Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Valentino's Lament - Unedited Version

This just gets more and more humiliating for Pensacola. Today, county commissioner Eugene Valentino weighs in on the op-ed page to offer his excuses for being such a thorough-going idiot. ["Gene Valentino: What Was Said and What Happened"]

The whole piece is as transparent as an interview with Charles Manson. You can read the words and sense the circumlocutions but, bad for him, you also can clearly see what he really means.

What he says: "First, let me apologize to my constituents and citizens of Escambia County for the confusion related to the issues associated with the recent bid."

What he really means: Boy, am I pissed. I got caught by the f**king newspaper rigging a bid."

What he says: "I can assure you that I have never intentionally misstated or acted illegally on this or any other issue.

What he really means: Sure, I broke the law, but I never intended to get caught.

What he says: "As to the question of, 'Did I solicit campaign contributions while in my office or on county property?' The answer is no."

What he really means: Dammit, the scandal was exposed before I could collect the dough.

What he says: "Mr. Rawson and Mr. Weaver asked for an appointment, which I was happy to schedule, as I would for any citizen."

What he really means: ... any citizen, that is, who slips me loads of money for a little help in grabbing county bids. The rest of you bozos will get an appointment, too, in about thirty years when I'm in a nursing home.

What he says: "I was not aware in advance of the purpose of their visit."

What he really means: I wasn't sure exactly how much they were going to pay."

What he says: "During the conversation I indicated that I would seek their support, but stated that we'd discuss this matter at a separate time and place."

What he really means: I made it plain they'd have to pay, but I gave them some time to come up with the dough.

What he says: "'Did I discuss the rebid on the Maplewood Drainage Project?' The answer is yes. Sort of."

What he really means: Hooh-boy! Of course I discussed the project, you morons. That's why they were going to pay me the big bucks.

What he says: "I was not aware that Roads Inc. was in a bid process and had a problem. When Mr. Rawson and Mr. Weaver came into my office we made 'small talk' and then they got to the meat of their concern. That was the first time I became aware that they wished to discuss a pending bid and their alleged $100,000 mistake."

What he really means: I thought the bid was already fixed. When they told me it wasn't, they only offered me a 'small' amount to take care of things.

What he says: "When I became aware that their true purpose for meeting with me was to discuss a bid in progress, I told them I could not discuss this any further, to protect bid protocol. I told them I would bring their concerns to staff. We ended on that note."

What he really means: I told them with a wink, 'Okay, I'll fix it with staff.'

What he says: "I then consulted with staff. They informed me that there was in fact a 'breach in the process of the bid and that the process was flawed.'"

What he really means: Those assholes on the staff refused to cooperate.

What he says: "It was my responsibility to bring this notion forward to protect 'due process.'"

What he really means: I have no clue where the phrase "due process" can be found. Some county regulation, maybe. What I do know is, contractors pay me their due and I finagle the process.

What he says: "If I sounded as though I was waffling at any time in my conversation with the News Journal reporter on this matter, over a month later when rushing to a meeting, it was an error on my part and I apologize."

What he really means: That bastard reporter, Jamie Paige, caught me lying on tape and with a witness. Boy, was I stupid.

What he says: "Again, I wish to apologize for any appearance of wrongdoing."

What he really means: I'm really, really sorry I got caught. It will happen again as long as you keep voting for me.

Dept. of Further Amplification
Jan. 19 p.m.

Rick Outzen of the Independent News repeats the well-known chronology of events and concludes:
Either Valentino made a deal with Roads to rebid the contract in exchange for campaign support or Valentino made the motion because he thought it [would] win support of Roads and other local contractors later. If the first possibility is true, the[n] Valentino broke the law… but that is a big “if.” If the second possibility is true, then Valentino’s political strategy backfired as local contractors rallied behind Gulf Equipment and the sealed bid process.
If the first is true, Valentino is a crook who should go to jail. If the second is true, he is a shameless sycophant who should go to perdition.

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