Here is the question: “This is quick poll on the Greenlight Pinellas sales tax referendum in November. Do you support raising sales taxes to build a commuter train from St. Petersburg to Clearwater?” This has been labeled “misleading” and “skewed” by the huffiest, puffiest bloviators around: the Greenlight Pinellas insiders. Here’s another “misleading” question: “Are you likely to ride a train between St. Petersburg and Clearwater on a regular basis?”. Hmmm, that seems pretty hard to figure out. Is the respondent thinking “how am I being fooled here”? The most unkindest “misleading” cut of all: “Were you aware that Sales taxes will be raised from 7 cents to 8 cents, a 14% increase, creating the highest sales tax in Florida?” It turns out that when the truth comes out of the clouds, those who hide in the shadows feel its burn. The natural response of deceivers is to writhe in pain as they are struck by the light of the truth and shout profanities as they accuse the light of being the dark.
Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch seemed particularly offended by the truth that people reject the Greenlight Pinellas light rail proposal to raise sales taxes 14%, the highest sales tax in the state. He complains that the poll did not mention that buses would be bought too. However, he did not mention that the referendum vote does not obligate the PSTA to spend expand bus service by “65%”. That’s just a politicians’ promise. He didn’t mention that the “tax swap” removing $30 million in property taxes will be replaced with a $130 million sales tax hike! These are truths that the $400,000 tax payer already spent on the Greenlight campaign have never mentioned as they have “educated” the voters.
Those reporting on the crocodile tears like Mitch Perry at Creative Loafing put out a headline that says “were the questions misleading”? Yet where was his hard hitting reporting on the Tampa Bay Times poll that did not even reveal its questions in December and surveyed about 270 Pinellas County residents. The demographics were never defined and the results were in fact, invalid and never reported as “scientific” as with the Sun Beam Times Poll. The Tampa Bay Times Poll is similar to the one in October that asked this question “Would you be supportive of spending public or tax money to bring light rail mass transit to parts of the Tampa Bay area?”. It is more misleading to not even mention the train is from ST. Pete to Clearwater and will never go to Tampa. It is evasive to not point out the tax will be the highest in the state. The entire Modus Operandi of Greenlight Pinellas is to deceive voters with skewed and invalid polls.
The Tribune’s Chris O’Donnell focusses his headline on the feigned concerns of Greenlight that the questions are “skewed”. Where was the hard hitting reporting of Chris O’Donnell on the faulty polls above. Chris goes on to indicate that StPetePolls asked a question on the subject in a “more neutral” fashion. Well, here is the question from St. Pete Polls in 4/2013: “Would you be willing to pay more in taxes to build a new light rail mass transit system in Pinellas County”. There is no difference between that question and the one’s asked by the Sun Beam Times: “Do you support raising sales taxes to build a commuter train from St. Petersburg to Clearwater?”
The Greenlight people will stop at nothing to raise sales taxes 14% for the rail boondoggle supported by “consortium of Realtors and development firms” as Chris O’Donnell of the Tribune potrays them. They are the cronies pulling the puppet strings of the politicians on this deal. The many falsehoods and deceptions of Greenlight Pinellas will be summarized in a post tomorrow. Stay tuned.