Supporting your candidate means more than voting
I made a donation to the Kevin Beckner campaign for Hillsborough county commission. As Tommy pointed out,
Brian Blair is the Republican incumbent for countywide District 6, and will be faced by Democrat challenger Kevin Beckner.
If you don’t know why I’d support Beckner over Blair, you must be new around here. Blair hands out political favors to his cronies who support him with big campaign contributions. He has worked hard to weaken our wetland protections, over and over again. He preaches fiscal conservatism, but lavishes our tax dollars on his personal pork projects — literally in his own backyard.
The Blair Watch Project is an excellent compilation of news and articles about Blair, and the Beat Brian Blair site has more information. These videos spoof the Bozo.
You can read about Beckner’s platform on his site, which also has links to several newspaper articles about him. I’ve met Beckner and I like him. I believe he will work for all the people, not just the big-money special-interest people.
You can meet the candidates, and hear what they have to say at these public candidate forums: Sept. 9, 7:00 pm, at Forest Hills Community Center; and Oct. 5 at a Davis Islands Civic Association forum, place and date TBA. (Beckner is committed to being at these, but Blair has been dodging most forums so far.) Contact Mark Nash of the Beckner campaign for details of these and other events: 813-395-3489.
For those of you who are, like me, filled with dread at the prospect of another 4 years of Brian Blair on your county commission, here are some suggestions of things to do in the next 8 weeks:
- Spend a little time — a few hours or a few days — helping the Beckner campaign
- Put a yard sign at your home or place of business
- Work a polling place for a while on election day
- Contribute money — even a little bit helps
The Blair campaign has gobs of special-interest money as well as the weighty inertia of incumbency that gets most incumbents easily re-elected around here. Sitting around, waiting to cast your vote and hoping the rest of the county votes right will surely doom us to another 4 years of Brian Blair on our county commission. And the next 4 years of Blair would be even worse than the last 4 because if this incumbent gets re-elected, after all the negative press and angry citizens up in arms about him, it will tell him and all our local politicians that they can just ignore us citizens — no matter how right we are or how mad we get — because in the end we’ll vote like sheep for whoever gets the contributions from the big-money development lobby, which buys them enough advertising to make us forget we were ever mad.
Conversely, if Beckner gets elected it will send a booming shot across the bow of that whole county commission ship of fools, telling all our leaders that if they don’t listen to us we will throw the bums out. They will all start listening to us a lot harder if we prove that we can turn out a grassroots campaign that will beat a special-interest-funded campaign.
We’ll have to work extra hard to get Beckner elected since both our local papers — the Tribune & the Times — stupidly endorsed Blair in the Republican primary. They endorsed Beckner in the Democratic primary, and they will undoubtedly endorse Beckner in the general election, but that will be awfully late to undo the damage they have already done by telling half the county to vote for Blair in August. Thousands have now actually voted for Blair recently, and it will take a lot of campaigning to educate them and the rest of the masses who rarely pay attention to local politics, but turn out to vote in a big election year like this.
That campaigning takes people who are willing to put their money and/or time where their mouth is. If you ever complained about your county commission, or shook your head in disgust as you read about them in the paper, or wished your leaders had more vision or spent your taxes more wisely — your time to do something about it is now.