Monday, June 01, 2015

Boondoggles for Developer Lawyers -- County Paying "Incentives" for Corporate Lawyers to Build Office Buildings -- This is So Wrong!


Former LYDIA CLADEK, INC. Fraudfeasor headquarters

First DOUGLAS NELSON BURNETT, entitled son of the former commanding General of the Florida National Guard, persuaded County Commisisoners to vote him some $38,471 in "incentives" for his St. JOHNS LAW GROUP to alter the former headquarters of a convicted fraudfeasor, LYDIA CLADEK, INC., into a law office. Click here. Not to be outdone, Jacksonville-based BARRY ANSBACHER's law firm has on the June 2, 2015 (tomorrow's) Board of County Commissioners agenda an item providing him a similar incentive ($24,363) for its own new office. Click here

That's sick. People on fixed incomes, or working in retail, or in multiple jobs are subsidizing two corporate law firms with "incentives." That's the definition of "crony capitalism" and "corporate welfare" for the rich. Chances are just one of DOUG BURNETT's shiny suits or play clothes worn to PUBLIX costs more than my entire wardrobe.

The St. JOHNS LAW GROUP resolution passed by BCC in December 14, 2014 assures us that the state incentive statute is to be "liberally construed." That does not mean improvidently or prodigally -- I have a problem giving our money away to developer mouthpieces at a time when SJC BCC wants us to vote them a hefty 16.66% sales tax increase (just a "penny" they say). "A penny saved is a penny earned." Our BCC is foolhardy to subsidize the lives of rich Republican corporate lawyer fat cats with "incentives.

Of course our SJCBCC is 100% Republican, with a noted preference for bashing President Obama while wasting money and looking down their distended nostrils and thumbing their noses at lesser mortals from their exalted dais, looking down at three-minute public speakers a too-short podium that makes speakers feel uncomfortable in front of the five feudal Lords (while giving developer hucksters hours of time).

DOUGLAS NELSON BURNETT's St. JOHNS LAW GROUP law firm represents developers as well as St. Augustine Beach city government and the St. Augustine Airport Authority. He advertised his law firm on the City of St. Augustine Beach with belated approval of SAB Commissioners. His acolyte, JAMES GEORGE WHITEHOUSE, represented 7-ELEVEN in its futile efforts to inflict twelve gasoline pumps at the failing intersection of May and San Marco, by the carousel, Waterworks and Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.

Footnote: both developer law firms have assured St. Johns County Commissioners the average wage will be some $80,000-$95,000/year. Let's make sure of that, and if not, let's organize their employees into a law firm employees union and go on strike if their wages don't match their promises.

Of course, the county has a right to audit the law firms' books to see if the promised wages are being paid. If not, it could cancel the deal.

It kind of reminds me of what Senator Gary Warren Hart once said: "You won't get the government off your back until you get your hands out of its pockets."

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