Valdes doesn’t deny that she received special treatment or that this is just the latest in a series of ethical lapses. When calls for accountability, transparency, and honesty are a political attack – you’ve been in politics too long.

“When I talk with the hard working people in Hillsborough County, they value honesty and integrity above everything else. I don’t have 14 years of political favors and shady transactions with the downtown crowd, but my advice to Susan would be to stop hiding from the voters and address these issues. I think the voters deserve to know if you’ll break this streak of bad behavior and start playing by the rules that the rest of us live by every day.

“I believe the voters deserve someone who will fight to change the culture in Tallahassee – not someone who wants to join the party.”

As they say, stay tuned.

Comments
Environmental groups settle sewage lawsuit against St. Petersburg

Environmental groups settle sewage lawsuit against St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Three environmental groups on Monday agreed to settle a federal lawsuit with the city to hold St. Petersburg accountable for spilling hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage in 2015 and 2016.If a judge approves the settlement...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rhea Law isn’t jumping into Tampa’s mayoral race—-yet

Rhea Law isn’t jumping into Tampa’s mayoral race—-yet

Tampa's political circles have been abuzz over the last week about whether or not the city's crowded mayoral field may be about to add another heavyweight.Last week, Rhea Law, 68,  Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney chairwoman of the firm's Florida off...
Published: 10/15/18
Tampa’s plan to convert wastewater to drinking water stalls after Tampa Bay Water vote

Tampa’s plan to convert wastewater to drinking water stalls after Tampa Bay Water vote

CLEARWATER  — Tampa's plan to turn highly treated wastewater into drinking water for the region's booming population was rejected Monday by a coalition of Pinellas and Pasco politicians who want more time to determine how the plan might af...
Published: 10/15/18
Free rides for now, hopes of a bigger future for Tampa’s streetcar line

Free rides for now, hopes of a bigger future for Tampa’s streetcar line

The vision for the future is grand, but the free rides start now.The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority hosted a ribbon cutting Friday at Dick Greco Plaza downtown to mark what it calls a "New Era of Transit" for the TECO Line Streetcar Sys...
Published: 10/12/18
‘Kim’ is now ‘Kimberly’ Overman to separate her from a commission opponent

‘Kim’ is now ‘Kimberly’ Overman to separate her from a commission opponent

Democrat Kimberly Overman, formerly "Kim," is changing her name on all her campaign literature in pursuit of a seat on the Hillsborough County commission in hopes of avoiding confusion with Kim O'Connor, a Green Party candidate who filed just before ...
Published: 10/12/18
Realtors back Democrat Mariella Smith against Commissioner Victor Crist

Realtors back Democrat Mariella Smith against Commissioner Victor Crist

In a move that surprised local insiders, the 11,000-member Greater Tampa Realtors has endorsed Democrat Mariella Smith for a countywide Hillsborough County Commission seat against Republican Commissioner Victor Crist.That's unusual because trade grou...
Published: 10/12/18
More St. Pete residents could qualify for once-a-week trash pickup

More St. Pete residents could qualify for once-a-week trash pickup

ST. PETERSBURG — Thousands of homes could save $55 a year on trash fees by downgrading to once-a-week pickup if City Council approves a new ordinance.City Council members will vote at a future meeting on whether to allow more hom...
Published: 10/12/18
St. Petersburg reauthorizes the Rowdies’ lease to use Al Lang

St. Petersburg reauthorizes the Rowdies’ lease to use Al Lang

ST. PETERSBURG — City Council quickly approved the reauthorization of the Rowdies lease to Al Lang Stadium lease on Thursday, a necessary step to complete the Rays' purchase of the soccer team.News of the sale broke Oct. 1. Thursday's...
Published: 10/12/18
Tampa’s getting some momentum on its flooding problems

Tampa’s getting some momentum on its flooding problems

Tampa isn't on dry ground yet (see Bayshore Boulevard or the Davis Islands ramp among many other trouble spots), but Mayor Bob Buckhorn is declaring a tidal shift in the city's long struggle with flooding.Two years after a contentious City Council vo...
Published: 10/11/18
No Boss Mayor gets boost from trade group; pro-strong mayor PAC leads in cash

No Boss Mayor gets boost from trade group; pro-strong mayor PAC leads in cash

The group fighting the strong mayor initiative in Clearwater has received its single largest boost from the leading organization that advocates professional management for governments.The International City/County Management Association based in...
Published: 10/08/18
Updated: 10/09/18