The Greco Endorsement
I have often lamented that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats in Tampa. Former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco exemplifies my point. Want corrupt Hubris? Greco defended Steve Labrake and his (then mistress) Lynne McCarter.
"These are two human beings," Greco said. "But for the grace of God, it could be one of you. How would you like it if it had been you?"
Labrake was the chief of the Community Development Agency. He and McCarter used their influence to build their dream house. They were convicted bribery, wire-fraud and conspiracy. Remember, "these are two human beings."
Want a pol that will put his personal self-interest over the party? Greco endorsed Jeb and George W. Bush. Rumor is Greco just threw a fundraiser for Gus Bilirakis. Now Tampa's real estate Mayor endorses John McCain.
"I am a registered Democrat, but when it comes to voting I consider the individual," said Greco in a statement. "I have listened to all of the debates, and with the challenges facing our country, I think it is important that we choose someone with the experience and integrity necessary to keep our country safe and fix our broken economy. Senator McCain's credibility, judgment and toughness is the change we need."
Greco was the Chairman of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company. Executives Donald A. Regar and Allen Z. Wolfson were indicted on 15 counts. Regar and Wolfson used bank loan money in attempt to buy the bank's stock. The bank folded and has become part of Tampa folklore with rumors about shady dealing. Greco used the Ronald Reagan defense and claimed he had no idea what was going on.
Greco appointed Bruce "Buzz" Papalia to the the Real Estate Department. Papalia is the son-in-law of Eddie DeBartolo Jr. Greco went to work for DeBartolo Property Group LLC after his term as Mayor ended.
Democrats complain rightfully complain about Joe Lieberman's disloyalty. Greco one-ups Lieberman with corruption. The fact that Greco is a Tampa Democratic institution is sad. The party establishment never stood up to Greco. Now Republicans control Hillsborough County and Greco is making money with his GOP connections.