On Monday,we received two campaign flyers paid for by Florida’s Mainstreet Merchants: one on property taxes that criticizes the Escambia County, Pensacola and Gulf Breeze governments; the other focused on Hart’s Army experience (Lt. Col) and Shriner’s background.
What is the Florida’s Mainstreet Merchants? – a electioneering communications organization (ECO). Under federal law they can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on commercials and fliers that support or attack a candidate, as long as they don’t expressly say “vote for” or “vote against” the person. Remember the “Swiftboat Veterans for Truth” that attacked John Kerry’s military service. It was a ECO. Faceless and unaccountable.
Are the flyers – Hart’s message or FMM’s message? A political veteran told me that I shouldn’t be concerned about such campaign contributions because candidates for the House have to raise money however they can…..It still bothers me. Is there some bigger political game being played out here and FMM needs Hart’s vote? Or is there some vendetta that FMM has against Joe Scarborough and they are out to crush brother George? I honestly don’t know.
Plus, I don’t think the state legislature is the place to control local government budgets. We elect more people like Valentino and Robinson and Escambia Co. government spending will get under control.
If Hart is so concerned about property taxes – the flyer cites the growth in tax revenues the past 10 years – why hasn’t he spoken out before now? He’s lived here 44 years – and never run for any local office or made a speech on cutting taxes at any city council or commission meeting that I can find.
Ford has voted to cut taxes as a city councilman. Banjanin didn’t as county commissioner. Scarborough is a first-time candidate – like Hart – but he’s not the one trying to mandate caps on local budgets.