Christine “The Crooked Argus Hack” Robinson






By Jon Susce


More than any other politician in Sarasota, Commissioner Christine “The Crooked Argus Hack” Robinson exemplifies how a political machine,  essentially headed by five multi-millionaire  developers, has turned Sarasota County Government into an entity resembling an organized criminal enterprise; a “Pay to Play,” “Stealing in the Sunshine” scam, that has been operating in Sarasota County for years.  (SEE ATTACHMENT # 1)

By the way, it’s very difficult for the local Republican Party and others not to see the similarity between the Robinson’s

and the Hillary “Lying Crooked” and Bill “Pay to Play” Clintons.


This local “Pay to Play” corrupt practice of awarding

multi-million dollar, publicly funded contracts excludes from eligibility any entity that isn’t a member of the good ol’ boy network that controls Sarasota County Government.  A dishonest practice that in essence implies that unless you contribute to Sarasota County elected politicians, you receive no contracts.

Robinson and her husband,  Eric “Lying” Robinson, who is the “bag man” for those pumping thousands of dollars into the campaigns of local politicians (like his wife), through various  PAC’s,  arrived in Sarasota from Miami in 2001.


The Robinson’s got involved in the politics of Sarasota County and became protégés of the area’s most notorious political operatives, Bob Waechter and Henry Rodriguez.  Upon her arrival in Sarasota, Christine, with the assistance of Waechter, secured employment as a prosecutor in the 12th Judicial District State Attorney’s office for three years before going into a private law practice.

Robinson supporters assert her time as an assistant state attorney in the 12th Judicial Circuit from 2001 to 2004 as impressive, however, the truth lies elsewhere. If you were to query people in the office and defense attorneys, you would find she was mediocre at best and often incompetent.  If Robinson was forced off the public trough and attempted to practice law outside of the government sector, she would be chasing ambulances.

Eric Robinson opened up as a CPA in Venice; he and Christine, “The Crooked Argus Hack” became very active in Sarasota politics, both moving upward quickly on the social and political scene under the tutelage of Waechter and Rodriguez.


Eric, “The Prince of Dark PAC Money”, Robinson became quite proficient in establishing and managing various Political Action Committees (PAC’s), which he has been using since his arrival to move hundreds of thousands dollars state wide  from the various managed PAC’s, to promote those candidates in the pockets of multi-millionaire developers.

Eric Robinson has been documented as funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions through his various PAC’s and LLC’s to corrupt the political process throughout the State of Florida.


Incredibly, after abiding in Sarasota for less than ten years, Christine Robinson was appointed by former Governor Charlie Crist to succeed Sarasota County Commissioner Shannon Staub, who retired mid-term.  Robinson’s political appointment served to eclipse many more qualified, longtime residents of Sarasota.

For anyone who has experience in political involvement; it would be clear that it is impossible to characterize Christine Robinson as anything more than an imperceptive political hack, who was appointed to her position as Sarasota County Commissioner by Governor Crist for two reasons:

No. 1) As a return favor to Rodriguez and other local multi-millionaire dollar developers who contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Crist’s political campaigns when Crist was a Republican.

No. 2) As a reward for her husband, Eric Robinson’s political accomplishments, namely pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into various Political Action Committees (PAC’s) that he managed in order to grease the wheels of support for various political hacks handpicked by Waechter, thereby further corrupting the political system, not only in Sarasota county, but in other areas of the state.


For example, it was made obvious in numerous emails between Rodriguez and former Sarasota County Commissioner Shannon Staub (discovered by THE SARASOTA PHOENIX), that it was Rodriguez who made the recommendation to Governor Crist to appoint his “flunky” Christine Robinson to replace the retiring Staub in mid-term.

Robinson’s ineptitude to even articulate the issues in a coherent fashion was made crystal clear when she ran for re-election against a relatively unknown Democrat from North Port, Jennifer Cohen two years after her appointment.  Robinson outspent Cohen 10-1 and had the full organizational support of the local Republican Party, while Cohen received virtually no support from the local Democratic Party. Despite a major financial and organizational disadvantage, Cohen gained 46% of the vote.



What is most shocking, and clearly exemplifies how corrupt Sarasota County Government has become in the “Pay to Play” corruption scam is the appointment of Christine Robinson as Executive Director of Argus, which was once a prestigious, honorable organization under the direction of Kerry Kirschner, whom Robinson replaced. With this appointment Commissioner Robinson is now become known as Christine “The Crooked Argus Hack”.

Why are people calling her “The Crooked Argus  Hack”? Because since being appointed CEO of Argus,  she has voted in favor of  two multimillion dollar developers that benefit her Argus mentor, the “Pay to Play” lying, crooked rainmaker, William Merrill III.

Another disturbing legal issue surrounding the “The Crooked Argus Hack” is as follows:  Robinson was appointed on November 14, 2014 as the paid CEO of Argus and on January 1, 2015 she created a consultant entity called ROBINSON STRATEGIC CONSULTING, LLC.  With the creation of this consulting company what is stopping  “Crooked Christine” from manipulating a “black hole” financial entity through which she receives thousands of dollars in consulting fees, not only from members of Argus, but other individuals coming before her seeking approval as a Sarasota County Commissioner— since she need not report her earnings publicly from her consulting entity.


Merrill, the “Lying Crooked” President of Argus offers this  perverse comment, “Christine really rose to the top and we felt she had a lot of things we wanted to bring to the table to take us to another level” is laughable. “The Argus Crooked Hack” does have one thing she can use to take Argus “to another level,” namely her positioning as a Sarasota County Commissioner to promote the projects of Argus members.


Robinson’s qualifications, other than being a political “hack” appointed by Crist to rubber stamp multi-millionaire developers like Rodriquez, Benderson, Neal, Beruff, Jensen and land use attorneys like Merrill are non-existent. Robinson has no experience in business.  She had a small law firm when she left the state attorney’s office, but never invested in land or buildings, nor has she has ever been a developer. Robinson has no qualification for being head of Argus, except to peddle her influence with the county in exchange for six figures.


Cathy Antunes, President of Citizens for Responsible Government, described Robinson’s appointment To Argus: “When it comes to flouting standards, one consultant auditing Sarasota County procurement in 2012 opined ‘these people take the cake’.  The audacity level in local government has been kicked up a notch.  Commissioner Christine Robinson’s new gig as Argus Foundation executive director has Sarasota outpacing Washington, D.C. when it comes to catering to special interests.”


Sarasota County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh’s determination that, “Robinson’s acceptance of a ‘part-time’ job with Argus would not violate ethics codes because the tax-exempt organization does not ‘do business’ or negotiate contracts with the county” is absurd.

TANNENBAUMThis is how local prominent attorney, Alan Tannenbaum reacted to DeMarsh’s no conflict of interest determination:  “As Executive Director of Argus, she has a fiduciary obligation to yield to the will of the Argus Board. At the same time, she has an oath of office to represent the interests of the citizens of the County.  These obligations and duties conflict.”


Land use attorney Dan Lobeck responded to DeMarsh’s conflict of interest determination this way:  “What a complete and utter conflict of interest this would be, if there was any credible pretense that Christine Robinson is a County Commissioner not already fully beholden anyway to the development interests that control the Argus Foundation.”

From: Demetra J. MacBride:


“What happened to the Ethics Code direction that attorneys should avoid even the appearance of impropriety? The definition of conflict used here by Robinson and DeMarsh is so narrow as to make it non-existent. Argus lobbies, plain and simple, before the Board, on matters that financially benefit its members. In addition, Robinson will be making two salaries to sit on both sides of the bench – impartiality is impossible. This is nothing short of formalizing a plutocracy.”

Less than three months after Merrill led the campaign to have “The Argus Hack” selected as CEO of Argus at a $91,000 consultant fee, Merrill came before the Sarasota County promoting two multi-million dollar projects with which he was involved financially.



On February 13, 2015 Merrill appeared before the Sarasota County Commission and gained approval from Robinson and the other four County Commissioners for approval on a “Pay to Play,” “Stealing in the Sunshine” scheme regarding

a rezone petition for the Foxfire residential development on a documented heavily contaminated former dump site. The approval rendered by the Sarasota County Commission has such a foul odor that it makes the stink of a toxic waste dump site smell sweet.

This residential project was supposed to have been dead and buried forever, but was resurrected by one of the most notorious, politically connected, “Pay to Play” developers in the area, namely Carlos Beruff who brought this proposal back to life and got it approved.

Beruff epitomizes the disgusting way in which Sarasota County Commissioners are used as nothing more than inept politicians who can be bought for pennies on a dollar.  (SEE ATTACHMENT 2)


Merrill came before “Robinson and her county commissioner colleagues with another “Pay to Play”, “Stealing in the Sunshine” project in Englewood on June 2, 2015 with Merrill speaking on behalf of the other two developers, including Merrill, pumping thousands of dollars into the campaign coffers of “The Argus Hack” Robinson and the other Sarasota County Commissioners who voted approval of the Merrill-Medred-Gabbert proposal.  (SEE ATTACHMENT 3)



If anyone has any doubt about that “The Crooked Argus Hack” Robinson’s ability to promote and articulate positive, quality of life positions for the great majority of Sarasota County residents in any meaningful way other than “carrying water” for those who finance her political campaigns, one only needs to listen to her comments made during numerous Sarasota County Commission meetings, promoting projects of those who finance her political campaigns and the interests of her husband, Eric “The Lying Prince of PAC Dark Money”— and keep “The Robinsons” in a comfortable life style.

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