Hillsborough County’s “Moral Courage Award,” the well-intentioned brainchild of Jan Platt, has been around since the early 1990s. It’s designed to recognize those who manifest moral courage and high ethical standards.
It conjures up Atticus Finch-like images and Silkwoodian scenarios.
Instead, we get a mixed bag of activists and agenda drivers, some of whom would be more appropriately eligible for a “Chutzpah Award,” a “Self-Interest Award” or an “Up Yours Award.” Among this year’s nominees are strip club owner Joe Redner and Speak Up Tampa Bay, the non-profit group in charge of a lot of bad public access television. Last year’s nominees included grandstanding Commissioner Ronda Storms, who challenged Speak Up, and then-Mayor Dick Greco, who took a trip to Cuba.
There’s no taking the politics — or the silliness out of it. But some of the nominations, such as Redner’s, are demeaning.
1)Call it a better ideal than idea. Then call it off.
2)Don’t give it out every year.
3)Add Luke Lirot, White Chocolate, Tony Daniel and Don Connolly to this year’s nominees.