Adrien Lucas 0

Rescind Rumble Sarasota County

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On Oct. 26, the Sarasota County Commissioners' Christian Ziegler, Al Maio, Mike Moran, Nancy Detert and Ron Cutsinger elected to award a $825,000 incentive grant of taxpayer money to Canadian based tech platform company, Rumble, to establish its U.S. headquarters on Long Boat Key.

The Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County vetted Rumble calling the company “Project Sunshine.” Company info was kept confidential, yet the County Commissioners all agreed that this unknown company would be a boon for Sarasota's future.

The EDC has been historically consistent with their failing success rate in awarding large sums of county tax funds to companies who never deliver the promises given regarding jobs or revenue; Sanborn Studios, Tube Dude, SANCA-Benderson Rowing Park all have received Sarasota County Corporate welfare and none delivered with the promises of jobs or being self sufficient growing companies.

The BoCC approved a $20 million bond for infrastructure at Benderson Rowing Park in 2013 with a “promise” from Benderson to raise over $10 million in private funding for a boat house, grand stands and restrooms. The county and EDC didn’t make Mr. Benderson put it in writing, and none of these structures were ever built. And SANCA’s pledge to be self-sufficient by 2018 was also a farce. The BOCC has approved over $1,000,000/year for operational expenses----with our tax revenue!

Based on other arbitrary EDC decisions to fund unreliable ventures, the BoCC is playing coy about not knowing that this grant was for Rumble. Especially when Commissioner Christian Ziegler suggests that local colleges and schools should be informed about the company hiding as Project Sunshine. Why would he suggest any target audience if he know nothing about the recipient of this bundle of $$$$?

Chris Anderson of the Sarasota Herald Tribune does great research and asks the right questions.

“....Commissioners Christian Ziegler, Michael Moran, and Ron Cutsinger said in text messages this week that they did not know the name of the company, or that the company in question was Rumble, when the vote took place at the meeting. Nancy Detert did not return a message. Chair Alan Maio does not speak with the Herald-Tribune...”

Rumble is the only streaming platform that continues to stream Putin's propaganda news channels while the people of Ukraine are being murdered.

All other platforms in America have shut down Putin's propaganda news channels.

Rumble also hosts streaming channels of local January 6, 2021 D.C. insurrectionists, Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn along with a number of dangerous bad actors who continue to try and break American democracy.

Please join me today by signing this petition to let Sarasota County Commissioners and the Sarasota Economic Development Corporation board and its employees know that RUMBLE must be RESCINDED immediately. This is not a good look for Sarasota County.

I stand with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, Sarasota County is on the wrong side of history.

Adrien Lucas

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