Greco says he doesn't regret any mayoral decisions

Tampa mayoral candidate Dick Greco said a pretty remarkable thing in a Political Connections interview airing today on Bay News 9.

In his four terms as mayor, Greco can't think of a single decision or action that he regrets or would have done differently. Not one.

Not quitting in the middle of his second term in 1974 to work for a shopping mall developer. Not the Centro Ybor deal that put Tampa taxpayers on the hook for loads of debt after the developer defaulted. Not even the scandal that saw Tampa housing chief Steve LaBrake and LaBrake's wife sent to prison for multiple bribery and other convictions.

"When you've accomplished all of these things and somebody runs against you that maybe has never done anything, they're going to bring up something like Steve LaBrake," Greco said in the taped interview airing today at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

"There was no way in the world we could have proven his innocence or guilt when it took the government nearly a year. (LaBrake) came in and said, 'I did nothing wrong,' started to cry, and said, 'I've never made anybody happy since I've been born.' I have to respect that."

Also on today's Political Connections is mayoral candidate and former Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik.

Fixing the finances

Former Republican National Committee finance chairmen Al Hoffman and Mel Sembler of Florida will be among the elite fundraisers meeting in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to help begin righting the finances of the group, which is $20 million in debt. Newly elected chairman Reince Priebus named Hoffman one of the chairmen on the transition finance team, along with Sam Fox and Ron Weiser.

"It is time for the RNC to tighten its belt, get rid of wasteful spending and bring money in the door to fund key operations for the next cycle," Priebus said. "We have the opportunity to put a Republican in the White House and take back the United States Senate, but there is work to be done with the Democrats looking to spend nearly a billion dollars. This team of influential fundraisers gives the committee what it needs to restore our donors' trust."

We hear the new RNC chairman will be in Tampa Bay this week, likely Thursday, to check out convention doings after firing the free-spending staff hired by ousted chairman Michael Steele.

Greer tale sealed

Disappointing political news last week: A judge temporarily sealed from public view the manuscript that ex-GOP chairman Jim Greer had been shopping to publishers. Greer is facing money laundering and fraud charges, and his tell-all book, Betrayal and Vengeance, promised to offer up "intimate knowledge of Gov. (Charlie) Crist."

Clout pays off

Lanny Wiles, a longtime D.C. political operative, close pal of U.S. Sen. John McCain and husband of Gov. Rick Scott's campaign manager, Susie Wiles, will be cashing in on his newfound Tallahassee clout. He's just been hired by the Advocacy Group of Cardenas Partners, the lobbying firm run by former Republican Party of Florida chairman Al Cardenas.

Governor's tweets hijacked

A wise guy last week managed to hijack the Twitter link that Scott had on his official gubernatorial home page. Those who clicked on it to follow the governor's tweets initially saw the image of two shirtless cowboys, and later someone in handcuffs.

The governor's staff fixed it promptly after the Times alerted his office.

Adam C. Smith can be reached at asmith@sptimes.com.

Winner

of the week

Rick Scott. The governor did a yeoman's job staying on message last week after naming David Wilkins, an opponent of gay adoption, as secretary of the Department of Children and Families. Would Scott launch a divisive fight to reinstate Florida's ban on gay adoptions, which he also supports? Nope. He said he will stay focused on his top priorities: jobs, jobs and jobs.

Loser

of the week

Bill Nelson. Florida's lone statewide Democrat is attracting a growing field of Republicans lining up to take him on in 2012, when he won't be so lucky to face as radioactive an opponent as Katherine Harris was in 2006. Republicans were salivating last week when Nelson went before reporters in Tallahassee and

talked up the health care overhaul and federal economic recovery efforts.

Greco says he doesn't regret any mayoral decisions 01/22/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 22, 2011 6:53pm]

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