1. Florida Politics

Carlton: Discord and subterfuge: The week in politics

Published Sep. 11, 2015

Given the state of police relations across the country, establishing a board of Tampa citizens to review cases involving use of force and chases should be a no-brainer.

But Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the City Council can't seem to come together in what's morphed from a well-intended effort to a power play.

While the City Council was discussing such a board, Buckhorn, who takes that whole strong-mayor form of government thing very seriously, said the council lacked the authority and pushed forward to establish one himself. It devolved from there, a central squabble being who gets to appoint those who will serve on the board.

Buckhorn gave himself nine on an 11-member board with two for the council, and this week started taking applications.

Council members want seven, one for each of them.

Discussion has diminished from there, but this one's on the mayor.

Compromise, anyone?

How about a 15-member board, with Buckhorn picking eight, the majority?

Or if that's a board too big, how about a nine-member panel — five picks for him and one for each of the four City Council members who represent districts to ensure those specific constituencies get represented?

Not long ago, Tampa government was able to agree on the Cuban as the city's signature sandwich, down to the number of pickles (three, since you ask).

Hopefully they can work out something far more important here.

Florida's antiabortion governor clearly does not want to risk tamping down the furor over videos of Planned Parenthood officials in other states discussing fetal tissue donation with, you know, actual facts.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered an investigation into Florida's Planned Parenthood clinics, then conveniently excised from the findings one crucial bit of information: State health officials said inspectors found zero evidence that clinics here were running illegal fetal tissue donation programs — the reason he ginned up the investigation in the first place.

As Politico and the Times' Michael Auslen reported, aides to the governor approved and even authored statements to reporters that were supposed to be from the Agency for Health Care Administration regarding disputed allegations that three clinics violated their licenses in other ways.

Except the line saying the investigation uncovered "no evidence of the mishandling of fetal remains" — the very reason for the investigation — was deleted by the governor's office from a news release.

By now, is anyone surprised at that kind of deliberate deception out of Tallahassee?

The Tampa Bay Young Republicans will hold a watch party for Wednesday night's GOP debate at a West Shore restaurant and bar called Mojito. For the unfamiliar, a mojito is a rum-based cocktail believed to be born in Cuba and a staple on certain Mexican restaurant menus.

Perhaps the Young Republicans are being ironic in selecting a venue called Mojito, since major presidential candidates (a) want to build a wall around Mexico and send undocumented workers home and (b) largely oppose the reopening of relations with Cuba.


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