By Jon Susce
jsusce @ msn.com
In one of the most blatant examples of how Randy Benderson has corrupted the local political process and the major media in the area is a recent article in SRQ Magazine by Jacob Ogles.
In the article, Ogles writes about how Mary Kenealy was responsible for putting together the major gala that opened up Randy Benderson’s Mall on University Boulevard and Interstate 75.
What Ogles failed to mention is that Kenealy is the wife of Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta, who on numerous occasions has voted for giving millions of dollars of public money to various Benderson projects throughout Sarasota County.
It is disgraceful how Ogles and other so-called journalists in Sarasota have turned their backs on how Benderson has parachuted into the area from Buffalo and with fellow multimillion dollar developers Pat Neal, Carlos Beruff and Rex Jensen have bought off Sarasota and Manatee County politicians.
Incredibly, despite Barbetta being under investigation by the State of Florida Ethics Office for conflict of interest in recent votes approving millions of dollars for Benderson projects, Ogles writes about what a great job Kenealy is doing in promoting Benderson’s Mall.
Rather than recusing himself, Barbetta has voted on numerous occasions for millions in public funding for Benderson’s Rowing facility. Kenealy evidently has no shame or conscience about how blatantly she is corrupting the political system through — at the very least — the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Barbetta evidently could care less how despicable it is for his wife to receive no doubt thousands of dollars from a developer for whom Barbetta has voted millions in public funding, just as long as he and his wife can continue to enjoy the lavish life they have in Sarasota. Theirs is a lavish life style that includes living in a luxury condo in downtown Sarasota and driving expensive automobiles.
In addition, Ogles evidently doesn’t care if he promotes a corrupt political system as long as he can pick up a pay check.