Rick Kriseman’s appointment of former WTFS weatherman Bill Logan to serve in the newly created position of communications director for the public works department is getting (predictably) negative reviews in the Pinellas County GOP world, who think it is more “big government” from the Democratic-leaning administration. It naturally fuels speculation about who will the Pinellas County Republican prop up to challenge the mayor next year, if Rick Baker opts not to not to get into the race. As is usually the case with the former St. Pete Mayor, no one on the outside is clear where he is on such a big decision, and he’s likely to play the Hamlet card with those of us in the media before making that decision. If not Baker, is there anyone else viable?
While the world waits to figure out how far Donald Trump will go on some of the (few) specific policies that he enunciated during his successful campaign, immigration always rises to the top. Trump has promised to deport the two-million plus undocumented immigrants who have criminal records, but that’s going to be a problem. According to the NY Times, there is a backlog of more than 520,000 in the 56 nationwide immigration courts around the nation. The paper reports that at least hundreds of thousands of those deportations would have to be approved by immigration judges, which means the most efficient way to clear the backlog would be to hire more immigration judges. Except that there was another promise made on the trail – that he intends to freeze federal hiring new resources.
“Now in Denver, the court with the longest wait times in the country, most cases drag on more than five years, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research group studying federal data, has found,” the Times reports.
The Democratic National Committee won’t choose their chairman for two more months, but the early front-runner, Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, says he’s getting smeared about some of his comments going back to the early 1990’s. The Anti-Defamation League says that his 2010 comments about about whether Israel controls U.S. foreign policy are “deeply disturbing and disqualifying.”
You’re hearing from a lot of blowhard baseball purists today, hailing the decision by Major League Baseball to award home field advantage in the World Series to the pennant winner with the best regular-season record, and not the representative from the League that won the All-Star game. Sure, it makes sense, but do you know what the rule was before 2002, when Bud Selig made the change? It alternated between the leagues, with zero consideration about who had the best record in the game. So there.
And forget about Kanye West in 2020, what about The Rock? The man just declared the Sexiest Man Alive by People and the highest paid actor by Forbes tells Sports Illustrated that he’s thinking of running for office. “I’m something I’m very serious about in the future,” says the 44-year-old registered Republican.
In other news..
Davison’s loose talk about using secession of New Tampa from the rest of the city has prompted Bob Buckhorn to come off the sidelines and endorse Viera, a fellow Democrat.
The state of Florida was behind the majority of states when it finally passed a texting while driving law thee years ago, so a South Florida House Democrat would like to make it tougher, changing from a secondary to a primary offense.
For those who want to petition their state government, your best shot at speaking before a state lawmaker may take place in two weeks, when the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation meets up in Tampa.
And the White House has named the Tampa Bay area and three other Florida regions as “tech-hire” communities.