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Political Junkie

Greener pastures of Hillsborough commission interest Miranda

Charlie Miranda would like to run for Rose Ferlita’s seat.

Charlie Miranda would like to run for Rose Ferlita’s seat.

Tampa City Council member Charlie Miranda is so disgusted with his colleagues that he's making noise about running for the Hillsborough County Commission in 2010.

"We're dysfunctional," Miranda said, adding that if the City Council were running a business, it would be bankrupt.

After a long and tense meeting Thursday, Miranda, 67, said he will run for Rose Ferlita's commission seat if she chooses not to run for re-election and runs for mayor instead.

Ferlita confirmed that she may indeed run for mayor, which would open up the seat Miranda is eyeing. His council term doesn't end until 2011.

GOP recruits help

Hillsborough County Republicans at their executive committee meeting on Tuesday put out a call for volunteers to work in phone banks, knock on doors and recruit voters at gun shows.

David Storck, chairman of the county Republican Party, told the group the state party wants to see Sen. John McCain beat the Democratic presidential nominee in Hills­borough by 55,000 votes to offset voters on what he called the "left coast" of southeast Florida. George Bush beat John Kerry in Hillsborough by 37,000 votes in 2004, according to Storck.

Johnson jabs Times

Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson made an appearance at the Hillsborough County Republican Party meeting to make a case for his re-election in November. He will face Democrat Phyllis Busansky.

Johnson made a veiled reference to stories about him that have appeared recently in the St. Petersburg Times, noting that he had just come from tabulating the ballots cast in a special election, a process that took only 19 minutes.

"But you won't read about that," Johnson said.

After Johnson's brief remarks, Storck told the crowd the stories about Johnson appear to be attacking his personality and "delivery," rather than his work as elections supervisor. The Times has reported that Johnson has failed to pay taxes on four properties and accepted two illegal campaign contributions. Johnson returned the contributions.

Sorry, job is taken

The attorney for the Tampa Sports Authority says he doesn't think the agency can offer off-duty work to Hillsborough County paramedics during Buccaneers football games.

It is more likely than not that a court would rule that Tampa Fire Rescue has exclusive jurisdiction to provide medical standby and ambulance service at the Stadium, John Van Voris wrote to the authority this week.

Tampa Fire Rescue paramedics have performed the off-duty work, considered a plum moonlighting gig, for as long as a stadium has existed. In recent months, county fire rescue workers have been clamoring for a piece of the action. They note that the building is county-owned and county taxpayers underwrite a portion of its operations.

Not fair, union says

Hillsborough Fire Rescue union chief George Sucarichi said this week that the Sports Authority can hire whoever it wants, just like a private business can. He said he may consider legal action if the board doesn't open the work to county firefighters.

Times staff writers Janet Zink and Bill Varian contributed to this report.

Greener pastures of Hillsborough commission interest Miranda 04/17/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 21, 2008 4:05pm]
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