Saturday, May 26, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Jolly wins a chance to build a legacy

It turns out that the only congressional district based entirely in Pinellas County really is split nearly down the middle. Republican David Jolly narrowly won Tuesday's special election to succeed the late U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young by wrapping himself in Young's legacy. Now it will be up to Jolly to demonstrate in Congress that he really is more like his former boss than the more conservative candidate he became on the campaign trail. He has less than eight months before the general election to build a record that reflects a mainstream Republican rather than a rigid ideological conservative.

Jolly's close election win against Democrat Alex Sink indicates that this Pinellas district really is one of the few competitive congressional districts left in the nation. District 13, which covers most of St. Petersburg and runs north through Largo and Clearwater to Dunedin, narrowly voted for President Barack Obama in 2012. Yet Jolly won as he consistently called for the repeal of Obama's signature health care reform law and as outside groups attacked Sink by linking her to the president. Sink was ahead when the absentee and early voting ballots were counted, but Jolly won more votes on Election Day to come from behind to win.

As a former aide to Young and a former lobbyist, Jolly is familiar with Washington and the mechanics of getting things done in the House. He demonstrated during the campaign that he can articulately make his case, and he is well-versed on federal issues. He should use that expertise to get things done for his district rather than pursue the ideological agenda he presented on the campaign trail, which included repealing the Affordable Care Act and pushing a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget. The Affordable Care Act is not going to be repealed while Obama is president, and a balanced budget amendment is just as unlikely.

No one expects Jolly to bring home as much federal money as Young did during his decades in Congress. The congressional rules now ban earmarks, and it takes time to build seniority to get much consideration for local projects. But Jolly can follow in Young's footsteps in other ways.

First, he can start to build a good office for constituent service for residents who need help navigating federal programs. Second, he can expand his horizon beyond the political boundaries of the Pinellas district to be helpful to the University of South Florida and MacDill Air Force Base. Third, he can continue Young's good work on behalf of military veterans, particularly those who suffered combat injuries and are being treated at area medical centers for veterans.

Give Jolly credit. He was not the first, second or third choice of many national and local Republicans to enter the race to succeed Young. But more prominent Republicans already holding public office declined to run, and Jolly ran a steady campaign even as he was outspent. Now he is headed to Washington to succeed his late boss, and he has an opportunity to build his own record before he appears on the ballot again in November.

Comments
Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Editorial: Welcome Bayshore changes still canít stop bad judgment

Itís human nature in following any tragedy to imagine: How could this have been prevented? On that score, the city of Tampa responded appropriately to the deaths this week of a mother and her toddler whom police say were hit by a teenage driver racin...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Editorial: Filling Rocky Point lagoon to build townhomes is an empty-headed idea

Editorial: Filling Rocky Point lagoon to build townhomes is an empty-headed idea

One of the worst ideas in a long time in the field of urban planning received a blessing this month when the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission approved a land-use change for a project that calls for filling three acres of water insi...
Published: 05/25/18
Editorial: Searching for the real Adam Putnam

Editorial: Searching for the real Adam Putnam

Send out an Amber Alert for Adam Putnam. The red-haired, affable fellow who has served capably as a state legislator, member of Congress and agriculture commissioner is missing. In his place is a far-right caricature who has branded himself as a prou...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18
Editorial: A strong economic case for restoring voting rights for felons

Editorial: A strong economic case for restoring voting rights for felons

Floridians are paying a steep price for a system that makes it as difficult as possible for people who leave prison to reintegrate into civic life. Gov. Rick Scottís clemency process isnít just archaic and cruel ó it also wastes enormous public resou...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18
Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Editorial: Trump right to cancel North Korea talks on nuclear weapons

Regardless of the reason, the cancellation of the U.S.-North Korea summit to address Pyonyangís nuclear program is hardly the worst possible outcome of this high-stakes diplomatic gamble. President Donald Trump was unprepared, North Koreaís Kim Jong ...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

NFL kneels before the altar of profits

The owners of the 32 National Football League teams sent a wrongheaded and, frankly, un-American message to their players Wednesday: Expressing your opinion during the national anthem is no longer permitted."A club will be fined by the League if its ...
Published: 05/24/18

Editorial: A positive first step in ensuring student access at USFSP

As a task force sorts out countless details involved in folding the University of South Florida St. Petersburg back into the major research university based in Tampa, ensuring access for good Pinellas students remains a concern. An enhanced cooperati...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18
Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Editorial: Banks still need watching after easing Dodd-Frank rules

Legislation that waters down the 2010 Dodd-Frank law and was sent to President Donald Trump this week is a mixed bag at best. Some provisions recognize that Congress may have gone too far in some areas in the wake of the Great Recession to place new ...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Editorial: Honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

Editorial: Honoring our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

The rising tensions with Iran, the resurgence of violence in the Mideast and the uncertainty over a nuclear disarmament deal with North Korea combine to create an unsettling time this Memorial Day. These grave threats to peace are another reminder of...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Another voice: The chutzpah of these men

A new phase of the #MeToo movement may be upon us. Call it the "not so fast" era: Powerful men who plotted career comebacks mere months after being taken down by accusations of sexual misconduct now face even more alarming claims.Mario Batali, the ce...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18