The mail at home over the past few days has brought a continuing avalanche in the Brad Swanson-Rose Ferlita battle for the Hillsborough County Commission. Swanson is the candidate who has tried to play the gay-lesbian card against Ferlita and who misquoted our own beloved Weekly Planet in a lame attempt to make Ferlita sound pro-drugs.
He's been clubbing her pretty hard over the past week. One mailer said, "Will the real Rose Ferlita please stand up?" and a second proclaimed "A leopard can't change its spots." Both are pretty lame attempts, using out-of-context quotes extensively. One example: Swanson questions Ferlita's commitment to public safety by pointing out that she opposed face recognition techology for Tampa Police. He doesn't reveal, however, that the technology â in place for years in Ybor City â has yet to catch one single criminal.
Ferlita's campaign finally struck back in a mail piece titled, "Why is Brad Swanson running a negative campaign against Rose Ferlita?" In it, Ferlita uses Swanson's own quotes and admissions from the St. Petersburg Times about his lackluster college record and unspectacular employment record. "So here's his record: Asked to leave the University of Florida; In 7 years has held 4 different jobs; Never owned or operated a business. Now he wants to run a $3 billion budget."
(Disclosure: I worked in Ferlita's 1999 Tampa City Council campaign)