Friday, November 24, 2017


Daniel Ruth, Times columnist

Daniel Ruth, Times columnist

Daniel Ruth has been scribbling away for four decades as a reporter, film critic, television critic and columnist for the Tampa Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Tampa Bay Times. He also has worked as a radio talk show host as well as an adjunct professor for the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa and Columbia College in Chicago. Daniel is a Peter Lisagor Award recipient for his columns in Chicago and has been honored by the Pinellas County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union with the Irene Miller Vigilance In Journalism Award.

Republican Lawrence McClure has denied any connection with a negative mailing campaign in his successful bid for his party's nomination to the District 58 state House seat. [Times file]

Daniel Ruth: An honest committee name? Floridians for a Greater Steaming Pile of Political Phooey

There’s a great scene in A Man For All Seasons when Sir Thomas More, on trial for refusing to express his loyalty to King Henry VIII, confronts one of his accusers who has just delivered false testimony against him in return for a royal...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Ruth: Florida’s foolishly makes it harder to see nursing home inspections

Florida’s once vaunted reputation as the Sunshine State, a leader in open government, providing the citizenry broad, unfettered access to public meetings and records, is becoming increasingly dreary and overcast with a better than average chance of...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/22/17
Traffic is seen along Interstate 4 in the Champions Gate area near Orlando. The 132-mile road, which stretches from Tampa to Daytona Beach, tops the list  of most dangerous highways since 2010, according to an analysis by EverQuote.   [CHRIS URSO | Times]

Ruth: Would high-speed rail have reduced traffic deaths on I-4?

Ah, just in time for the Thanksgiving travel season, Florida has once again achieved national prominence. We’re No. 1 — with a body bag! Can’t you feel the pride swelling?A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration...
Published: 11/20/17
Brett Talley in 2014. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Matt McClain

Ruth: Don’t wrap this unqualified nominee in a black robe

First as a candidate and then during his transition to the presidency, Donald Trump repeatedly boasted that his administration would be filled to the gills with nothing but the "best people." Now there’s some genuine fake news for you.Or...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Pittsburgh gets idyllic treatment in this photo of its skyline at night. Users and advocates of public transit would find the city idyllic, too, at least compared to Tampa. [Associated Press, 2012]

Daniel Ruth: If you’re the transit boss, fleeing Tampa for Pittsburgh is a no-brainer

Hillsborough County, Florida and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, have almost identical populations of about 1.3 million people. But when it comes to issues such as public transportation the two communities couldn’t be more diametrically opposite from...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/16/17
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 4/23/14-SENATEPREZ-Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, left, Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, speak at the close of the morning Senate session April 23, 2014 at the Capitol in Tallahassee. Negron and Latvala are in the process of seeing who can collect the most votes from their colleagues to become Senate President in 2016.  COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Ruth: Women accusing Latvala of harassment should come forward

It’s been a rough few days for Sen. Jack Latvala, the Clearwater Republican who is also (for the moment, at least) a candidate for governor.A week or so ago, Latvala was a gruff-talking curmudgeon of the Florida Legislature, attempting to...
Published: 11/13/17
Jan Platt, doing some last-minute campaigning here in a 1996 run for Hillsborough County Commission, was defined in part by failure: She ran against Dick Greco and some tall odds in 1995 because she didn't think it was right for anyone to get elected mayor without some sort of opposition. [Times file]

Daniel Ruth: A stickler for propriety and transparency, Jan Platt was more than ‘Commissioner No’

Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Jan Platt, who died a few days ago at 81, will be remembered for many things, most notably as a principled steadfast guardian of the public trust.
Updated one month ago
FILE - This July 26, 2016 file photo shows former head of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile speaking during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Brazile says she considered replacing Hillary Clinton as the partyâ\u0080\u009A\u0080\u0099s presidential nominee with then-Vice President Joe Biden. She makes the revelation in a memoir being released Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. This is according to The Washington Post, which obtained an advance copy of the book. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file) NYPS202

Ruth: Shocked, shocked by Brazile book revelations

Here’s a fast-breaking political bombshell for you.According to a new book by former Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman Donna Brazile, the fix was in last year to scuttle any hope Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had of winning the...
Updated one month ago
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TX - NOVEMBER 06:  Law enforcement officials continue their investigation at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on November 6, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Yesterday a gunman, Devin Patrick Kelly, killed 26 people at the church and wounded 20 others when he opened fire during a Sunday service.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) 775070965

Ruth: Prayers are not enough to stop gun violence

What’s important to keep in mind here is everybody is really, really sorry about the murders of 26 church parishioners in Sutherland Springs, Texas.Everybody is shocked and grief-stricken.We know this because so many public officials...
Updated one month ago
Warehouses occupy the site proposed for a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium in Ybor City. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]

Daniel Ruth: No parking at Rays stadium in Ybor? So what? No, fans either

From all the hub-bub you might well have thought Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan had alighted on a new home for the Tampa Bay Rays that rivaled the Roman Coliseum meets Carnegie Hall meets Augusta National.
Updated one month ago