Once-vaunted Tiger Bay gums Mike Fasano

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About a year ago, I stepped down from the board of Suncoast Tiger Bay Club because, as I explained in my resignation letter, the organization had become “an ineffectual, weak laughingstock of an organization.” While I still maintain my membership, I’ve mostly stayed away because I just couldn’t bear to watch what was happening to the once-vaunted political club. However, our dear friend Mike Fasano entered the Tiger’s Den today and we are all but obligated to attend.

If today’s meeting of SCTB is any indication, somehow, the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club is in worse shape now than it was a year ago when it was losing both members and money. There were maybe 75 people in attendance, a third of which were either outgoing, current, or incoming members of the board. There were just four elected officials present. And the median age of the crowd was 85 years old. (I am only half kidding, but the majority of the crowd was, um, gray.)

Maybe today’s meeting was an outlier, but I doubt it. I think the problems that were plaguing the Club a year ago are just as present now as they were then. As for the incoming members of that board, I barely recognized the names of those who will be leading the Club for the next three years, although the strength of the executive leadership of SCTB — Pat Gerard, Janet Long, Todd Jennings, and Emily Worden — may be enough to keep the organization from falling into the Bay.

As for the content of today’s meeting, look for Mitch Perry to offer a complete wrapup in a separate post. In the meantime, allow me to share with you the thrust of the question that won the Fang and Claw Award, supposedly given to the member who “slashes through pretension and prevarication” with the toughest question of the day.

Bev Mitland asked former state Rep.-Sen.-Rep. Fasano, “where did he find the courage” to take the political stances he does? That was the toughest question of the day, according to Club judges. That really slashes through the pretension and prevarication, doesn’t it?

Most of the other questions were just as ridiculous.

“How do we stop all of the negative advertising in campaigns?”

“How can we get money out of politics?”

“Why can’t we find unicorns in Straub Park?”

Fortunately, no one followed up Mitland’s silliness with other biting questions, such as, how did Fasano get to be so smart or why was he so handsome, but no one had to; with a single inane question, and the Club’s decision to recognize it with a Fang and Claw Award, I was reminded of all that is wrong with the toothless Suncoast Tiger Bay Club.

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.