Welcome to the Irreverent View, brought to you by 411 Communications; Chris Ingram, editor and publisher. This site contains political opinion columns with an “irreverent view.” That means they are edgy, against the grain, and snarky. Our columns include views and opinions from all sides of the political spectrum. Hopefully they will make you think beyond what you read in the daily newspaper or hear on Fox or CNN. If you are offended by free-thinking thought and opinion that is different from your own, please stop reading and stop voting and go stick your head back in the sand and let people with some grey matter between their ears figure things out for you. Chris Ingram Editor and Publisher

Irreverent View content Copyright 2013, 411 Communications

 

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Ingram: Tampa’s top 20

April 13th, 2014

By Chris Ingram

Anyone who has ever ventured onto roads in the Tampa Bay area knows traffic congestion is one of our major problems.

According to the 2012 American Community Survey among metropolitan areas, Tampa Bay-area commuters have the fourth-highest commuting time, at 52 minutes per day (26 minutes each way). That works out to 4.3 hours per week, 17.3 hours a month, or 208 hours a year — stuck in traffic.

Recently, I was invited to attend some meetings among business, industry and other community stakeholders to help develop a “Vision 2020” for the Tampa Bay area.

Unscientifically, the group has concluded its primary focus should be on addressing the area’s transportation needs. It seems like a no-brainer, but this conclusion was achieved only after assessing the landscape and considering a variety of other issues, such as: a new home for the Rays, education, the future of MacDill AFB, attracting new jobs, protecting our environmental assets, and tourism and marketing to attract new visitors.

At our last meeting, it occurred to me that while, yes, we need to address transportation and other problem areas, the Tampa Bay area also needs to collectively embrace all that makes the area so great, and stop viewing Tampa Bay the body of water as a divider.

The following is my list of 20 of the biggest assets the Tampa Bay area has to offer its residents, visitors and future generations. They are listed in no particular order. (Click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune).

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

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Breaking: FBI raids Hillsborough County Commission Offices

April 1st, 2014

Three commissioners arrested by FBI

By: Dub L. Entendre

Reminiscent of a previous raid thirty years ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigations raided the offices of three undisclosed members of the Hillsborough County Commission today.

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Photo: Agents raid government center.

Stunned citizens and county government employees were shocked by the scene of armed agents entering One County Center around 1:30 p.m. today. The agents arrested three commissioners and a number of staffers, and later removed hundreds of boxes and several computers from the building.

“It was like a scene out of a movie, I tell you,” Ben Had, a witness to the raid said.

The three commissioners whose offices were raided were arrested and escorted out of the building.

“All of them appeared to be male. I don’t think Commissioner Murman was one of those arrested, as they all were wearing cheap JC Penney brand type shoes and all had their heads covered by their suit jackets,” said Richard Cranium, a witness, in referring to Commissioner Sandy Murman, the lone female on the seven-member board.

According to the FBI, the arrested commissioners were taken to an undisclosed location near Guantanamo Bay, Cuba leaving all the dumb legal experts to believe the three commissioners are being investigated for terrorist activities.

“I’m pretty sure Mark Sharpe was among them. I think he’s been working with the Taliban to take over the world and force everyone to take public transport and use those stupid CFL light bulbs that aren’t that bright,” said erstwhile citizen activist, Shanda Lear.

“They have been removed from the country for security reasons. We expect they will all sing like canaries under questioning from our investigators,” said FBI spokesperson Carrie Oakey.

FBI field director Joe King, added, “This is not a laughing matter.”

Teach kids to respect other people, other people’s property, and authority

February 20th, 2014

By Chris Ingram

 

The Tampa Tribune, February 20, 2014

“It’s a 14-year-old. It’s a tragedy.”

“This isn’t a matter of race; it’s a matter of solving a problem.”

Those two comments from Col. James Previtera of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office succinctly sum up the issue of “wilding,” which came to the public’s attention after the death of 14-year-old honor student Andrew Joseph III.

By most accounts, Joseph was not only an honor student, but a good kid from an intact, middle-class family. Hardly the stereotype of a thuggish youth with a dad in jail and a mom on welfare.

Although Previtera is correct that this isn’t a matter of race — it’s a matter of parenting and teaching kids to respect others — race is part of this story because 108 of the 111 kids who were arrested or ejected from the Florida State Fairgrounds were black.

What this whole incident has shown is that even seemingly good kids with presumably good parents — white, black or other — can make bad decisions. There are a host of other lessons to be learned by the fair authority, law enforcement, the schools, parents and students.

In response to the wilding incident, the fair authority now requires an adult to be present with any minor coming to the fair on Student Day with free admission, if they arrive after 7 p.m. There may be sound logic for this, but it seems curious given the sheriff’s office said the “crowd arrived shortly before 6 p.m.” on Friday of that week.

And what is to keep kids who arrive early from sticking around without a parent? Will the fair remove all patrons before 7 before letting kids with a free ticket back in only with an adult?

I have a few better ideas.  (Click here to go directly to the column in today’s Tampa Tribune.)

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Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

Please feel free to submit a comment on our blogs. By posting a comment you acknowledge reading and following the terms and conditions of posting found here. You may also submit a comment by e-mail. If you e-mail a comment you consent to your comment and name being posted on the Irreverent View website. If you wish to remain completely anonymous, please state so in your e-mail.

Gasparilla photos

January 27th, 2014

My wife and I took the girls down to Gasparilla for the first time this year. Fortunately we were in the safe(r) confines of the City of Tampa’s tent that didn’t require fighting the crowds as much. We all had a great time. Some of my favorite pictures are attached.

Chris

Click on any photo to enlarge.

All photos copyright 2014 411 Communications.

Sheriff Gee helps get things started.

Sheriff Gee helps get things started.

My Bay News 9 counterpart Ana Cruz tosses beads from a TPD cruiser  driven by Chief Castor.

My Bay News 9 counterpart, Ana Cruz, tosses beads from a TPD cruiser driven by Chief Castor.

 

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IMG_0735 My girls waiting for the parade to start.

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Stop action/blurr photo I took getting bored watching the FHP cycles drive up and down the parade route for what seemed like 20 minutes after the parade started.

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Casey with “Buccaneer Bob” Martinez — Florida’s former governor.

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Bucs cheerleaders.

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Mayor Bob (thanks for standing up to the pirates!)

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Conservative radio host (and Rough Rider) Bill Bunkley.

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Scariest pirate of the day (and my favorite pic).

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Me and all my girls with Mayor Bob. Thanks for the invite Mr. Mayor!

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Tampa City Councilman Charlie Miranda.

Read the rest of this entry »

The District 13 race: Local boy vs. machine-backed outsider

January 25th, 2014

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, January 25, 2014

On Wednesday, I sat down for lunch with David Jolly. Despite his jeans and untucked button-down shirt, he looks like a congressman. He has a low-key and modest demeanor, but his personal style doesn’t make him a slouch. Although no freshman member of Congress from Pinellas County (or Hillsborough, for that matter) could fill Bill Young’s shoes, Jolly is the most qualified and prepared to hit the ground running.

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Photo: Sink and Jolly. (campaign photos)

For her part, Alex Sink, the hand-selected candidate of Democratic Party leaders in Washington, looks good on paper (other than she’s not from the district), but as a campaigner, she’s more awkward than Miley Cyrus teaching an etiquette class. The party bosses must have forgotten Sink’s lackluster personality is why Rick Scott is governor. What they didn’t forget was Read the rest of this entry »

Waiting anxiously (snicker) for a new ‘Flori-duh’ lieutenant governor

January 14th, 2014

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, January 14, 2014

The best-kept secret in Tallahassee that is of zero consequence to Florida is who will Gov. Rick Scott select to be his lieutenant governor (and when will he do it).

For a guy who has built his entire political purpose around “jobs,” this is one job he can’t seem to fill. And who can blame him? The position is largely ceremonial, having only one constitutionally delegated power — to succeed the governor in the event of his death, resignation or incapacitation.

Rick_Scott_Off

Photo: Governor Rick Scott.

Any politician with the slightest yearning for a political future would take a pass if offered the opportunity to serve as lieutenant governor. In modern times, the lieutenant governor from Florida has never gone on to higher elective office.

This doesn’t keep Tallahassee insiders and political pundits from debating over which demographic group (women, blacks, Hispanics) Scott needs the most help with in his re-election campaign — and speculating whom he will pick to fill the biggest electoral demographic void. This is complete bunk, of course, because with the exception of the newly-minted lieutenant governor’s immediate family, pretty much no one is going to vote for Scott just because his lieutenant governor is black, or female or Hispanic.

Even though Read the rest of this entry »

Scott narrows field for lieutenant governor to two

January 13th, 2014

By Chris Ingram

Sources close to Governor Rick Scott tell me that Scott has narrowed the field of potential appointees to fill the lieutenant governor position to just two people: Hillsborough County Commissioner/former state representative Sandra Murman and Miami-Dade property appraiser/former state representative Carlos Lopez-Cantera.

The position has been vacant for ten months following the resignation of former LG Jennifer Carol. Carol resigned after being questioned by law enforcement about her role in an illegal gambling operation. Carol has not been charged with any crime and later said she was “forced” to resign. 

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Lopez-Cantera

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Murman

 

The largely symbolic position carries no constitutional or statutory authority other than as the person who is next-in-line of succession in the event of the governor’s death, resignation or incapacitation. The position comes with an annual salary of $125,000, a small staff, and an office and travel budget of approximately $500,000. The desire to attend lots of funerals of second-tier elected officials and other so-so VIPs, as well as putting on a happy face at Lincoln Day Dinners and various other events as the governor’s surrogate are job requirements.

The post is largely viewed as a political “dead end” as no modern lieutenant governor from Florida has ever gone on to further elective office. 

Commissioner Murman told me this morning that she, Read the rest of this entry »

On pins and needles when an elf is in the house

December 25th, 2013

The Tampa Tribune, Wednseday, December 25, 2013

By Chris Ingram

If you have children younger than 10 years old in your house, chances are you are familiar with the “Elf on the Shelf” — the storybook that comes with a 10-inch elf doll.

dogs

Photo by JPR/Pinterest

The quick summary of the story is: The elf arrives around Thanksgiving and watches the kids in your home. Every night after they go to bed, he flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa whether they have been naughty or nice. Before they awake in the morning, he returns and perches himself in a different place in your house. There is only one rule: The elf cannot be touched.

This is all fine and dandy fun for the kids, but it’s no cake walk for parents who now have an additional task to do at bedtime. Namely: Don’t forget to move the elf to his new spot in the house before going to bed.

A few days ago, we forgot to move our elf. Our twins, Mia and Jordyn (ages 7), woke up to find him where he had been the night before. The girls were concerned that he was sick, but I quickly assured them he hadn’t moved because Casey, their older sister, had been at Girl Scout camp, and he didn’t want to move while Casey was gone.

Another morning, Jordyn accidentally knocked him from his perch, and he fell on the floor. She cried so hard you would have thought the apocalypse was coming. After 20 minutes of tears, I told her that once we all left the house, the elf would reposition himself. She was only certain she hadn’t killed the little guy when she returned home from school to find him off the floor and back in his previous spot.

Apparently near-elf death is not a phenomenon unique to my house.

My friend Alexis told me her husband brought their kids home one day only to find their elf’s head (Click here to read the full column in today’s Tampa Tribune).

 

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

Please feel free to submit a comment on our blogs. By posting a comment you acknowledge reading and following the terms and conditions of posting found here. You may also submit a comment by e-mail. If you e-mail a comment you consent to your comment and name being posted on the Irreverent View website. If you wish to remain completely anonymous, please state so in your e-mail.

Ideological opposites set a good example

December 20th, 2013

By Chris Ingram

Earlier this week, Kevin Beckner and Tim Euler were inducted into the Rotary Club of Tampa. I was proud to have sponsored both of them as members of the Tampa club, which celebrates its centennial anniversary next year as part of the international civic organization.

Kevin Beckner is a Hillsborough County Commissioner, a Democrat, and the county’s only openly gay elected official. He had spoken at the club earlier in the year and was interested in Rotary, so I invited him to come back as my guest and consider joining.

Tim Euler is the new Head of School at Cambridge Christian School in Tampa, where my girls are students. Tim is an unapologetic Christian conservative and a Republican. Tim moved to Tampa from Orlando over the summer, and we developed a friendship; as with Kevin, I asked him to be my guest at Rotary.

Kevin and I scheduled the day for him to attend his first meeting as my guest weeks in advance of the actual date. I had all but forgotten which day it was when I invited Tim to attend as my guest the same day. When I realized they were coming on the same day, a slight panic set it.

Panic because I wasn’t sure how it was going to go over with these two ideological polar opposites sitting together at the meeting. I considered telling one of them a little white lie to keep him from coming to the meeting on the same day as the other.

I decided to Read the rest of this entry »

Hillsborough schools getting it right by changing with the times

December 10th, 2013

By Chris Ingram

Hillsborough County residents pay more in taxes to fund the county’s school system, which has a budget of $2.8 billion, than they do to run every other department or agency in the county combined.

The Hillsborough school system is the largest employer in the county, with more than 25,000 employees, of which nearly 16,000 are teachers. The system is the third largest in Florida and the ninth largest in the country with over 202,000 students (for comparison, the city of Tampa has about 350,000 residents).

Of those students, nearly 60 percent are eligible for free and reduced lunches. At last count, there were 168 languages spoken by students attending the county’s schools, which has a graduation rate of 82 percent.

The challenges of the Hillsborough school district are immense. The number of students, and the diversity of the population, adds to the enormity of those challenges.

While the district is frequently in the news for what goes wrong at its schools, the district deserves Read the rest of this entry »

Cambridge Christian School 2nd-grade performance of “Let my light shine” written by 2nd-grader Casey Ingram, score by Belinda Womack.

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