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Jamie Bennett still in denial

in The Bay and the 'Burg by
Jamie Bennett still contends that there was no strategy behind the distribution of his allotment of the tickets to the city’s suite at Tropicana Field, however, as reported today:

“After Bennett announced his candidacy for mayor, he began giving his tickets to supporters and community leaders across and even outside the city, according to a St. Petersburg Times review.

Bennett gave two of his campaign’s earliest supporters, arts leader Bob Devin Jones and St. Pete Beach Mayor Michael Finnerty, several tickets each to the Tampa Bay Rays game on April 19, according to reporting forms council members submit to show how tickets were used.

Bennett also promised tickets to David Hoover, president of the Riviera Bay Civic Association, and Darren Bishop, president of the North East Park Association, both of whom live outside his southern St. Petersburg district.” (He also gave tickets to the presidents of Jungle Terrace, Coquina Key and Euclid St. Paul — all outside his district.)

Bennett’s ticket troubles began last month after he admitted he had used his campaign manager to distribute them. A city neighborhood association president then said he received Bennett’s tickets inside a campaign folder that included a fundraising request.

Bennett fired his campaign manager Peter Schorsch over the flap, saying he didn’t know about the bundling, although he was there when it happened.

Schorsch, in turn, claimed the tickets were part of a campaign strategy. The plan was to use the tickets to curry favor with neighborhood leaders and canvass their neighborhoods just before the association’s monthly meeting in hopes of generating a positive buzz, Schorsch said.

Bennett said there was no such “ticket strategy.”

So Jamie, you didn’t walk those neighborhoods? You didn’t walk on 16th Avenue and 9th Street? You didn’t walk door-to-door around the homes of the presidents of Riviera Bay, Northeast Park and Coquina Key?

I must have been dreamin’.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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