Sue Carlton, Columnist

Sue Carlton


My dad always said the Carltons were thieves and cattle rustlers run out of Georgia, which makes me a bona fide Floridian going back generations. I grew up in Miami and landed in Tampa, a town that said “bland” to the world but turned out anything but. I live in an old bungalow in an old neighborhood with my husband and a very enthusiastic dog. I’ve covered everything - crime, courts, the homeless. I’ve come to love this place of outrages and injustices, history and culture, Deep South and café con leche, downtown growing up and a parade of political characters let’s just call interesting. And lucky me, I get to write about all of it three days a week.

Guns. It's who we are now.

Students are brought out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High after the shooting. Is this our new reality? (Getty Images 2018)
Another school shooting, this time in Colorado, and we barely notice. Sue Carlton says it's who we've become on guns.

No charges for the pirate a woman said groped her at Gasparilla. What does it say about Tampa?

A woman alleged she was groped at Gasparilla, sparking an investigation that ended without charges. But what does it say about Tampa? [ LUIS SANTANA   |   Times (2019)]
A woman says a pirate yanked down her shirt and ink-stamped her. An investigation ended in no charges. Sue Carlton says it’s a tale of today's Gasparilla.

Sapping the life out of Amendment 4 was not what Florida voted for

The citizens of Florida said felons who have done their time should be able to vote in the name of fairness. Your Legislature decided it knows better. [TIMES (2019)]
In November nearly two-thirds of Florida voters said yes to restoring voting rights to felons. Republican lawmakers just neutered it.

Lawmakers couldn't care less what you want for your city

A gull carries a plastic straw on Clearwater Beach. And your lawmakers in Tallahassee are apparently okay with this. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times] (2018)]
Florida lawmakers just banned cities from banning plastic straws for five years. So much for home rule.

Texting and driving? Pull us over, please

When it comes to texting and driving in Florida, we need nannying. [Photo from Star Tribune]
Who cares if Florida is a Nanny State if we make texting drivers stop?