Facebook page seeks to organize anti-Janet Long voters
It didn't take long for social media to light up as the news spread that former state Rep. Janet Long had accused firefighters of using the 9/11 attacks for their own gain. Long, a Democrat now running against Republican incumbent Neil Brickfield for the Pinellas County Commission, made her comments on the eve of the 11th anniversary of the tragedy. A story run on the anniversary in the Tampa Bay Times was posted on Facebook at least 356 times, was Tweeted at least 52 times and was shared more than 400 times.
But someone - Brickfield says he had nothing to do with it - went a step further and created a new Facebook page called "NO Janet Long." This is from the site description:
"Let's show our support of local public safety by NOT voting for Janet Long. (NOT RUN BY JANET LONG OR HER ASSOCIATES).
"Make the decision for yourself.
"Do you really want someone leading this county who doesn't support the people who protect it? It starts with claiming that our local heros in the fire service use Sept. 11,2001 as a platform and "capitalized on it and the emotion" for support. If she is that critical of the occupation that employed and supported her husband, Richard, for 34 years, will it end there? Or will her thinking spread in to our law enforcement or even our education? And of all the issues facing Pinellas county, Mrs. Long chooses to campaign on the removal of fluoride from St. Petersburg's water system as her main focus. Do we not have slightly more pressing issues at hand?
"Since Janet Long will publicly take a stand against our local heros on Patriot Day, let's take a stand as a community for our men and women of public safety and show them our support by NOT VOTING FOR JANET LONG."
As of early Wednesday (Sept. 12), the site had 341 "likes" and one post praising firefighters by Pinellas Park firefighter Nick Reale, a former president of that department's fire union, has been "liked" 382 times. On the other hand, Long's Facebook campaign page "Janet C. Long for Pinellas County Commission, District 1," had collected 98 "likes."
-- Anne Lindberg, Times Staff Writer