Thursday, December 14, 2017
Editorials

Editorial: Kriseman's aide should disclose court record

St. Petersburg is the fourth-largest city in the nation's fourth-largest state. Being chief of staff to its mayor is an important, influential and high-profile job that comes with certain expectations of transparency. Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman may be fine with not getting the complete picture of a 12-year-old arrest of his longtime political aide. But when that aide is tapped to be the mayor's chief of staff, a higher standard applies. Kevin King should disclose records of the episode and let the chips fall where they may.

King was a 22-year-old substitute teacher in Pinellas County schools in 2001 when he faced accusations that he allegedly propositioned a 14-year-old girl to have sex as well as asked her and a 15-year-old girl to skip school and drink beer with him. Police became involved after the 14-year-old's mother saw a sexual proposition in her daughter's email. Neither girl actually went with King, but he was arrested on three counts. King says he was never convicted, but the outcome can't be independently verified because a judge sealed the file, which has since been expunged.

Kriseman first hired King in 2003 as he ran for re-election to the City Council. He said he never asked to see any files King has and that his work over the years speaks for itself. King eventually followed Kriseman to the Florida House, where the mayor-elect served from 2006-12, and has worked on other political campaigns. He is now married and has a child.

Kriseman is apparently satisfied that King's past doesn't disqualify him from serving a prominent role in his administration. But it is a prominent role whose $98,500 salary will be paid by taxpayers. Higher standards apply. King should disclose all the details or he should find another job.

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Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

For once, it would be nice to see Sen. Marco Rubio stand up as the independent leader he aspires to become. For once, the Florida Republican should hold his position rather than bow to pragmatic politics. Rubio can stick with his threat Thursday to v...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Another voice: A shameful anniversary

Josephine "Joey" Gay should have celebrated her 12th birthday this week. She should have been surrounded by friends and family in a place festooned with purple, her favorite color.Chase Kowalski should have been working toward a Boy Scout merit badge...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Timing is everything, and Sen. Bill Nelson seized the right moment this week to call on his colleagues to pass legislation he filed earlier this year that would block the Trump administration from opening additional areas to offshore drilling. With t...
Published: 12/13/17

Another voice: Alabama picks an honorable man

THANK YOU, Alabama.In Tuesday’s special election, the state by a narrow margin chose to spare the nation the indignity of seating an accused child molester in the U.S. Senate. Though the stain of electing Republican Roy Moore would have sullied Alaba...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17
Editorial: Tax cuts aren’t worth harm to Tampa Bay

Editorial: Tax cuts aren’t worth harm to Tampa Bay

As congressional negotiators hammer out the details on an enormous, unnecessary tax cut, the potential negative impact on Tampa Bay and Florida is becoming clearer. The harmful consequences stretch far beyond adding more than $1.4 trillion to the fed...
Published: 12/12/17

Another voice: Privacy in the internet age

How much information about you is on your cellphone? Likely the most intimate details of your life: photographs, internet searches, text and email conversations with friends and colleagues. And though you might not know it, your phone is constantly c...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated: 12/11/17
Editorial: Grand jury could force reforms of juvenile justice system

Editorial: Grand jury could force reforms of juvenile justice system

Confronted with documentation of sanctioned brutality and sexual abuse in Florida’s juvenile detention centers, the reaction from Gov. Rick Scott’s administration was defensive and obtuse. So it’s welcome news that Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Editorial: U.S. House sides with NRA over state’s rights on concealed weapons permits

With the horror of the mass shootings at a Las Vegas country music concert and a small Texas church still fresh, the U.S. House finally has taken action on guns. But the bill it passed last week won’t make Americans safer from gun violence. It is an ...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

There is no satisfaction for anyone in the standoff over pay raises between the Hillsborough County School District and its teachers. Most teachers across the nation already are underpaid, but this district simply cannot afford the raises teachers ex...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

With a buildout of $3 billion encompassing entire city blocks, it’s obvious that Jeff Vinik’s plans will change the look and feel of downtown Tampa. But the Tampa Bay Lightning owner unveiled a broader vision last week that reflects how far the impac...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/08/17