Reporter Troy Kinsey and I are both card-carrying members of the Society of the Tarpon Belt — an unofficial coalition of supporters of former Governor Charlie Crist, who was known to wear leather belt featuring both embroidered and embossed tarpon. Kinsey and I also share the fact that are better-halves are current or former staffers to Crist.
There’s no doubt: we both love us some Charlie.
That said, I’ve moved on past the results of the 2014 gubernatorial election which Crist lost to Rick Scott, whereas Kinsey often sounds as if its November 4, 2014 every day of the week.
The latest example of this is a post from Kinsey’s Facebook page of Governor Rick Scott. It’s of Scott at the annual pre-Session party hosted by Associated Industries of Florida. It’s a welcome back reception for legislators, lobbyists and sundry politicos.
On Facebook, Kinsey captions his picture, “Five years after proclaiming Tallahassee lobbyists would be “crying in their cocktails,” Rick Scott arrives at Tallahassee’s largest cocktail party. #Florida #legislature #politics #dysfunction #graft #corruption #media“
There is nothing out of line with the reminding people of Scott’s hypocrisy, but Kinsey goes too far with his hashtags about graft and corruption.
How is going to a cocktail party hosted by one of the state’s largest business organizations an example of graft or corruption? Sure, there were lobbyists there, but there were also dozens of down-on-their-luck Democratic staffers, as well as a few reporters, there to enjoy the free food and booze.
I get it. Kinsey was just posting to his own personal Facebook page. But I don’t think that makes it acceptable to throw out those kind of pretty strong accusations. And, whether he takes himself seriously or not, it matters what Kinsey says and writes. He’s the lead correspondent for the only all-news channel in two major TV markets.
There is no doubting my credentials as a critic of the Rick Scott administration, but to broad-brush a drop-by at a cocktail party as an example of money changers in the temple is hyperbole.