Chris Paradies’ opponent in the Republican primary is 16-year career county commissioner. Already, he has skirted term limits once, by switching from a district seat to a county wide seat on the BOCC. Now, he's term limited again, and is trying to switch back to the district 2 seat. That's a first for any county commissioner.
Term limits are popular with the public, but my opponent is exploiting a technicality to avoid the will of the people. This needs to stop!
Term limits serve a useful function, providing an opportunity for ordinary citizens to serve in local government. Otherwise, experience shows that there is a corrosive influence of paid professional politicians and their big donors with business before government. This creates a culture of corruption, which makes a mockery of elections and erodes trust in government.
My opponent has raised more than $450,000, more than any other candidate for a Hillsborough County Commission race. This money has been raised largely from developers, contractors and big corporate interests with business impacted by decisions made by county government.
A 16-year career county commissioner like "Tax-Happy" Hagan, with his deep pocket corporate cronies, can skirt campaign finance laws and outspend any challenger, getting elected and reelected again and again. Enough is enough! "We the people" want our public servants to serve the public, not their big donors and corporate cronies.
My opponent in the Republican primary will hide his secret deals, "forget" to use his county phone for texts and county email, and dodge questions on taxpayer subsidies and incentives benefiting his big corporate cronies and high rolling donors.
Does Hagan think he can push for a transit tax increase referendum, without any consequences, after promising voters in district 2 that he wouldn't support tax increases? Yes, he does!
Higher taxes provide a bigger budget for more and bigger incentives and subsidies, more contracts and more taxpayer paid "infrastructure" increasing profits for professional politicians big-money donors and corporate cronies! You've probably heard this referred to as "corporate welfare." Handouts to big corporations divert taxpayer dollars that should be providing essential services and are redirected, instead, to the pockets of wealthy donors and political "friends"! It's wrong, but it won't stop until "we the people" stand up and elect candidates that put our priorities first. We need to elect public servants, not career county commissioners.
"Tax-Happy" Hagan promised voters in district 2 that he wouldn't vote for a tax increase, but then he voted with those seeking a tax increase referendum in 2010 and 2016. His close political adviser was paid $187,000 by taxpayers, on a no bid contract, in an effort to convince taxpayers to vote for Hagan's sales tax increase referendum. "Tax-Happy" Hagan can't be trusted.
I'm fighting for the forgotten taxpayer and want to implement cost savings like those identified last year by a unanimous vote of citizen volunteers that looked at the 2017 budget for savings and reportedly found and recommended $3 Billion of savings (over a 30 year period), without any cuts to services. Road improvements are needed now and have been delayed for years, without any justification. Only after voting down Hagan's tax increase did the BOCC find money in the budget to start fixing roads. What took them so long! Texts and emails suggest that it was all part of the plan of one of Hagan's closest political advisers.
There’s a clear choice for Republicans in this August's Republican primary. Vote for Chris Paradies, a West Point graduate and veteran, a leader with a servant's heart. He's fighting for the forgotten taxpayer and standing up to special interests that divert your tax dollars to line their pockets. It's time for Hillsborough County to embrace innovation to improve the lives of Hillsborough County residents and reduce costs of public services.
I'll bring innovative thinking to solve problems, find savings in the county budget, and redirect those savings to fix roads and address your priorities!
My opponent is a 16-year career county commissioner and conducts secret deals with wealthy donors for taxpayer subsidies. He lashed out at ordinary citizens requesting an investigation of his ethics, based on disturbing texts and emails publicly exposed by Noah Pransky and 10Investigates. While no probable cause could be found by an investigator after more than a year, Hagan's own admitted failures to safeguard public records by failing to use his county phone for official business raised serious questions about his secretive, behind-the-scenes deals, circumventing the spirit of Florida's sunshine laws. His lawyer continued to spend taxpayer money even when it was clear that there was no legitimate basis for claiming reimbursement of legal fees against ordinary, concerned citizens that filed the ethics complaint against him.
Ken "Tax-Happy" Hagan dodges ethics questions. He has forgotten about the taxpayer. He's lashing out at ordinary citizens for bringing up ethics charges against him. It's time for a change!
Now, Hagan has been a commissioner for nearly 16 years and should know how to use his county phone for official business! Yet, he's been caught using his personal phone during a county commission meeting. Texts coordinating with a close political consultant discussion county business during a county commission meeting have been uncovered!
Why can't a career politician comply with the law after repeatedly coming up short?
Professional politicians have discovered the "science" to get elected. This is what "Tax-Happy" Hagan said when asked if he was thinking about running for mayor in Tampa:
As a scientist, myself, I say that his "scientific method" is less about science and more about "politics as usual."
Step #1: Raise large amounts of cash from big donors that have business before government.
Check! Tax-Happy Hagan is raising record amounts of cash from his big developer buddies and big corporate donors. The owner of the Rays gave him $1000 while Hagan was secretly "negotiating" with the Rays on behalf of taxpayers. Unbelievable? Read it here.
Noah Pransky, WTSP 3:14 PM. EDT August 24, 2017
TAMPA, Florida - The Hillsborough County commissioner leading the charge to move the Tampa Bay Rays to Tampa has collected a campaign check from high-profile donors who are directly benefiting from the stadium efforts...
Step #2: Conduct polling and memorize what you are told that the voters want to hear.
Check! We've got reports from supporters that voters have already received calls from a pollster asking about the race and support for public funding for a stadium. Tax-Happy Hagan is already running to the right as a "conservative" and for "tax cuts". Wow! That won't pass the laugh test. Tax-Happy Hagan was pushing for his transit tax increase in 2010, setting up for another try in 2014, until the AECOM study said it couldn't be done, trying again in 2016, and reportedly is planning for taxpayer funding of a sports stadium in his secret talks with the Rays just this year! He's raised user fees, airport taxes, taxes for lighting, waste removal, hotels, rental cars.... And still he says that the county budget needs more: "...limitations on funding options is beginning to set into this board.... The reality is the money isn't there." -- Tax-Happy Hagan
Tax-Happy Hagan wants to increase sales taxes. So, he went one-by-one through other options for meeting the county's backlog of transportation needs that have gone unaddressed during his 15 years on the commission. What does a professional politician mean, when he says...?
This is Tax-Happy Hagan's "professional politician" way of saying that other commissioners should get behind his push for a referendum to increase sales taxes by billions of dollars. Now, Commissioner Hagan says he's against "light rail," even though the plan he voted for would have allowed the Mayor of Tampa to elect to build light rail in Tampa. The Mayor has already committed to building it. Apparently, Tax-Happy Hagan thinks we're fools. If Mayor Bob says he wants light rail and your plan allows him to elect to build light rail, commissioner, then you're voting to spend tax dollars on light rail. Your tax, at least in part, will be raised from the increased sales taxes paid by taxpayers in unincorporated Hillsborough County! Also, since operating light rail requires massive subsidies, these same taxpayers will continue to be taxed to operate your train. Don't insult the voters!
By the way, the commission failed to adopt the cuts recommended unanimously by every member of its Citizens Advisory Council, which would have added up to more than $3 billion over 30 years. So, why the tax increase!
Chris Paradies -- listening to voters
TAMPA — A 2014 study by AECOM dismayed advocates of a plan to put a tax-increase-for-transportation referendum on an upcoming ballot. The study called for an increase in ridership on HART buses, first. Then, ridership dropped by 10% in 2016...
In a Thursday night meeting, Ken Hagan, Les Miller and Kevin Beckner voted for a referendum to increase sales taxes in Hillsborough County. The measure failed when the other 4 Republican commissioners voted against the tax increase.
Step #3: Convince voters to stay home by painting yourself as the inevitable candidate.
Uhhh-Ohhh... Chris Paradies and the Paradies team have entered the race and are starting to pick up momentum. Taxpayers are tired of being lied to. Republicans are tired of fake conservatives, fake "Republicans In Name Only" and fake news. Tax-Happy Hagan's "political science" didn't count on "we the people" getting active and involved. Donations are coming in from people who have never donated in Hillsborough County politics. Support is growing for veteran, non-politician, innovator Chris Paradies.
Step #4: Paint the other candidates as inexperienced and not capable of winning.
No check... More trouble for Tax-Happy Hagan... Chris Paradies is a West Point graduate, veteran, earned a Ph.D. in science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a top-tier engineering school, and his law degree summa cum laude from Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, served as a practice leader and shareholder at Fowler White, one of Tampa's oldest and largest law firms, and now runs his own law firm. He's helped hundreds of small businesses get started and grow in value, businesses that will provide the jobs of the future for our kids and grandkids, right here in Hillsborough County. He's put together a strong team of seasoned volunteers to take on Hagan's professional political machine. Prior to running for County Commission in District 2, Chris has been doing what he could to help make Hillsborough County and our region a better place to do business and raise our families. He's received recognition and awards as a volunteer and economic development leader by helping businesses, especially small businesses, to grow good jobs that give our kids opportunities right here. Hillsborough County and the entire Tampa Bay region have an historic opportunity to be the leader in entrepreneurship for the entire Southeast, competing with Atlanta and Research Triangle Park!
As chairman of the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, which operates the TEC Garage in St. Pete and former vice-chair of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, I've mentored entrepreneurs and helped foster an innovation ecosystem. I want our sons and daughters to be able to stay here, rather than seeking employment far from home, out of necessity. As a small business owner, I know how hard it is to start and grow a business. We can make it easier for our local businesses to invest in our communities by keeping taxes low and spending tax dollars wisely. I want Hillsborough County to adopt the principles of innovation to provide better services, more efficiently. -- Chris Paradies
If you want a good steward of your tax dollars, you've got to support Chris Paradies.
Step #5: After the election, quietly do the opposite of what you said you would do.
BIG Check! Tax-Happy Hagan pushed for tax increases when he said he would cut taxes. Tax-Happy Hagan is secretly "negotiating" for a taxpayer financed stadium in Tampa, and tax increases, when he once said that he did not support taxpayer financing of sports stadiums and would not increase taxes to pay for it. Texts, emails and his own words in public meetings show that he was trying to push through a tax increase referendum in 2016. He voted for a tax increase referendum in 2010 and 2016. He'll try to push it through, again, if he gets elected in district 2.
No more "sweetheart deals," he said, until the owner of the Rays (and who knows who else) offered him big donations. Everyone knows from countless, independent studies by reputable economists that taxpayer subsidies for stadiums don't make sense. There's no return on investment to taxpayers! But you can bet Tax-Happy Hagan is looking for a sly way to slide secret subsidies past home plate, before the taxpayers can find out what is going on. In fact, he's been referring to it as the "Atlanta model". You can't trust a 16-year career county commissioner.
Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Chris Paradies, Republican, for Hillsborough County Commission, District 2
Chris Paradies Campaign, PO Box 340611, Tampa, FL 33694