The Difference Between Tampa and St. Petersburg

We've had two incidents recently that say a lot about Tampa and St. Pete and their mayors, and their respective newspapers.

In St. Petersburg, Mayor Rick Baker took a great deal of heat after police officers slashed the tents of some homeless people in an effort to shut down an illegal tent city that was deemed a fire hazard. The slashing with box cutters of private property was captured on amateur video and posted to YouTube. It prompted outrage.

In Tampa, Mayor Pam Iorio's police department likewise made headlines when her police department arrested a Gasparilla rape victim on an old juvenile offense, throwing her in jail where she was denied morning-after meds to prevent pregnancy as the result of her attack. It prompted outrage.

Baker's response to the slashing was slow in coming and all lawyered up. His first statements came three days after the slashing:

"I did not know that the operation had occurred until it occurred. I was aware that the fire marshal had identified a

very grave concern. I did not know the specifics to the solution."

(source: the Times, whose

account continued: "Baker neither condemned nor praised the actions of

police and fire officials. 'I'm not going to talk about that,' Baker

said, adding he was concerned

about potential legal threats made by homeless advocates.")