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Winners & Losers 9/29/11

WINNERS

A.A. DIXON CHARTER SCHOOL FOR EXCELLENCE The parents, teachers and students of the second-year charter school got the miracle for which they prayed. For the first time in his tenure, Superintendent of Schools Malcolm Thomas changed his mind on an issue involving the African-American community. The school will be allowed to operate for another year.

DENIS MCKINNON The chairman of the Escambia County Tourist Development Commission refused to bow to pressure from the daily newspaper’s editorial board, which was calling for his resignation. The issue was the hotel owners meeting with McKinnon over bed taxes and the governance of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Tapes of prior TDC meetings in May and March, transcriptions of which were posted on ricksblog.biz, show the chairman had informed the board of the meetings.

HERMAN CAIN The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza scored an upset victory in the recent GOP straw poll held at the Presidency 5 conference in Orlando. Cain beat handily both Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. This is a big victory for a candidate who, up to now, has drawn little media attention and placed fifth or sixth in many national polls.

LOSERS

JEFF BERGOSH The Escambia School Board member says he supports charter schools, just not A.A. Dixon. Bergosh didn’t care that the students had been low performers in his school before they enrolled in Dixon. He refused to acknowledge that the school had completely changed leadership and that locals had taken over the governance of the school that was started by Ronald Renna of Clearwater, Fla. What he didn’t count on was the white community, many of them Republicans, supporting the school getting a second chance.

VEOLIA TRANSPORTATION The French company manages Escambia County Area Transit. Its workers staged a one-day strike over working conditions and unfair labor practices. Local union officials said that their members have filed a record number of grievances this past year that range from trying to fire workers on maternity leave to not paying for holidays. Escambia County isn’t the only trouble spot for Veolia. Workers in Phoenix are reportedly headed for a strike after 15 months of negotiations failed to yield a new contract with the union.

MICHELLE BACHMANN Florida Republicans aren’t impressed by pretty faces. How else can you explain the election of Gov. Rick Scott? Bachmann barely registered in the Florida straw poll held in Orlando.