Saturday, February 24, 2018
Opinion

Ruth: Democratic Party chairman's folly a gift for David Jolly

Memo to Pinellas County Democratic Party chairman Mark Hanisee: Betcha the Rev. Manuel Sykes is looking downright FDR, JFK and Barack Obama-like right about now.

With Tuesday's withdrawal of the party-anointed beefcake boy of the stump, Ed Jany, to take on incumbent Republican Rep. David Jolly in the District 13 congressional race, local Democrats are pretty much faced with recruiting "Vacancy," "Occupant," and "To Whom It May Concern" to get into the arena.

Oh, and let's not forget "Sacrificial Lamb."

There's losing. And then there is surrendering faster than the fleeing knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Memo II to Hanisee: Perhaps you can find a wooden badger to run against Jolly.

There's also losing with some self-respect, a commodity in short supply within the sweat lodge of the Pinellas County Democratic Party. Sure Sykes was likely to lose to Jolly. Sure he can be something of a loose canon. But in Sykes, at least Democrats had a candidate who would have aggressively taken on Jolly, fought for his core beliefs and represented the ideals of his party.

That's not so bad. Instead Hanisee gave one of Pinellas County's more prominent Democratic voices the bum's rush out of the campaign threatening the minister that he would henceforth be "persona non grata" within the party if he persisted in his race against Jolly.

Memo III to Hanisee: If being persona non grata under your "leadership" is the price to pay for running against Jolly, what's the downside?

Instead Hanisee got all weak-kneed and dreamy at the thought of a Jany candidacy against Jolly. After all, Jany was an ex-cop and a soon-to-retire U.S. Marine officer. What could possibly go wrong?

Okay, sure, Jany couldn't run as a Democrat because he was too recently registered as a Republican — a problem under state law. A mere trifle. And then there was the minor annoyance he hadn't even made plans to move into District 13 yet. A simple bump in the road.

Then came disclosures Jany fudged his resume noting he had a degree from the University of Minnesota. He didn't. Tut-tut, a slight oversight. Oh and his claim of successfully matriculating from Madison University was very impressive until one learned the school was unaccredited, with no classes and no campus.

Or put another way, Jany was quickly becoming a one-man opposition research operative for the Jolly campaign.

Memo IV to Hanisee: Have you considered groveling?

In his statement announcing he was dropping out of a congressional race he had barely entered a week ago, Jany explained he had no idea how time-consuming the race would be, especially since he is still doing security work for the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil this year.

Really? It never dawned on Jany that running for office is an immensely demanding exercise requiring long hours on the hustings pretending to care about people, eating bad food and showing up for debates? He didn't know that? Manuel Sykes does.

Forgive a pinch of cynicism, but don't you suspect Jany realized he was about to become a self-inflicted punching bag for Jolly and executed a strategic retreat?

Memo V to Hanisee: Since you've managed to turn the District 13 congressional race into a House of Shards, why don't you run for the job yourself. You'll lose too. But we know you're good for a few laughs.

Comments
Editorial: Improve school security plans with gun controls

Editorial: Improve school security plans with gun controls

Gov. Rick Scott and key members of the Florida Legislature offered ambitious proposals Friday that would plug some holes in the state’s safety net, strengthen school security and spend up to a half-billion dollars in response to last week’s massacre ...
Published: 02/23/18
Editorial: Six proposals for reasonable gun control

Editorial: Six proposals for reasonable gun control

Enough is enough. The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has renewed conversations about gun control in Washington and Tallahassee. Young people are demanding action, and there are cracks in the National Rifle Association’s solid w...
Published: 02/23/18
Editorial: The time to act on guns is now

Editorial: The time to act on guns is now

The nation’s conversation on guns took an encouraging step this week in three essential places — South Florida, Tallahassee and Washington — as survivors, victims’ families and elected leaders searched painfully and sincerely for common ground after ...
Published: 02/22/18

Editorial: FDLE probe of state fair fiasco falls short

It should go without saying that Florida law frowns upon public officials who take freebies from vendors and whose agency throws business to their family. But that wasn’t enough to move the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to find that the ex-di...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Editorial: They value guns, not kids

Editorial: They value guns, not kids

They value guns over kidsSix days after 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High by a teen-ager firing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the Florida House refused to even debate a bill banning the sale of assault weapons. The vote, 71 to 36, wasn...
Published: 02/21/18

Editorial: Nursing home rule should be stronger

It shouldn’t take months or another tragedy for Florida — which is hot and full of seniors — to protect its elderly population from heat stroke in the event of an emergency. That’s why Gov. Rick Scott had the right idea last year in calling for nursi...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are traveling to the state capital today and declaring "never again.’’ A prominent Florida Republican fundraiser vows he won’t raise another nickel until his party approves new gun controls. Across F...
Published: 02/19/18

Editorial: No more doubt about Russian meddling in election

The latest indictment by the Justice Department special counsel, Robert Mueller, refutes President Donald Trump’s claims that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a Democratic hoax. The indictment details the lengths Russian conspirators too...
Published: 02/19/18

Another voice: Tips should belong to workers, not their bosses

The Trump administration is under fire for proposing a Labor Department regulation that could result in hotel and restaurant employers dipping into the tips customers leave for their employees, depriving the nation’s 14 million hard-working restauran...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/20/18
Editorial: Trump’s rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trump’s rising deficits and misplaced priorities

It’s not popular in Washington or virtually anywhere else these days to express concern about the rising federal deficit. Congressional Republicans who used to be deficit hawks first voted to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, then rais...
Published: 02/17/18