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Greenlight Pinellas Challenged to Return Duke Energy’s $50,000 Political Donation.

Duke Energy should return the $50,000 it gave to Greenlight. It is not appropriate for a government-created electricity monopoly to fund political campaigns. The poster child of crony corporatism.

Duke Energy should return the $50,000 it gave to Greenlight. It is not appropriate for a government-created electricity monopoly to fund political campaigns. The poster child of crony corporatism.

No Tax for Tracks joined Senator Jack Latvala in calling for a ban on political contributions from government created power monopolies.  The Duke Energy connection was discussed here recently as Greenlight Crony #3. Here is there press release.

For immediate release

October 2, 2014.

Greenlight Pinellas Challenged to Return Duke Energy’s $50,000 Political Donation.

Joins Senator Jack Latvala in Calling for End of Political Contributions by Public Utilities

St. Petersburg Florida – No Tax for Tracks, the grassroots group working to stop the highest sales tax in the state for Greenlight Pinellas, has called a political contribution by Duke Energy to be returned. The Yes for Greenlight Campaign has received $50,000 from Duke Energy to support its political campaign, adding to the over $750,000 it has received from large corporations. The call came during the same week that Senator Jack Latvala called for legislation to ban political contributions from utility companies, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times on October 1. No Tax for Tracks Leader Barbara Haselden offered: “We agree that Duke Energy, an electricity monopoly created by the government, should not be allowed to make political contributions on referenda and to benefit candidates. We join Senator Jack Latvala in making that call and believe the “Yes for Greenlight” campaign should set the example by returning the $50,000 contribution they received from Duke Energy”.

Greenlight Pinellas would create a 24 mile long train only between downtown St. Petersburg and Downtown Clearwater. It would be powered by overhead electric lines and the electricity would be provided by Duke Energy which would stand to make tens of millions off the tax-payer funded train. Mrs. Haselden stated: “Duke Energy would make tens of millions of the taxpayers from the Greenlight Pinellas electric train which certainly explains why it gave $50,000 to help pass the highest sales tax in the state for Pinellas citizens.” The call comes in the week after Senator Latvala himself provided an endorsement of the $2.4 billion rail plan for a train that would cross 41 intersections, routinely blocking traffic at intersections every 15 minutes. Haselden concluded: “Greenlight Pinellas creates a $2.4 billion crony slush fund for a train few will ride. Citizens now that local government can expand the bus system within their current budget, and don’t want to pay the highest sales tax in the train so companies like Duke Energy can get richer off their tax dollars.”

Contact No Tax for Tracks at 727-374-7883




3 Replies:

  1. Gary West

    In addition to the millions Duke Energy will make from this joke of a train they will profit from the money they’ll be paid to relocate existing facilities. Not to mention they will no longer have to pay the transit tax portion of their property taxes. Just imagine the high-fives in the Duke boardroom if the suckers approve this well-planned shakedown of the taxpayers.
    As a controlled monopoly Duke has a guaranteed rate of return. No wonder they pay off the politicians and have purchased the Public Service Commission.

  2. Joe Wareham

    You don’t have to look far to see who is going to make the big money on the Greenlight plan, just look at who’s contributing to their campaign. This is an absolute disaster for the regular citizens of Pinellas County while the big companies and developers will be laughing all the way to the bank!

  3. Gary West

    Every police detective looks at the crime and says “Cui Bono?” Who benefits? Greedlight Pinellas is a crime and the victims are the taxpayers especially the elderly and our low income citizens.

    Were the PSTA administered with their customer’s interest at heart they would have purchased buses sized to fit the demands of service, changed bus schedules more rapidly to answer the demands of their ridership and been less greedy in their demands for public money.

    Instead we have to suffer with a carefully conceived plot-a plot created by YOUR ELECTED POLITICIANS- to burden the taxpayer with an abusive, regressive, discriminatory tax. In addition it allows corporations, big businesses, property owners such as The Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Bay Rays, Duke Energy, Verizon, any organization owning large amounts of property to avoid paying a portion of their property tax responsibility.

    “It’s good to be the King” especially when you can stick it to the serfs.

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