Mayor Bill Foster spends like a drunken sailor on RNC party at Trop

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Last week we covered how Mayor Foster’s bet paid off for a piece of Tampa’s RNC security federal tax money, but an article in the Tampa Bay Times today exposes how the preparations for that 4-hour private party ended up costing almost $600,000 more than Foster had budgeted, and that cost overrun will most likely have to be paid by the people of St. Petersburg.

Let’s add up the costs of Sunday’s private party for 8,000 Republican delegates and low-level members of the press. Pinellas county contributed $600,000 from tourist development funds, Hillsborough county contributed $400,000 from their tourist development funds, St. Petersburg received $1 million from the city of Tampa out of their $50 million allotment from federal tax funds, and on top of all of that, the city spent another $600,000 they didn’t have on preparations for the pre-conference party. Grand total: $2.6 million dollars.

Breaking that down, we spent $325 on each delegate and member of the press that attended. Or to put it in other terms, that 4-hour private party cost as much as the entire operating subsidies for both Tropicana Field and the Pier for the whole year of 2012.

Earlier this month, Mayor Foster was quoted as saying, “I will not do anything that causes the city of St. Petersburg taxpayers to bear the costs of a private party.” We would like to thank Bill Foster for his generous contribution, you can make your $600,000 personal check out to the City of St. Petersburg Mr. Mayor.

Cross-posted with permission of Bob Wilson of the Bill Foster Watch.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.