Thursday, December 17, 2015

Greater Tampa Chamber of Cronyism

Robert Triguax of the Times published a puff piece about the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce turning 130 years old. New leadership, some new companies, blah blah, aren't they great. But he accidentally let the cat out of the bag.
If only Tampa could find a way forward on improving a transportation system. It remains a controversial topic that shows little sign of positive momentum.
That is true, as we've documented repeatedly here at, starting with Beth Leytham, (a former VP of Public Affairs for GTCC) who states on her web site "[w]hether it’s working behind the scenes with decision-makers or mounting a grass-roots campaign to rally behind your cause – we can help you affect the process, not become a victim of it."

Most of that "little sign of positive momentum" is due to the cronies lined up at the trough for the relatively small beans of the Go Hillsborough initiative, exhibit one in cronyism run amok. Just wait for the real thing, and the cronies will really be looking to gorge on the public dime.

The Tampa GTCC reluctantly endorsed the plan, despite some reporting by La Gaceta of internal battles (which we've confirmed independently as well, but has not been reported in other media which required a small group of county and business leaders to cut a deal to gain the endorsement). The GTCC has been laying low given all the bad news behind the plan. They've not even bothered to publish a press release on their web site, except perhaps this broken link for the Chamber's letter to Chairman Ritch Workman in regards to Local Flexibility for Transportation Funding Options. Apparently GTCC is hoping for the dust to settle before they line up at the trough.

Then this.
[Guy] King [III, incoming GTCC leader], a longtime Tampa business observer, recalls the days when a small group of city/county leaders could sit down and cut a deal to move forward. No muss. No fuss (at least most of the time).
Triguax moves on... but he buried the lede.

"A small group of city/county leaders could sit down and cut a deal."

Where were the rest of us when those deals were cut?

The GTCC got theirs. Did you get yours?

The incoming leader of the GTCC is missing the days of cronyism and corruption. The old business as usual, cutting deals in private meetings that you and I were unaware of, but deals we get to pay for. What's not to like about a touch of crony nostalgia of the good old days?

Got that?

If you're looking for someone to blame for the way things have been in Hillsborough County, start with the connected, the self appointed elite who know better what's good for you, and how to leverage their power and money "working behind the scenes" with our politicians to get you to pay for their "deals".

As Trigaux's article confirms, many in the media know about it, yet continue to promote and enable the cronyism.

They Greater Tampa Chamber of Cronyism should live in the real world with the rest of us.

With more muss.

With more fuss.

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