Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Contributors to Pinellas transit tax campaign to be made public after all

ST. PETERSBURG — Out of an otherwise typical transit debate Thursday night came a bit of news: the pro-transit campaign Yes for Greenlight is suddenly embracing financial transparency.

Started last month, the private campaign that's supporting a transit tax referendum this November began collecting donations using a 501c4, a designation that allowed it to raise funds while hiding the identity of its donors.

It was an unusual step for what's essentially a group of local boosters for a local ballot issue and a departure from the way the pro-transit Hillsborough group went about its fundraising back in 2010. The move immediately drew criticism, both from opponents of the proposed tax increase, a group called No Tax for Tracks, and from supporters who thought it made their side look like it had something to hide.

Asked about the tax-exempt designation at a debate in St. Petersburg among transit supporters and one opponent — it was four against one — Don Ewing of the Yes for Greenlight campaign said the group is walking away from its 501c4.

"We are going to be completely transparent," he told the audience. "Every donor that makes a donation to us will be on the Supervisor of Elections site."

Over on the county elections website, the political committee already has been set up, effective Friday. Called "Friends of GreenLight," it was registered by the Tampa Bay Partnership, which is spearheading the group's fundraising efforts, just as it did for the Moving Hillsborough Forward campaign.

No fundraising records are online yet, but with this new committee, the group will have to meet the same reporting deadlines as other political committees.

Contributors to Pinellas transit tax campaign to be made public after all 03/13/14 [Last modified: Thursday, March 13, 2014 10:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Nearly 1 in 4 Tampa Bay homeowners considered equity rich

    Real Estate

    If your home is worth at least 50 percent more than you owe, you're rich — equity rich that is.

    About one in four Tampa Bay homeowners are considered "equity rich." [Associated Press file photo]
  2. Trump strategist Steve Bannon: No military solution in North Korea


    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury."

    Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, has drawn fire from some of Trump's closest advisers. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  4. Dunedin man accused of possessing child pornography


    DUNEDIN — A 57-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, accused of intentionally downloading child pornography, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Richard Beal Anger, 57, of Dunedin faces 11 counts of possession of child pornography. [Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Pence cuts short Latin America trip and pressures Chile to sever all ties to North Korea


    SANTIAGO, Chile — Vice President Mike Pence is cutting short his Latin America trip by one day to return to Washington for a strategy meeting Friday at Camp David with President Donald Trump and the national security team.

    Vice President Mike Pence urged Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to take a tougher stand against North Korea on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile.