"I am sick and damn tired of people telling me how to spend my money. I wanted to do something for the city of Sarasota and to honor my fellow veterans, but instead, all I got were nosy busybodies who apparently know how to spend my $500,000 better than I do," he said in a written statement to the press.
"If it wasn't the "Good Taste Patrol" complaining that the sculpture was junk, it was the "Goody Two-Shoes Brigade" telling me to give my money to schools, churches or build bridges over Route 41. I got an idea, why don't they scrimp and save half a million over their lifetime and do just that. But this money is in MY account, in MY bank, under MY name and I wanted to buy that goddam statue so people could enjoy it while I was still around to see them enjoying it."
"So, since all I seem to be doing is getting people mad, I am officially withdrawing my donation and I'm going to spend it the way I should have been spending it my whole life, instead of scraping pennies together so I could leave something of lasting benefit to people. I'm going to spend it on ME! I'm going to VEGAS!!!"
"Do you think the blackjack dealer's going to tell me that I have no taste? Do you think the bartender is going to tell me that I should be donating my money to a school? Do you think that 20-year old hooker is going to tell an 88-year old man not to buy her a new car? If Sarasota doesn't want my money, I'm sure as hell that Las Vegas will."