Mitch Perry Report 6.5.13: Young GOP voters say their own party is "rigid" and "old-fashioned"

Plus: Gay rights, HART and more …

A new report issued yesterday by the College Republicans National Committee says Republicans should back off their opposition to same-sex marriage. Actually the report says a lot of things, including that the GOP has an image problem overall with younger voters, with common responses upon hearing the words "Republican Party" including "close-minded," "racist," "rigid" and "old-fashioned."

But back to the issue of gay rights. We're curious if the five Republicans on the Hillsborough County Commission will get a chance to look at that as they make their decision on whether or not to back a proposal being sponsored by Democrat Kevin Beckner that would repeal the 2005 ban on gay pride events (the Tampa Tribune is advising the board do so this morning in an editorial).

With the exception of Al Higginbotham, who talks about his Christian religion stopping him from embracing LGBT rights, we're not certain what the other board members think about this issue (as opposed to how consultants are telling them how to vote). But if they're looking at this strictly from a political point of view, maybe they ought to look at that study of young GOP voters. Then again, those consultants might be telling them that young people don't vote in nearly the numbers of older voters in the Hillsborough GOP.

Meanwhile one of the Hillsborough Republicans who says he'll vote to repeal the ban, Mark Sharpe, also says the head of Hillsborough's transit agency, Philip Hale, needs to go. Sharpe tells CL that he finds Hale's leadership "uninspiring," and the board needs to go in another direction.

At HART's meeting yesterday, board member Josh Burgin worried aloud about fears that there could be another tax referendum on transit, though that doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon.

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