Dan Krassner is my friend. My good friend. I admire and respect Dan very much.
I am also a great admirer of his grandfather, Lee Benjamin, as I am his mother, whose campaign for the Pinellas School Board I assisted. I even occasionally work with Dan’s wife, Nicole, a smart, talented graphic designer.
Because of my admiration for and relationship with Dan, it pains me to write this, but…
Dan Krassner should have known better.
Others have already written about how Integrity Florida released a report highly critical of Enterprise Florida. The report was funded by Tea Party organization Americans For Prosperity. The financial connection to AFP prompted Martin Dyckman, the legendary retired associate editor of the Tampa Bay Times to resign abruptly Tuesday from Integrity Florida’s board of directors.
The whole situation, as Sunshine State News Nancy Smith labeled it, was “pay-to-play” all turned around. It was the pot calling the kettle black.
I’m actually not so worried about the paying to play. This here is Chinatown and the old rules no longer apply. Finding an outside group to help fund your research is all in the game nowadays. Just like candidates advertising on blogs which cover them, some might say. It’s all part of the game.
No, what disturbs me about this incident, however, is not that Americans For Prosperity funded IF’s report on EF. It’s that my man Dan Krassner was an integral part of Alex Sink’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, so I don’t understand how he could ever accept money linked to the Koch brothers.
Dan turned more than a few heads when he left the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida TaxWatch to work for Sink. Opposing Sink then, of course, was Rick Scot, but also the Koch brothers. In the year of the Tea Party, they were the straw that stirred the drink. When Krassner was working for Alex Sink it’s safe to say that, after Scott, Tony Fabrizio and Brian Burgess, the Koch brothers were his real opponents.
There’s nothing wrong with mending fences and working with former adversaries. Lord knows I have so many enemies that if I didn’t turn a few of them around, I would run out of people with which to work. But there are some opponents with which reconciliation is not possible.
For those who bled, sweat and teared for Alex Sink, I imagine the Koch brothers are at the top of the list of those with which they hold irreconcilable differences. Dan Krassner should have known better than to accept a check from them.