Friday, August 26, 2011

Bob Buckhorn's New Whip

Civil asset forfeiture is the practice wherein law enforcement and the government at large take possession of property seized during illegal activities (or allegedly legal activities; remember that whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing?).

If you get arrested, you may get your day in court and found not guilty, but don't count on using your stuff. That's for the important guys like Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn, whose pillaging would make the Vikings blush:

Mayor Bob Buckhorn's city vehicle, a jet black GMC Yukon Denali with tinted windows, was seized from a man charged last month with sex trafficking, sexual battery and forcing someone to become a prostitute.


Tampa police seized the SUV on Sept. 28 during their investigation. In addition to transporting prostitutes and the proceeds of prostitution, the SUV was purchased from proceeds of prostitution, police maintain in court documents. In a letter, Fox denied that, saying a cousin's husband bought the SUV at a Clearwater car auction.

Buckhorn pulled the gas guzzler from the department's forfeiture fleet in April, the same month he took office. It has about 105,000 miles on its odometer and averages about 14 miles per gallon.

Fox sounds like a creep, but here in America we have a right to trial. Legally speaking, the mayor is driving a vehicle taken from an innocent man. But rest assured that Buckhorn had good reasons for picking this treat out of TPD's stable:

"The reason I drive it – number one is because I have a family. I have young kids who travel with me a lot and I need a car that's safe," Buckhorn said. "Secondarily, as you can see we often travel with staff and we get a lot of work done while we're traveling. It's easy to do work in a larger car. Thirdly, in the event of a hurricane I need a vehicle that can get though high water, get through debris, get me to a zone where we can take care of business."

Would that we could all get a car from our job to jump puddles and haul the kids around.

It's nice to talk a tough game about law and order, but I hope we all can admit the horrible incentives posed by government executives using the goodies taken from citizens who have yet to be proven guilty in a court of law.


  1. I don't agree with forfeiture at all, but it seems to me that if anyone should receive the proceeds, it should be used for restitution to the victims ( after conviction). Did this guy sexually abuse the mayor?

  2. Sounds more like the alleged criminal is getting f****d by the good Mayor.

  3. What form of communication will be required for government thugs to comprehend that this kind of behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated?

  4. What a piece of shit this mayor is. 1) He's teaching his kids it's OK to steal if you work for the govt. 2) "...we get a lot of work done while we're traveling". Govt employees work? That's an oxymoron. More likely travelling from a bar to a bordello. 3) The only vehicle he'll need in a hurricane is the one that flies out a couple of hours before it hits.

  5. The saddest thing is that he will probably get reelected

  6. @JdL: "What form of communication will be required for government thugs to comprehend that this kind of behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated?"

    Torches and pitchforks.

  7. Am I the only one who can't find the mayor's political party mentioned in the TBO.COM article?

  8. This is the Same Mayor who just requested $50 Million for the RNC Convention which is to be held in Tampa in 2012. $30 Million for personnel expenses and housing for 4000 additional black booted thugs, and $20 Million for Tear Gas and Gas Masks for the 4000 Black Booted thugs to protect the GOP Convention Candidates so they can chose their Presidential Political Thug to run the country into the ground faster. Got to love this country. My Question is what happened to the last $20 Million in tear gas and gas masks from the last GOP convention? Why can't they just transfer that to the next host city? Bend over Tax payers...

  9. @ Anon 5:50 am - I think Buckhorn is using the media attention of Hurricane Irene to make that excuse go over. Is he personally going to be rescuing people??

  10. Much to my dismay average voter's response to this is probably along the lines of "hey, it's not my car" why should I care. Besides, if the cops say the owner of the car is guilty then obviously he's guilty. Besides they've got more important considerations to worry about. Such as how are the Buc's gonna do this year?

  11. He wants a safe car that seats a lot of people? Then he should be driving a minivan, not an SUV. Google "Are S.U.V.'s More Dangerous Than Minivans". But this is probably less about safety and convenience than riding around looking like a badass.

  12. There is so much ignorance on this blog.

    1. The Mayor saved tax dollars by taking a forfeiture. In Tampa, every other Mayor has leased an expensive vehicle on YOUR dime. The last Mayor had 2 (her security followed her in a separate car).

    2. Also, it is standard for Mayors to get federal dollars for the convention. A city like Tampa could not possibly foot the RNC security bill.

  13. "Would that we could all get a car from our job to jump puddles and haul the kids around."

    Don't quit your day job, Matt. You clearly know very little about municipal government and even less about proofreading. Anon 9:39 is the only commenter with sense.

    Anon 10:34 , you can't find his party because it's not relevant and he was elected in a nonpartisan race. When you get down to the municipal level, party means very little. There is no republican or democratic way to take out the trash. The reason so many like yourself don't pay attention enough to local government is because it is impossible for you to comprehend policy and decisions without looking at it through a strong idealogical lens and having some irritating talk radio host tell you how to feel.

  14. Anon 9:39, I think the issue here is that the vehicle taken was from one who, at this point, is only charged with a crime and has not been convicted. So, technically, his pimp vehicle still belongs to himself. The mayor is driving a vehicle of a man who is still innocent in the eyes of the law. Feel me?

  15. Anonymous @ August 28, 2011 9:39 AM

    You're right, all mayors should save their constituents money by stealing their cars. How silly for anyone to object.


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