Even though pitchers and catchers reported yesterday afternoon and the remainder of the team to be in camp next week, the Committee Against Everything is working feverishly to send the Baltimore Orioles packing back to Ft. Lauderdale. Or Lee County. Or Baltimore. Any place but Sarasota. In fact, they would prefer it if the team just would go straight to hell. But if they did, the O's would be sure to enjoy a much more friendly reception from its denizens and deal with a much higher level of professionalism from its leaders than here in Sarasota.
The Committee Against Everything/Sarasota Citizens For Responsible Government Chapter just wants one thing: their way. And they intend to do everything in their power to get it, no matter how much taxpayer money it costs to paralyze county government with filibustering lawsuits, self-righteous lawyers (as if there were another kind!) and banging the drum of Jeffersonian ideals to attract the Tea Party hangers-on and assorted other obstructionists. God bless America!
"I think this is legalized stealing," pontificated Cathy Antunes, who organized a grass roots campaign to stop taxpayer resources from being used to help keep pro baseball here for spring training in Sarasota, as it has been since 1924. And she's prepared to spend every last dollar of Sarasota's taxpayer money to stop it.
Antunes claims to "know baseball." She also claims to be a devout Yankee fan. That explains a lot. It also discounts her claim to know baseball. Perhaps she knows Yankee baseball, with their self-centered sense of entitlement, boorish manners and haughty, indignant attitude, but she doesn't know real baseball.
Her husband is reportedly a Boston Red Sox fan. That explains even more......
She complains to the Herald-Tribune that she doesn't like being known as The Lady Who Hates Baseball. We suspect that she would just as soon be known as The Lady Who Hates Everything and Everybody.
The Herald Tribune also reports that Antunes is a drug rep, er, 'pharmaceutical salewoman.' You know, someone who goes around glad-handing doctors by buying lunches and passing out pens and notepads festooned with the company logo, trying to get the doctors to prescribe even more of whatever pills, equipment or procedures are churned out by the the company she represents. Not that there's anything wrong with that. After all, it is universally accepted that the drug companies only have our best interests at heart, is it not? Shouldn't Antunes be lobbying against health care reform, protecting the profits of Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Hospitals and Big Medicine, instead of railing against Big Baseball?
Ahhh, but it's NOT about baseball, Antunes insists. It's about--what else--truth, justice and the American way of life. Which, of course, necessitates the involvement of attorneys. Who knew?
The Committee Against Everything/Sarasota Citizens For Responsible Government Chapter has judicial bulldog, Andrea Mogensen, as their champion, she of the recent $750,000 judgment against the City of Venice over a Sunshine Law violation, paid out by the good taxpayers of that community. Mogensen has made a career out of litigating these busybody lawsuits that benefit..............Mogensen's bottom line.
In these current halcyon days of unprecedented cooperation in efficiently accomplishing the people's business in government, when anything an elected official says on the record or off is sure to become fodder for the opposition, when those veteran elected officials are dropping out of politics because its become too much of a blood sport (except for Sarah Palin, of course, who quit as governor of Alaska so she could concentrate on engaging in even more political bloodshed as just a 'concerned private citizen.'), how can anything get accomplished legislatively in the glare of the spotlight? As a republic, America takes great pride in our cherished ability to vote freely for representatives to conduct our affairs in the seats of government, but we take even more delight in shouting them down and calling them out, before we re-elect them all over again and again.
At a time when governments all over the globe are lobbying and strategizing and pressuring and cajoling and leveraging and promising and brainstorming and planning and campaigning and promoting and generally fighting tooth-and-nail for every single job that they can possibly bring into their particular area, they are sure to be taking a long, hard look at Sarasota and how its civic and governmental leaders are attempting to attract new businesses to the Suncoast.
Sarasota's new slogan: "Yep, we got a suit for that......"