Pinellas County Commission: August 26th Recommendations

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Mail-in ballots in Pinellas should have arrived in your mailbox this week. Here are our recommendations for Pinellas County Commission in 2014:

District 2: Norm Roche (Web | Facebook)
District 4: Macho Liberti (Facebook)
District 6: Tom Rask (Web | Facebook)

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District 2: We recommend incumbent Norm Roche for re-election. Norm, in his tenure on the Commission, has consistently been the one voice to question “conventional wisdom” when it comes to spending your tax dollars. As the only remaining fiscal conservative on the Commission, it is important for Pinellas County to retain at least one voice of reason when the Commission makes plans for your money. Norm Roche was the only Commissioner to oppose the Greenlight Pinellas $100 Million per year tax increase on the residents of Pinellas County, and is the only Commissioner that consistently votes for lower taxes and smaller government.

Norm’s challenger, Ed Hooper, is a termed-out State Representative looking to replace the only fiscal conservative on the Commission. During the 2010 recession, Ed Hooper voted with Charlie Crist to increase your annual drivers license renewal fee when people could least afford it. In 2013, Hooper was ranked 70th out of the 75 House Republicans by Americans for Prosperity, an organization focused on reducing taxes and limiting government. For Pinellas, Hooper supports spending billions of your tax dollars to build a light rail line, though he supports alternative means of funding it from the Greenlight Pinellas plan.

We simply don’t trust Ed Hooper to be a reliable voice of opposition to the spendthrift County Commission, and strongly recommend voting for Norm Roche on August 26th.

District 4: We recommend Macho Liberti for this open County Commission seat. In a crowded field, Macho, a fire fighter, stands out as a strong fiscal conservative and a true representative of the people, where many of his opponents appear to be anything but. His best-funded opponent, Johnny Johnson, is a proponent of the Greenlight Pinellas plan to spend billions on a slow-moving train that would further congest dozens of intersections from Clearwater through St. Petersburg. Another well-funded opponent, Dave Eggers, also supports the Greenlight Pinellas tax hike.

A scan of the candidates’ backgrounds also indicate that most of them come from some other sector of government. We like Macho Liberti as a citizen-candidate to join Norm Roche as the second fiscally responsible Pinellas County Commissioner, and recommend voting for him on August 26th.

Other candidates: Dave Eggers, Johnny Johnson, Tim Keffalas, Wanda Kimsey, Peter Nehr, Jim Ronecker

District 6: We recommend Tom Rask for this County Commission seat.

In 1996, Pinellas County voters passed term limits for all county elected officials with 73% of the vote, capping elected officials to 8 years of service. John Morroni was first elected in 2000 and has already served on the Commission for 14 years. Morroni is seeking yet another term, which we believe indicates that he does not respect the will of the people that overwhelmingly voted for term limits. Fiscally, John Morroni is an advocate for the $100 Million per year Greenlight Pinellas tax hike, and in 2013 supported a $19.5 Million per year tax hike to fund storm-water systems. We believe that the “storm-water tax” is wholly unnecessary if the Commission would better manage your tax dollars.

Tom Rask is a local businessman and vocal opponent of the Greenlight Pinellas tax hike. He is a strong fiscal conservative with a firm grasp of the issues, and he would undoubtedly shake up the status quo of the wasteful County Commission. Being that John Morroni is in direct violation of the term limits 73% of Pinellas County residents voted for, we believe that he is not qualified to run again, and strongly recommend voting for his opponent, Tom Rask, on August 26th.

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