What D.C. Doesn’t Need: Neal Dunn

Hello FLA/ August 25, 2015/ Florida Politics

Neal Dunn just can’t catch a break.  After catching heat from grassroots activists who didn’t forget that he helped to defeat Connie Mack, Dunn was stung over the weekend with revelations that he played a part in frivolously handing out taxpayer dollars as a director for both Enterprise Florida and Space Florida.

As late as Sunday, Dunn was still bragging to Republican activists that he is on the board of Enterprise Florida, a state created entity that hands out hundreds of millions of dollars of tax money to companies with little to show for it.  In fact, the Ocala Star-Banner reported this weekend that Dunn and his cronies overspent their budget, and the agency, once flush with millions of taxpayer dollars, is virtually broke.

Lawmakers were frustrated.  Rep. Clay Ingram, a Pensacola Republican, highlighted the fact that Dunn is wasting taxpayer dollars and not private funds.

“I understand the desire for unfettered funds for Enterprise Florida,” said Rep. Ingram to the Star-Banner. “The challenge is that we are dealing with taxpayer funds, not private funds.”

It gets worse. 

The revelation that Dunn’s agency is broke came on the heels of another report that his agency handed out a large chunk of their remaining funds on hand for staff bonuses.  The Americans for Prosperity’s (AFP) Florida chapter strongly criticized Dunn’s actions overseeing the Enterprise Florida and Space Florida bonuses. Dunn sits on both Boards.

“Taxpayers’ money should never be used to give lucrative bonuses to quasi-government entities like Enterprise Florida and Space Florida,” Chris Hudson, AFP’s director in Florida, said on Monday to the Sunshine State News. “Our legislators should be ashamed of news that hard-working families and small business owners are subsidizing bonuses upwards of 50 percent of some executives’ base salaries. The governor and the legislature should call on these organizations and remind them of the sacred trust Floridians place in government to use every dollar with the utmost integrity. Considering the less-than-stellar track record of organizations like Enterprise Florida, who continually fall short delivering on their promises, these groups should not be gaming the system to enrich their lives on the backs of taxpayers.”

Does Dunn even have clue?

“I currently serve on the Board of Directors of Enterprise Florida as well as Space Florida and am keenly interested in helping bring jobs to NW Florida.  I invite you to visit my LinkedIn page or my bio on NealDunn.com,” wrote the clueless Dunn to several Republican activists this weekend as his agencies were embroiled in scandal.

Readers of this website forwarded the email along, clearly frustrated with Dunn’s repeated masquerading as a conservative.

“We already have enough congressmen who frivolously hand out taxpayer dollars and overspend their budget,” fumed the activist.

It sounds like Neal Dunn will fit right in if he makes it to D.C.