A cosy world of money, growth, power, and greed
Updated: Oct 23
Sarasota is a tight little world of big money flowing from developers who are transforming our environment, our open lands, our air, waters and beaches -- into hard cash in their own pockets. Some of that cash flows to candidates they groom to vote for their many projects.
What track is Mike Moran on?
Moran . . .
- voted for Benderson.
- voted for Pat Neal.
- persuaded the Planning Commission to approve Carlos Beruff's houses near a possibly toxic dump.
- voted for Gabbert's giant open air debris demolition plant next to the Celery Fields.
Moran even voted against protecting a small rural area in East County that wanted to "Keep the Country . . . Country."
His "Florida Country" PAC keeps growing - it's now at $185,000.
Is this the track we want Sarasota County to be on?
When the 170-year-old East Sarasota rural area called Old Miakka came up with that slogan, Moran's backers created a new Political Action Committee - a slush fund they call "Florida Country."
The aim is to confuse voters. Mike Hutchinson, a Republican from Old Miakka, ran against Moran because he actually wants to keep the Country . . . Country. Hutchinson lost the primary by a few hundred votes.
The Florida Country PAC's treasurer is Eric Robinson. Robinson is called "PAC-MAN" because he manages scores of PACs that move hefty bushels of anonymous money into the campaigns of those candidates developers desperately want to win.
Just a few of the developers dumping money into Robinson's PACs:
PACs are supposed to remain at arm's length from candidates and their campaigns.
However, while managing the Florida Country PAC, Robinson happens also to be the treasurer of gun-loving Mike Moran's campaign for re-election to the Board of Sarasota County Commissioners.
Robinson also manages the campaign for another Commissioner running for re-election, Nancy Detert:
Detert has several developers and PACs to thank as well:
Here are the PACs listed in Commissioner Detert's campaign finance report:
Ludicrously wealthy Sarasota seems to have only one available accountant . . . making for a cosy little world of developers, candidates, pitch men, ad buyers, power brokers and the voters they target.
For some reason, the local press hasn't bothered scrutinizing this tight little world. Maybe it should.
This close-knit syndicate controls what happens in Sarasota County -- what gets built, what lands get rezoned, who gets rich, who gets dumped on.
As we citizens found when we almost lost the Celery Fields to a dump.
When more than 65 citizens came to the Board to plead for the protection of the Celery Fields bird habitat, this was Mr. MORAN's response: