Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Redner Loses

It looks like Redner lost. Interesting because I thought he was going to win.

Gwendolyn ''Gwen'' Miller
Joe Redner


I think he may have shot himself in the foot a couple of times. He probably pushed more people away from him with his bring in the I voting sticker and get in free. It put his adult business part of his life to the forefront. 2nd saying he essentially was blacker than Gwen Miller, apparently pissed of Gwen Miller, causing her to make a big push.

It will be interesting to look at what precincts Redner won, and which ones Gwen won and where Seminole Heights fits in all of this.

Part of Redner's attraction is his, "I say what I say" attitude. However, I think to get elected he may need to learn to tone things done or not say things.

So where is he going from here? Will he feel defeated after losing his 7th election and quit running? Or will he will elated coming so close, making it into a runoff with an incumbent?

Tonight Susan and I talked about that if he ran, what he would run for next. I think he will continue to stick to City Council or County Commission, because he is most concerned about local issues. No state legislative race for him.

Lets see what happens next.

Certainly it gave us something to talk about.


Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

Redner's bear trap:

If he tones it down, he becomes like the politicians he attacks.

If he stays true to himself, he can't get elected.

Welcome to America, Joe. We all have to live with the choices we make.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for Qwen!!
I'm so happy Tampa was not stupid enough to elect someone who earns his money from illegal activity!!

Anonymous said...

What a dumbass with the "I Voted" free admission to Mons offer.

Who is he getting advice from? Larry Flynt? Where is Kelly Kombat when you need him?

You can take the idiot out of the strip club but you can't take the idiot out of the idiot...or something like that.

The only reason I voted for Joe is so I didn't have to see his mug on public access everytime I channel surfed by.

Gwen the "deaf mute" back in bidness!

Jeff said...

The thing is that the lack of progress wasn't going to be fixed by Joe. All he had was slogans. You can say "Growth must pay for itself" and the people who already have their house or business will drool at the prospect of having someone else pay. Even Chavez supported that mantra without owning up the fact that she profited from a helluva lot of city-funded growth in Hyde Park. Same thing with Save Our Homes.

Tampa has set a course for itself, that growth should be concentrated to give us a smaller more affordable impact. Mass Transit won't mean a thing if people are spread all over creation, like they are now. This city is in a regional struggle for its vision, with Pasco, with Pinellas, with our own county. And they're working full time to build theirs.

We need to have a full time city council because this part time stuff isn't cutting the mustard. There isn't a single council member who doesn't seem lost at times. Almost all defer to staff who, being city employees, don't want to stick their necks out with a "vision" for Tampa. The Mayor provides the executive power in this role, but the legislative/funding side is weak. Every city council session I've been to seems like people trying to fix leaks, rarely is some one creating. Even after Cappy's, with people complaining about the recurring problems with trying to fulfill the city's own plan of Urban Villages, what do we get. Linda makes a vague request for staff to get back to the council on what can be done. I can guarantee you the only thing that will happen will be the same thing that happened with code enforcement. Lots of workshops, a little improvement after a long delay, spent money, no plan, just fix the leaks.

Anonymous said...

illegal activity? i'm not saying that he has never been involved in any illegal activities but i would say that the vast majority of his money came from very legal activities (e.g. mons and tanga lounge)

Anonymous said...

If you can't get a Libertarian a lump on a log is my next choice.
ABB (Anybody But Barron)

Anonymous said...

Ah Jeff. Ever visited Atlanta? The metro Atlanta area is over 100 square miles, yet they have one of the best mass transit systems in the country. New York. Chicago. All big cities that are spread out far and wide, yet have great mass transit.
Good to know we have such a smart guy here in the neighborhood, who's more than willing to impart his wisdom on the rest of us. I know I sleep better at night knowing that.
The election's over. You can stop running now.

Anonymous said...

The key is freakin' population DENSITY and not size.

New York, Chicago, San Fransisco, DC, London -- population density is what makes real mass transit work. You have to be able to *walk* to a lot of things at any given stop. If not, its only other use is a traffic aggregator for suburbs: Atlanta and San Diego use it for that. Park-n-ride kinda stuff. Why take the train if you have to drive to the station?

Of course, you just wanted to tear down Jeff, didn't ya? Whether or not you agree with Jeff's positions, not many people in Seminole Heights can say they work harder than he does to improve things around here. Can you, Mr. Anonymous? No. Hard to take somone seriously if the best they can do is throw poo from their comfy, well-worn couch.

Mal Carne said...

Apathy has gotten us to this point and is going to maintain status quo. We lost a great candidate in the general election in Randy, not because of lack of qualifications, but because of voter apathy.
Those who can be arsed to vote in an off season city election pretty much have their minds made up who they are going to vote for in the first place and aren't really going to be swayed by advertising or facts. The only people who can really be swayed are the ones who aren't going to vote anyway.
So, we had to choose between the lesser of two evils. Those who were going to vote for Joe knew that they were and likewise with Gwenn. Something more than a less than 1 in 5 turnout in either of the elections probably would have netted significantly different results.

Anonymous said...

One thing we have learned is that Joe has a loyal following that doesn't seem concerned about issues. They had a chance to select other candidates who had similar ideas to Joe but without the baggage (and with more knowledge and experience). However, they chose Joe because they want the baggage, they want the radical image, the public access rants.

My guess is that the more people who turn out the less votes Joe will get. But, he has a loyal band of around 6 to 8 thousand in the electorate, all in the lower quartile of the intelligence distribution charts.

Anonymous said...

If what we are going to get is MARTA, I'd prefer to walk I think. Even when you get off at your stop you have to walk miles. I tried taking the bus one time, it sucked. It's pretty obvious that you have build around the rail, like Chicago and New York or else you get crap, ie, Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

Studies show that property values near mass transit stops (rail, not busses) go up for the very reason you mention.

This is demonstrated in places like London where people tend to identify location based on nearest tube stop. Homes are even sold with tube stop prominent in the description.

But to make this work for us, we have to be willing to increase housing density in the urban areas. That includes Seminole Heights. This shouldn't worry us, however, since we used to be on a mass transit (rail) route when originally built. Historic commerical developments included housing over the top (envision the Green building on Osborne and Florida). This sort of mixed-use housing/retail construction will increase residental density on the commercial corridors. More density, more disposable cash to attract some of the retail we'd like to see. Win-win.

Anonymous said...


kombatrock said...

Wow, an inside job? I never thought of that...

I pretty much agree with Wayne Garcia's analysis on Blurbex. Two factors decided this: The strong get out the vote effort on Gwen's behalf (her team took absentee ballots door to door), and the lack of it in Joe's race. He did do some phonebanking, but it wasnt enough. Of course, the Mons Move alienated a lot of folks when he should have concentrating on downplaying that side of his life but the "blacker than" faux pau sealed it. There is no doubt that Gwendolyn "Gwen" Miller is a horribly ineffective public representative, but you can't take away the woman's blackness or the courageous stands that she took during the civil rights movement. Race would have ever been an issue in this election if Joe didn't bring it up. Big mistake. This took away votes Joe needed from the moderate to liberal MNF crowd who were tempted to support Joe otherwise.
In the end it comes down to playing by the rules...and tact. Two things that don't agree with Joe. And that's the catch, that's what makes him Joe Redner.

kombatrock said...

That should read--((Race would have never been an issue))--of course this is Tampa and Joe's statement about "a black candidate never beating a white candidate citywide" was essentially accurate, but it didn't need to be highlighted. It's as if Joe was saying "Hey Look! I'm gonna benefit from a legacy of racial injustice." It rubbed far to many people the wrong way.

Anonymous said...

I've been to Atlanta several times late last year and this year and Marta allowed me to go from the airport to my destination without renting a car. I was more than able to do what I needed to do without getting in a car. DENSITY makes the difference in an effective mass transit system. If we wait until Tampa has the density then our great great grandkids will still be paying for the right of way purchases.

Anonymous said...

If I were advising Joe on candidate comportment, I would have done the following things:

1) He would have had to put up signs everywhere he looked to remind him that "It's not about you! It's about *them*!" IOW, you're not running because of your ego or your need to be loved; voters don't really care about that. You're running because you can do something for the voters, and you never ever *ever* swerve from that.

2) He would have made a point of damning Gwen with faint praise, and lathering that with acknowledgment of the historicity of her election. Then follow that up with something to the effect of - "Tampa is larger than any one group of people, and the issues and problems it faces need fresh thinking, lots of energy, and a thick skin." Gets off of race, pays homage to Miller's symbolic value, and gets the race back onto a playing field where he could have won. Not in so many words give her and Tampa's black community its props but say "That was then; this is now."

3) More signs. Many more signs.

4) An actual GOTV operation, with people dressed neatly and quietly going door to door.

5) An absentee balloting operation.

Anonymous said...

If we discourage suburban sprawl (see Atlanta for what happens when you don't) by, among other things, not building bigger freeways and loops within loops, a light rail system will encourage density. People will see value in living on the rail and maybe owning only one vehicle.

Biggest opponents to light rail (besides beaurocrats...)? Taxi Unions. They've managed to keep the Las Vegas monorail from connecting to the airport (even though the airport is built with that in mind), and kept the SF Muni from the airport for decades. You had to take a bus two blocks to catch the nearest Muni train.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Atlanta and lived there many years; I still visit family many times a year. Tampa is much like Atl was about 15-20 years ago. The rail system is used by most residents to go to major functions like the Olympics and superbowls, but mainly to get to the airport.If Tampa ever hopes to get the Olympics we HAVE to have a transit system. But let me say the olympics is highly overrated as a city event. Tampa has the hotels needed, but the roads are pig trails and would never be accepted by any olympic commitee.

As far as Joe Redner is concerned-- I was prepared to vote for him after speaking to him in person a couple of times, even though I really detest strip clubs. I sort of understand his black comment-- (he IS more of a 'brother' than some), he totally lost me when he offerred free entrance to the mons. IT JUST SHOWS BAD JUDGEMENT and shows that he IS NOT "one of us"- the regular normal people that struggle to make a life every day. Sorry Joe, you really DON'T know us. Oh, and by the way I didn't vote for Gwen either.

Jeff said...

The absentee vote is being overblown. Gwen needed it to maintain her vote count in East Tampa where turnout is soft. On the whole, absentee voting was up by 15% but early voting was down by 15%. It all evened out.

As it turns out, Gwen didn't even need District 5, where she got the majority of her votes in the main election. Oddly enough, Joe had a bigger gain there than she did (700 to her 600). However, in all other Districts, Gwen had substantial gains over Joe's. Joe needed to hold Districts 4 and 6, districts he won in the main election. Gwen won Districts 5 and 7 last time. This time, she won all districts. Basically, East Tampa put Gwen in the run off where the rest of Tampa put her over the top. Gwen's biggest gain came in South Tampa, District 4.

Also this time around, Joe became the candidate who correlated with weak turnout. His support seemed to stagnate across the board, indicating that he "tapped" his support. The more people turned out, the better Gwen did, this time.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Joe. This had to be the perfect election for him. He cynically chose Gwen partly because of her race, which he didn't think would appeal to South Tampa. If true, he has to think the other candidates would have beaten him by a bigger margin. Gwen was also perfect in other ways. She was under fire most of the election and couldn't defend herself very well. Most of the other candidates focused on her shortcomings and ignored Joe, not taking him seriously. Joe didn't really take this campaign seriously. He spent little money compared to his other runs and didn't even bother to change his message from the County Commission race. He was allowed to fly under the radar as no one put him on the spot. His profile was obscured by attacks on Gwen.

When he did make the run off and was put in the spotlight, he flailed miserably. While his supporters were asking people to look past his strip club, there was Joe talking about it as if it were his baby, the love of his life. Throw away the rest, but just leave him the Mons. Having no political experience, he tried to convince voters that he could propose ideas and think better than his opponent. When Gwen couldn't think of any concrete examples, it was an openning for Joe. Whereupon, he proposed free entry into his strip club and asserted that he was blacker than Gwen.

The next time won't be so easy. Candidates now realize that they have to beat Joe. They'll highlite his past and his image. They'll reveal his weakness on the issues and his knowledge of city government.

He will have his hardcore followers which he has developed over the years. Joe polls very well around the colleges and amoung the younger demographic. Some of his soft followers, I think, will question whether he is really a good candidate after all. They should certainly question his judgement and his desire to become an elected official. Moreover, those that voted for him to affect change, have to be wondering whether they are wasting their votes.

IFly said...

Jeff, I have to disagree with your comment about wasting a vote. 43% of those that cared enough to vote at all demonstrated dissatisfaction with the status quo which is much more of a statement than was made by the anti-Joe vote. You, yourself even said that candidates will have to take him more seriously should he run again. I think the very fact that he was in the runoff has put future contenders on notice that if you can motivate people to the polls strange things can happen, and if you're not doing your job, you better wake up, it might not be so easy next time. Those results alone reinforce to me that no vote is wasted except the one you don't use. The dilution of the district 1 primary was certainly a factor in the earlier race, and Joe wasn't in my top two then, but we got what we got.
What surprised me the most in this was that 84% (or whatever
the final turnout totals left over) of people in Tampa didn't care that
they almost had Big Pimpin' Joe as an elected official. Now that's some apathy.

Jeff said...

I was speaking of the main election. And I was assuming that those people who voted for Joe in that election were wishing to effect some change (which I doubt). If that were the case, then their support of Joe backfired because it's clear from the results that East Tampa had nothing to do with the final outcome. The other 3 districts came out against Joe. Could Jenkins or Baron have won if Joe's supporters would have gone that way? In that respect, their vote was largely wasted.

As far as 84% apathy, I think many city voters don't see how city council affects them. City council meets once a week and they generally go along with staff (whose hiring is controlled by the Mayor, hence more turnout for competitive mayoral elections).

Of the same concern to me is the part of the electorate who is completely negative in their voting. They voted in the main election because it was titilating to have a strip club owner representing their city, because it would have embarrassed their "elders". I was in college once and voted for Big Al, head of the Wild Party, because he promised to build a chair lift from my dorm to the area where my classrooms were. I heard this desire "to embarrass the city" all too often in my quest to keep Joe off council.

Then there is an element that loves Joe because of his views on the Iraq war, 9/11 as in inside job, etc. They wanted to radical things said from the seat of a city council member. Things that generally have no place in local politics.

I would guess these last two groups to be about a third of Joe's initial vote in the main election. I don't think those will be swayed. However, those that voted because they believe he was the best option to motivate change will have to rethink their support. Especially since the vast majority said in the main election "we don't want Gwen" (less than a third of the vote) and then in the run-off they said "but that doesn't mean we want Joe Redner".