O’Brien applauds young voters, ignores black voters

September 7, 2006

coffeePNJ columnist – and the man that Marty Donovan said was the only journalist he trusted – Mark O’Brien gave his observations on the Sept. 5th election (Mark O’Brien: Money, young people ). He sees that the public wanting change, the young vote and money as the factors as to why the park passed and Grover Robinson IV won.

O’Brien mourns the loss of Banjanin without mentioning  how much the worse the county has become under his “leadership” the past 12 years. He completely ignores how the black community overwhelmingly voted in favor of the park and how diverse the pro-park supporters were compared to the Save Our City followers.

But Mark wouldn’t know because he wasn’t at the election night party that the Friends of the Waterfront Park hosted at Seville Quarter on Tuesday – the only one of the top PNJ writers/editors not there. The Seville Qtr crowd was black, white, young, old, established community leaders, average Joes, moms with their young children, and people with physical disabilities. Mark, the park won because of its widespread support in the community.

Was money a factor? Yes, it always helps. However, in the 2004, the candidates who raised the most campaign dollars lost most of the county and city races. Raising the most money doesn’t work unless your candidate or your cause wins over the voter.

Grover beat Tom because he built a network of friends and supporters that worked for months to help win  election. He was the better candidate for a county that’s the poorest and most unhealthy in the state.

I do agree it was time for a change. Mark, you failed to recognize this in the weeks leading up to the election and backed the wrong horses in these races.


5 Responses to “O’Brien applauds young voters, ignores black voters”

  1. Richard Walker Says:

    Time for a change? Hardly. We’ve just restocked the lake with the status quo that got us in the mess to begin with and tossed out one of the honest guys who stood up for the voter. The political cycle is 1/ sell lies, 2/ vote for lies, 3/ time passes, 4/ whining begins. I’ll have some coffee while I’m waiting.


    Why don’t you have some cheese. It’ll go better with the whine.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Who did Tom Banjanin stand up for? Not the poor, not the uninsured (public health budget is one of the least in the state), not for affordable housing.

    He says he kept property taxes down – no one is paying less or the same taxes that they were 12 years ago when he took office. Keeping the millage rate the same is not the same as no tax increases.

    Tom fiddled while Escambia County kept falling behind its neighboring counties.

  4. Dean Says:

    I have nothing personal against Tom Banjanin and have spoken with him many times. He is a nice and personable guy…God bless him and I wish the best for him and his family. However, I know Grover well, have been through LEAP with him, consider him a good friend and knew the character and compassion of his parents. I worked on Grover’s campaign and I was at the funeral of his parents when it looked like all of Pensacola turned out. I feel that I can speak intelligently about Grover and I know that he is right for our county at this time. He has good ideas, he will make decisions and he seeks input…he will listen…he is a leader. Will people ever stop throwing rocks at innocent folks? …it was done to Stephen (the Bible) and it still continues. I would have to admit I can be guilty of it when I don’t get my way and need to work on it myself. But can we try to be better people at least? You can be assured that Grover will do our county proud and will look out for his district and the entire county. God bless him, his family, Tom and his family and all of our leaders. They have a lot to shoulder.

    By the way, in answer to Post 1 above…please understand that if we feel that way how will we ever see a future worth working toward? There are still good people trying to do the right thing, believe me.

  5. NAP Says:

    Mark O’Brien put a stake in the heart of Tom Banjanin in his column before the election. How can anyone honestly say, “O’Brien mourns the loss of Banjanin”? Richard Walker’s comment, “We’ve just restocked the lake with the status quo that got us in the mess to begin with and tossed out one of the honest guys who stood up for the voter” is, unfortunately true. If you wanted someone new or young, you should have elected a person with progressive ideas, not someone who wants to take Pensacola back 30 years to the growth policies of south Florida. Pensacola needs young people of vision not those who want to follow in the footsteps of failed urban sprawl.

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