Thursday, March 22, 2018

Candidate replies: Danish, Ahern, Farrell, Brickfield

Editor's note: Candidates not recommended by the Tampa Bay Times are given an opportunity to reply.

Mark Danish

Florida House District 63

Rep. Shawn Harrison is not a moderate voice in Tallahassee. He has voted with Rick Scott virtually all of the time. This includes two reckless budgets, voter suppression legislation, and the breaking off of the Lakeland USF campus. As a teacher, I understand the impact of the state's massive education cuts. Seniors also felt the impact of cuts for nursing homes. Over the last three decades, I have had the pleasure of teaching thousands of students. During that time, I have created an open dialogue with parents, administrators, and legislators. I know what it takes to affect change and represent the needs of my community.

Larry Ahern

Florida House District 66

As a proud veteran, small business owner and community leader, I am honored to serve the residents of this community and all citizens of Florida. I bring commonsense solutions and business practices and principles to Tallahassee. Government works best when its role is limited and defined. As a small business owner here for 30 years, I created jobs, made a payroll and know how hard it is to provide for a family. As your representative, I will work for you to get our economy back on track by helping to create jobs in our state and improving our public education system with more dollars directed to our classrooms. I will continue to fight the war on prescription drug abuse, reform our property insurance to make coverage more affordable and accessible and force government agencies to be more efficient and effective. You and I get it. Now let's get it done.

Ben Farrell

Florida House District 67

My opponent is a slick fundraiser and politico. To win this $29,000-a-year job, he's raised $270,000. And he's spending lavishly on misleading campaign literature and TV ads.

So, I urge you to check his voting record, particularly since he votes with Gov. Rick Scott nearly all of the time.

My roots go deep in this area. Our family has provided good food, good service, and good jobs for almost 35 years at Lenny's Restaurant in Clearwater. I am a job creator and come from a family of job creators and problem solvers.

I'm tired of hearing excuses for why our basic issues of education, jobs, and energy can't be solved. It's not a question of why they can't be solved. It's a question of how we can solve them.

I have the drive and ethics to do what's right and the experience to see it through.

Neil Brickfield

Pinellas County Commission

District 1

Four years ago, Pinellas voters sent me to the Pinellas County Commission to make our government smaller and more efficient. Today, Pinellas' government is over 30 percent smaller. We have carefully watched our spending, improved services and set new priorities.

We are building on our strengths, a great environment, an emphasis on public safety, building up our economy and making Pinellas an even better place to live.

Today citizens want a commissioner that looks carefully at every budget item and will not rubber stamp spending, a commissioner who knows we face a tough economy and that anyone with an agenda to make living in Pinellas more expensive is out of step with the mainstream.

That's not how I work. I am working to keep public safety our number one priority, improve our economy and watch our spending dollar by dollar.


Another voice: Use caution, not hysteria, after Uber self-driving car fatality

It was inevitable: A self-driving car killed a pedestrian.The first such fatality, involving an Uber vehicle in Tempe, Ariz., has predictably prompted calls to suspend all testing of autonomous vehicles across the nation, including California’s progr...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Editorial: Sheriffs show openness helps keep public trust

Editorial: Sheriffs show openness helps keep public trust

In the face of flagrant misconduct by deputies at his agency, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco recently took decisive action — and was transparent with the public about it. Too often, the temptation in law enforcement is to close ranks, protect the accused ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Ruth: Republican candidates for governor rush to the right

Ruth: Republican candidates for governor rush to the right

Oh, that mischievous Richard Corcoran. Such a big tease.The outgoing speaker of the Florida House has scheduled an event on April 16 to reveal once and for all his future political plans.What will he say? Pins and needles. Pins and needles. The myste...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Another voice: Why Facebook users should beware

Ever take one of those silly personality tests on Facebook? Your friends took the quiz ("What city should you actually live in?" was a popular one), so you followed the link to a website, answered some questions and shared the result: "Paris." All in...
Published: 03/20/18
Editorial: The growing scandal at CareerSource

Editorial: The growing scandal at CareerSource

The questionable dealings at the region’s jobs agencies, CareerSource Tampa Bay and CareerSource Pinellas, continue to mount. Once again, at the center of the mess is former CEO Edward Peachey. Once again, board members at these two agencies have irr...
Published: 03/19/18
Updated: 03/21/18
Editorial: Congress must stand up to Trump’s attacks on special counsel

Editorial: Congress must stand up to Trump’s attacks on special counsel

President Donald Trump resumed his attack Monday on the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, calling it a ‘‘total WITCH HUNT with massive conflicts of interest!’’ That is another one of his tall tales, but t...
Published: 03/19/18

Another voice: A longshot bid on banning assault rifles

Since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the most extraordinary things keep happening.A surge of protests forces Florida’s first small steps on gun control in 22 years. Students by the thousands stage walkouts at h...
Published: 03/19/18
Editorial: Florida should not move to daylight saving time year round

Editorial: Florida should not move to daylight saving time year round

Could anyone be against protecting sunshine? In Florida, of all places? A bill passed by the Legislature dubbed the "Sunshine Protection Act" would ask Congress to extend daylight saving time in this state year-round, spurring images of backyard barb...
Published: 03/16/18
Updated: 03/20/18
Editorial: Hits, errors and misses by the Florida Legislature

Editorial: Hits, errors and misses by the Florida Legislature

They named roads, replaced a state statue in the U.S. Capitol and demanded every school display "In God We Trust.’’ They embraced daylight saving time year-round and considered creating license plates for schools in Georgia and Alabama. They crafted ...
Published: 03/16/18
Editorial: Pinellas should affirm commitment to add affordable housing

Editorial: Pinellas should affirm commitment to add affordable housing

With the Penny for Pinellas local sales tax on the books for another 10 years, a stream of funding will be available for developing affordable housing, and there is a dire shortage. Rising rents are forcing low-income residents to spend a growing sha...
Published: 03/15/18
Updated: 03/16/18