Grant’s grant troubles grant him the spotlight

Young State Representative Grant embroiled in another “grant” controversy (pardon the shameless puns)

By Chris Ingram

Youthful, and woefully inexperienced should have been enough to cause voters to pause when young Jamie Grant felt he was the best man for the job of state representative from Tampa. But voters are easily fooled — at least once.

However, the fact that before he even was elected he had questionable judgment and what looked like sweat-heart deals should have given them a clue that this skunk stinks. Unfortunately they didn’t, and Grant is now in the state legislature in Tallahassee — that bastion of ethics and good judgment of people who represent us.

For a little background on Grant, read what I wrote about him on October 13, 2010:

Irreverent View withdraws support of James Grant

In light of recent allegations that James Grant received a questionable bank loan which may have been made based on collateral from an undisclosed source in the amount of $40,000 to fund his campaign, Irreverent View is withdrawing its recommendation of Grant, and urging readers to support his opponent Michael Steinberg for State House.

Here is what we know:

  1. Grant got the loan despite the fact that his net worth is -$5,780 and his earnings last year barely exceeded $20,000.
  2. He has just 8 months of employment history (working for his brother’s law firm).
  3. The president of the bank which gave the loan is a campaign contributor as well as a friend of Grant’s father – who happens to be a former member of the state legislature and who currently owns a lobbying firm – the motto of which is: “Where access is influence.”

And what we don’t know:

  1. Where did the $40,000 used as collateral to obtain the loan come from? What did Grant do to earn the right to this money, or who gave it to him? And why wasn’t this asset listed on Grant’s assets and liabilities statement submitted to the state?

There are a lot of unanswered questions in this matter, and if Grant hasn’t done anything wrong, he should provide a detailed explanation.  Calls and e-mails from Irreverent View to Grant’s campaign and his campaign aid seeking comment were not returned over a 27 hour period.

Jim Norman, Josh Burgin, Marco Rubio – all of these guys have talked a good game about being great conservative fiscal stewards, and yet all of them have had questionable if not downright illegal and unethical activities relating to their campaign funds and/or personal finances.

When will voters decide they’ve had enough? We don’t need another double-talking FCINO (fiscally conservative in name only) bum in Tallahassee or Washington. Got enough of them as it is…

Update 10/14/10: Grant called last night and took issue with the suggestion that the money he used to collateralize the$40K  loan was of a questionable source. However, Grant refused to provide the specific source of the collateral monies saying he “doesn’t have to” and citing “privacy.” Grant also acknowledged his asset/liability statement is wrong as the date of declaration of assets and liabilities is incorrect. “I made an error…we’re in the process of fixing it with an amended report,” Grant said.

Irreverent View has offered Grant an open forum to explain his position on this matter.

Side notes

James Grant is scheduled to speak at “the Irreverent View lunch” next Tuesday at 11:45 a.m. at Datz deli in Tampa. His campaign says he still plans to be there.

Irreverent View has obtained a copy of Michael Steinberg’s next political mailing questioning Grant’s fitness to serve in the legislature. Not a bad piece…click this link to view it: Steinberg Self Mailer Absentee 8×11 Strings-HQ.

—- End

Tampa’s WTSP 10 reporter Mike Deeson has took a thorough look at a state grant Grant received for $2.6 million to create jobs in Hardee County (his local constituents should be asking him “If you wanted to create jobs, why in Hardee County and not in your district’s counties?”). You be the judge as to whether or not what Grant did passes the smell test. My gut is, Grant and his cohorts knew this wasn’t a rabbit, it was a skunk.

To view the WTSP video click here. And kudos to Mike Deeson.

 

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

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