Make us your home page

Talking about Al Austin



Eight of the best quotes on local host committee chairman and longtime Republican fundraiser Al Austin that I didn't use in my story about him earlier this month in the Tampa Bay Times and Politico:

1. Paul Catoe: "Al, he's a unique guy. He's not the warmest person in the world. He's not a huggable guy. But he's a guy that if you're his friend he'll do anything in the world you."

2. Ron Rotella: "There's a joke around town, and the state, that one of the most dreaded phone calls is when the receptionist comes in and says, 'Al Austin's on the phone.' But they take that call. He's persistent."

3. Dr. R. Vijay: "You know why the phone call comes from Al. It's like a wallet biopsy. He's the wallet biopsy king."

4. Dick Beard: "He'd start going around the room, saying, 'How much money are you going to give to the cause?' He'd put you into some embarrassing situations. ... But he firmly believes in what he's asking for. I think that's the reason he can do it so well. That's probably the key to his unabashed ability to do that."

5. John Sykes: "He has the ability to ask. Me, I'm a giver, and I hate to ask people for money. Al doesn't."

6. Ken Jones: "It's been Al's lifelong dream to have a Republican National Convention in Tampa. He's worked extremely hard at it. All three times."

7. Beverly Austin: "He came home, and I said, 'You've got to be kidding. You lost twice.' I'm not a risk taker. He loves risk."

8. Mel Sembler: "This is going to be the culmination. This is very, very important to him, that he's been able to do this."

[Last modified: Monday, August 20, 2012 4:03pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours