Friday, April 6

Dude, I Got This Sweet Idea To Get Rich!

Action News Jax finally did something beyond reporting what already happened. That's good news for residents of Jacksonville and very, very bad news for our mayor and everyone else looking to get rich off the sale of JEA. Keep in mind, I'm still cool with selling the utility, as long as we invest the money well. But that's not happening now, since there were too many little hands in the cookie jar.

First off, we have to understand the context. We're talking about billions of dollars here. Let's just say $3 billion. While I don't know what the going rate is for making a $3 billion deal come to fruition for each player, it's probably significant. That's why the companies that want to own JEA have hired lobbyists, some of whom are friendly with the mayor. And they have also given money to help run commercials so that we can learn about how much he's done for us.

I'm sure Emero/TECO, which hired the lobbyists and donated money to a political action committee, had no idea that those decisions would influence Mayor Curry at all. He said he didn't even know these guys were lobbyists or who gives money to help get him elected. I can totally believe that and not snicker a lot, but I bet that any company that hires friends of the mayor and gives him a large donation sure as sunlight WANTS Curry to know his buddies are in favor of the deal and his campaign can benefit from it.

But it's really bigger than all that. This isn't about slick friends who work as lobbyists or chump change donations to get reelected as a mayor. For someone out there, it's about retiring early or becoming a senator (which is kind of the same thing). Business brokers often get 10%. I'm sure there are greasy people climbing all over other greasy people right now in order to be deemed the broker who made this $3 billion deal happen. Do the math, and you'll know why.

If a JEA deal happens now, after the city council and taxpayers know about these facts, then I guess that's what that whole Old Boys Club thing is all about in Jacksonville. I was told that in Jacksonville, you don't walk across streets and you don't mess the the Old Boys Club. But my question is: how do I join? Looks like Curry was an accountant who started a company that provided "finance and accounting consulting, executive recruiting, and staffing services." I suppose that's a pretty awesome place to meet the Old Boys.

If you are currently a member of the Old Boys Club, I run a consulting and website building firm. Actually, a few. Passive Ninja, Brave New Church, and Luthernet. I don't overcharge, and I'm not greasy unless I don't shower for a day, but I have a lot of skills when it comes to online writing and marketing. While I am honest, I can certainly be evasive, like when my wife asks me how she looks in her new outfit from Talbot's.

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