Wednesday, September 25, 2019

RECORD EDITORIAL | Pretty pricey golf in Tallahassee. (SAR)

Another gnarly good editorial by Jim Sutton in the St. Augustine Record. More on the scandal here.    

St. Augustine Record editorial agrees: Florida Governor RONALD DION DeSANTIS (R-KOCH INDUSTRIES) is acting like a sleazy slimy sex worker, with a posted list of times and prices for louche lobbyists. What a lickspittle. 

RONALD DION DeSANTIS, Florida Governor, links money with access and appointments. 

His political committee planned to link in-person meetings, golf games and dinners to contributions, as the Tampa Bay Times reports.  Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell commented, "I imagine sex workers have similar rate structures."  That's a subtle way of calling the Boy Governor a whore.

And in this story from the Herald-Tribune, below the photo, his appointments are of major donors.

Claiming to be a religious Roman Catholic, Florida Republican Governor RONALDS DeSANTIS stiffs the poor, refusing to block efforts to hurt affordable housing, while refusing to help efforts to expand Medicaid and seeking to inflict a poll tax on the poor who have served their time for felonies.

Sinister fellow. 

We in St. Augustine and St. Johns County barely got to know this phony hobbledehoy in our employ since he was elected to Congress in 2012, an alien implant from the Koch Brothers. DeSantis treated one local official rudely, bailing on a scheduled appointment and breezing past him in his House office, presumably on his way to one of his more than 40 faux Fox News appearances, which attracted the endorsement of fellow phony DONALD JOHN TRUMP.

As they say in East Tennessee, Flori-DUH's Governor RONALD DION DeSANTIS "bears watching'." He rather reminds me of Tennessee Governor LEONARD RAY BLANTON, convicted of selling liquor licenses, who issued paid pardons to murderers and was removed early, with Lamar Alexander sworn in as Governor on January 18, 1979 (I was in the Nashville Tennessean newsroom that day, as a Georgetown University undergraduate investigating TVA coal procurement criminality on a Fund for Investigative Journalism grant). Watch this guy.

In United States v. Blanton, 700 F. 2d 298 (6th Cir. 1983), 719 F.2d 815 (6th Cir.1983)(en banc) cert. denied, 465 U.S. 1099, 104 S.Ct. 1592, 80 L.Ed.2d 125 (1984). \Governor LEONARD RAY BLANTON, corrupt Democratic Governor of the State of Tennessee, and his staff, were held to account for selling liquor licenses.

In the words of Patrick Henry in the Virginia House of  Burgesses in 1765, RONALD DION DeSANTIS "can profit by their example."

Any self-respecting FBI agent would seek to run an undercover op on DeSantis under RICO and Hobbs Act.

Harrumph to this hypocrite!

RECORD EDITORIAL | Pretty pricey golf in Tallahassee
Posted at 2:59 PM
St. Augustine Record
September 25, 2019.

If you think a round of golf is getting overpriced, don’t invite Gov. Ron DeSantis to join your foursome. The Tampa Bay Times just broke a story earlier in the week gleaned from internal documents from his political committee. The memorandum was passed around his political team Sept. 12. It was a shopping list for certain extracurricular activities with DeSantis.

If you’re looking for to play with a foursome and the Governor, the price is $25,000; $100,000 if you want to play mano a mano. A dinner event with DeSantis is priced at $150,000. It’s $250,000 for an hour-long “intimate and high-dollar” gathering with him.

DeSantis told the press at a regular weekly meeting this week he “had never seen that memo.” And that may well be true. But it’s unlikely the Governor OK’s every memo sent out by all the various departments under him. So he may never have “seen” the memo.

His political chairwoman Susan Wiles told his chief of staff Shane Strum that DeSantis and his first lady “approved’ the fundraising strategy on Jan. 20, according to one of the memos. Wiles added his wife, Casey, planned to “be an integral part” of the plan.

According to the Times story, Wiles also wrote: “This timeframe is relatively aggressive because it is the governor’s desire to fundraise and maintain a high political profile at all times — inside and outside of Florida.

That’s interesting. Wiles was brought on board to help float what was a sinking campaign prior to President Donald Trump’s endorsement of DeSantis. She also chaired his transition team after the election.

She was fired this week.

DeSantis has downplayed his connections to the Trump team. But Wiles was dumped from Trump’s re-election team this week as well. In addition, she was a high-profile lobbyist for one of the top lobbying firms in the state, Ballard & Partners. This week, she isn’t anymore.

After Trump’s election, the firm headquarters was moved from Coral Gables to Washington where it has now become what Politico termed in an April 2018 story, “The most powerful lobbyist in Trump’s Washington.”

Politico posted a headline titled “How’ Trump’s ‘field general’ got knee-capped.”

A top Republican fundraiser Nancy Watkins sent a letter to the state Division of Elections detailing how her husband, Robert Watkins, was replacing Wiles as the fundraising head of “Friends of Ron DeSantis” PAC. That was days ahead of the current furor and Wiles’ departure.

It is not clear whether the golfing for dollars plan was ever implemented.

But the memos also disclosed that DeSantis golfed with three lobbyists for Duke Energy in February of 2019, after the utility gave his PAC $100,000 — probably a coincidence.

But the whole story only underscores how fundraising trumps decent governance in Tallahassee and beyond.

Pay for play isn’t the way governments should be run. It’s not for the people, it’s for the powerful. And let’s just call that a triple bogey —or a “hole in none” for we spectators.

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