Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Complaint filed over mailer about candidate in Pinellas School Board race

A political mailer put out by Florida First has triggered an elections complaint against the electioneering group and Elliott Stern, a candidate for Pinellas County School Board.

In her complaint, Jasmina Forcan of Clearwater claims that a mailer put out by the Bradenton-based group violates state law because it "expressly advocates" for Stern's election to the countywide District 1 seat. She also accuses Stern's campaign treasurer, Jean Giles Wittner, of paying for the mailer with a $20,000 donation to Florida First in June.

Stern said Thursday that he wasn't involved in the Florida First material.

"Candidates are not supposed to have anything to do with PACs and I don't," he said.

In an email, Wittner said her contribution to Florida First was given "without any promise or commitment or strings attached from them that any of those dollars would be spent in behalf of Elliott Stern."

She also wrote that she had been assured that her donation was "valid and legal."

Forcan declined to comment on her complaint.

Stern is trying to unseat School Board member Janet Clark. Other challengers include Shelly Ladd-Gilbert, a business owner; and Jim Jackson, a retired college professor.

Political candidates in Florida can't receive more than $500 from each donor in a primary and a general election. Electioneering groups, however, can raise and spend unlimited amounts — but can't advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate.

Forcan's complaint says the political mailer advocates for Stern by listing his campaign website, www.estern2012.com, and showing a photo with a campaign sign.

The main text of the flier says "Call Elliott Stern and thank him for his bold school-to-work plan."

Complaints to the Florida Elections Commission in Tallahassee are confidential until an investigation has been completed. The person making the complaint, however, can make it public.

Comments
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts today

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts today

High school students from around the Tampa Bay area are participating in the National School Walkout today commemorating the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999 and calling for gun law reform.A large group of students from St. Petersburg High ...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

We've seen Jameis Winston and Mike Evans bonding this offseason, going to Texas A&M pro day together, among other events. The two Bucs stars and their significant others double-dated Thursday night, getting courtside seats to watch the Miami Heat in ...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death

Man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death

TAMPA — After David Brunson murdered an 18-year-old Freedom High School senior, he told a witness the victim was "just some ghetto kid nobody will miss."But people do miss Eion Gustitis.More than two years after Gustitis was shot in the head in a rem...
Updated: 2 hours ago
One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

OCALA — One student shot another in the ankle at a Florida high school and the suspected shooter is in custody, authorities said Friday.The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported that the shooting happened Friday morning at Forest High School, which...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

SAINT PETERSBURG — When describing the loss of defender David Najem, Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell and the player who will replace Najem chose the same word.Gutted.That settled over the Rowdies last weekend, one that was bad enough based o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Mario Nunez called it a "huge shaking my head moment" when the photo inside the cabin of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 appeared on his TV.The story was about a terrifying emergency landing after an engine exploded 20 minutes into a trip from New Yor...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Goodman: In America, truth is missing in action

It’s "Mueller Time," as the nation grows ever closer to a confrontation with the truth.Was collusion with the Russians an illusion? If not, who was involved, what was done, and when? Did it impact the 2016 campaign, the fate of Hillary Clinton and no...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

The man identified as the suspect who fatally shot two Gilchrist County deputies in a restaurant Thursday afternoon before taking his own life has ties to the Tampa Bay area.Deputies say John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell — who was found dead outside ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top 5 at noon: Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties; man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death; and more

Top 5 at noon: Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties; man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:SUSPECT IN GILCHRIST DEPUTIES’ SLAYINGS HAS TAMPA BAY TIESThe man identified as the suspect who fatally shot two Gilchrist County deputies in a restaurant Thursday afternoon before taking his...
Updated: 2 hours ago