Dec. 19, 2015 Tavares, FL
Florida the Huckster State Update: Florida is still a huckster state with poor oversight and transparency in various areas.
Here is one example (in a pending FiscalRangers.com series) according to the Orlando Sentinel... "Florida's lead tourism promotion agency, Visit Florida", cut a deal with a rapper. Pitbull (read here) to promote Florida tourism on his twitter account, but they won't disclose the amount of the payments even though they are using public funds.
Visit Florida apparently has refused to disclose promotion funds paid to other promoters.
Apparently State legislators don't believe in full disclosure how taxpayer funds are spent, and didn't require public perormance audits and other oversight described in the editorial below."
"Visit Florida isn't breaking the law with its secret contracts; it's exploiting an overly broad exemption in the open-records statute.
Still, if the agency won't be transparent with taxpayers, legislators can — and should — change the law, if they believe in open government.
Visit Florida's board of tourism leaders, and whatever oversight its gets from legislators, don't make it directly accountable to taxpayers.
Visit Florida hasn't been scrutinized by state auditors or an inspector general. Its private auditors don't thoroughly review contracts.
We agree with government watchdogs that the combination of secret contracts and lax oversight increase opportunities for corruption."
Read the Orlando Sentinel's editorial HERE and ask your elected Florida legislator why they won't improve oversight rules for Visit Florida so they disclose the payments to promoters so the public can determine the value of the "promotions".
If you think this needs to be fixed, share it with your Florida legislators and friends.