St. Pete Times puts its mouth where special-interest money is, and ludicrously endorses Jim Norman for state Senate
UPDATE: Now that Norman has been kicked off the ballot for deceiving the public about a half-million-dollar gift from an influence-seeking local businessman, the Times has rescinded their inane endorsement.
Thanks to Mitch Perry at Creative Loafing for calling out the St. Pete Times on their cynical endorsement of Jim Norman for Florida state Senate. Yes, that Jim Norman and that Jim Norman — the one the FBI is investigating.
As Mitch so aptly puts it:
The Times’ ridiculous recommendation that we should all actually vote for this puppet to pavers & polluters reduces the credibility of all their endorsements & editorials while handing Norman several new quotes he can use to continue fooling voters. How can the Times not be ashamed when Norman inevitably uses his bulging campaign coffers* to boost his reputation with ads that will scream this crap at us:
ENDORSED BY THE ST. PETERSBURG TIMES!
The St. Pete Times says “Norman is … the only serious choice,” and “Norman keeps in touch with voters and understands state and local government.”
Oh, and we’ll get to see that crap in Norman’s next campaign, too (over a tiny 2010 dateline) all the way until the final weeks of that campaign when the Times finally comes out with a new endorsement for… God only knows who.
The Times’ recommendation is especially stupid given that it doesn’t matter at all who we vote for at this point — with no credible competition, Norman has this race in the bag unless & until he’s convicted somehow for the corruption he has so obviously dealt in, consistently and constantly throughout his career. So there is no excuse for the Times not to recommend some sort of protest vote or no-vote, as Mitch suggests, rather than make a laughingstock out of themselves and us voters by recommending that we all hand Norman a ludicrously large percentage of the vote to brag about as though he had won a mandate from both the electorate and this newspaper.
Here’s my recommendation: Don’t vote for Norman. Don’t vote at all in that race.
If just 10% of the voters who cast ballots in this election refuse to vote in that one race, it would be a notable statement of no-confidence in Norman, which would not go unnoticed by other state legislators, and might serve to hamper his power in Tallahassee. It would at least tell our politicians and our newspapers that we cannot be led blindly to vote for the worst sort of political hustler, no matter how much money and media is used against us.
*Sidenote: The money is still, disgustingly, pouring in to Norman’s pig-trough, 500 smackers at a pop, from developers, phosphate, and other big-money special interests. See for yourself by searching the state’s campaign finance database for “Norman.” (Before you submit the search form, choose to sort them by date and be sure to delete the default limit of 500 records returned, so you can see them all.)