11/20/17 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman says he is ready to put a recent nasty re-election fight behind him and, continuing a theme from the campaign, is looking to the future.
In an interview last week, he said he is relishing the chance to see big projects to the finish line and hinted at a second term of bold experimentation.
The mayor said he often relates an anecdote he heard from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg about chatting with newly hired city workers....
11/15/17 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — A city engineer who went public with allegations of bullying and intimidation by Mayor Rick Kriseman's administration has gotten the ax.
Steven Marshall, who appeared with Kriseman's opponent, Rick Baker, days before the Nov. 7 election to complain about the Kriseman administration's bullying and intimidation tactics, was terminated Tuesday, said Chris Guella, the city's human resources director....
ST. PETERSBURG — What does disgraced Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein have to do with the city's fight against the influence of money in politics?
Believe it or not, there is a connection.
Last month the City Council approved an ordinance limiting the amount an individual can give a political action committee in a single year to $5,000. It could serve as a vehicle for challenging the Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission decision. The historic 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling removed restrictions on how much outside groups can spend on elections....
11/09/17 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Start saving up that couch change. City residents might need it to pay steeper utility bills starting in January.
ST. PETERSBURG — Now that Mayor Rick Kriseman has prevailed after a bruising election, City Council members say they hope for the same thing in his second term: a clean slate.
Council chair Darden Rice said it. So did Charlie Gerdes. Both are stalwart Kriseman allies, but each acknowledged that Kriseman's relationship with other council members hasn't always been a smooth one.
ST. PETERSBURG — There has never been anything in city history like Rick vs. Rick.
For the first time in the strong-mayor era, two mayors battled each other for City Hall. They were veteran politicians who brought deep pockets, residual anger from the 2016 presidential election and their own animus for each other to this race. What resulted was perhaps the ugliest, and definitely the most expensive, mayoral race in modern St. Petersburg history. The primary was decided by just 70 votes, and after a Hurricane Irma-imposed break, the attack ads flew even faster....
ST. PETERSBURG — Rick vs. Rick is drawing to a close.
In the last weekend of a bitterly contested six-month mayoral campaign, incumbent St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker made their final appeals to voters, and their supporters hit the streets in hopes of boosting Election Day turnout.
Recent polls show an extraordinarily tight race, the outcome of which could hinge on who shows up to vote Tuesday....
ST. PETERSBURG — Rick Baker makes no bones about it: he's a hands-on mayor.
In nearly every interview and every candidate forum over the past six months, St. Petersburg's mayor from 2001-10 has presented himself as someone who sweats the details.
But in the final days of the city's combustible mayoral race, Mayor Rick Kriseman's latest attack ad questions whether Baker really kept his eye on the ball when the city lost $11 million in investments after its former Wall Street advisor was wiped out by the 2008 financial crisis....
ST. PETERSBURG — One last spat before Election Day broke out along political lines at Thursday's City Council meeting between supporters of incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker.
And once again the subject was the city's two-year sewage crisis — and who is to blame — which has been a constant theme of the bitter six-month battle between the Kriseman and Baker campaigns....
ST. PETERSBURG— A city engineer says Mayor Rick Kriseman's administration punished him for speaking out at the height of last year's sewage crisis.
Engineer Steven Marshall spoke out about the incident at a Tuesday news conference organized by former Mayor Rick Baker, who is challenging Kriseman in the mayoral election.
ST. PETERSBURG — Former Maryland governor and former presidential candidate Martin O'Malley came to the Sunshine City with a simple message:
Re-electing Mayor Rick Kriseman wasn't just a local issue. It's part of a national rebuild of a Democratic Party left reeling by the 2016 election of President Donald Trump.
"Those of us who are Democrats are starting to act like a party again," O'Malley said at a Monday campaign event....
10/27/17 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — No city employees will face criminal charges as a result of the massive sewage discharges of 2015-16, Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe announced on Friday.
But that doesn't mean no crimes were committed. In fact, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators said they found evidence that 89 felonies and 103 misdemeanors were committed as the city befouled itself over 13 months....
On Friday, Rick Baker’s campaign capped a week of attacks on Kevin King, chief of staff for Mayor Rick Kriseman with a 1-minute radio spot that accuses Kriseman of tolerating King’s 2001 arrest involving solicitation of underage girls and assigning city education policy to his top aide’s portfolio.
The first 30-seconds of the ad is audio taken directly from a previous TV ad detailing King’s arrest. King was never convicted of any crime....
Did Rick Baker speak out about Charlotttesville? Democratic ad suggests he didn't. But Baker did say something10/27/17 Blog
The Florida Democratic Party on Friday released a new ad attacking Rick Baker.
Entitled “Changed Man,” it portrays the Republican former mayor as a Trump lackey who lies about his opponent, Mayor Rick Kriseman.
Except the 30-second ad has some problems of its own.
The ad has Baker’s face share the screen with white supremacists and Nazis while criticizing Baker for remaining silent about Trump's comments about the violence in Charlottesville in August. ...
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has filed its final investigative report with Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe, who said Thursday he is reviewing the file.
The FWC delivered its report to McCabe on Oct. 20, said agency spokesman Robert Klepper.
Neither agency released a copy of the report Thursday. The FWC said the file was part of an ongoing criminal investigation and not a public record. ...