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College handed Sansom $122M wish list

The president of the college where Ray Sansom now works provided him with a "pricey" $122-million funding request over five years with the implicit expectation that Sansom would help "make it a reality."

Sansom, who got the request in February, took care of the first part. This year, he secured $25.5-million in the budget for a student services building at Northwest Florida State College -- $24.5-million more than the Department of Education requested.

Records obtained today by the Times/Herald show the college wanted $18-million in PECO funds in the upcoming fiscal year (at some point, the request was pared back to $13.2-million, a figure we already reported. The DOE has recommended only $748,000).

Pecolist The big payoff was to come in Sansom's final year in the House, with $34-million. Then in the two years following, the college wanted an additional $45-million.

All told, the college laid out a five-year plan to obtain $122.5-million. "It's a pricey list ... hopefully we can make it a reality," President Bob Richburg wrote to Sansom on Feb. 26, 2008.

It was not the first time Richburg directly appealed to Sansom for funding. See below.

Leadership_2 In August 2007, Richburg presented Sansom with a proposal for a "Northwest Florida Leadership Institute," a training center of sorts for business people at the college.

Sansom warmly embraced the idea -- "This looks great!! Next step?" -- and then pledged to find money. "I will get to work on funds," he wrote to Richburg.

The rest is history. Sansom inserted $750,000 in start-up money into the current budget for the institute -- a quiet move that cause tension with House Speaker Marco Rubio.


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George Anthony Lovenguth

The Dept. of Veterans Affairs needs some bailout money now Mr. Vice President
Submitted by Scribes Cafe on Tue, 12/23/2008 - 05:08.
The Dept. of Veterans Affairs needs some bailout money now!

Americans have been told by the news media these past eight years what most Americans already know from birth. They have been told to be patriotic with thousands of financially poor young men and women joining the armed forces, enticed with promises of education and health benefits upon their separation. Sadly, after years of defending the American executive orders without question these young men and women who have received combat related wounds, which include mental and physical breakdowns, never actually get to make use of the earned educational benefits. Many find themselves abandoned, unable to articulate what they are experiencing and they become lost on American soil with a new title; homeless veteran.

While waiting for Department of Veterans Affairs processing, which can take many months to a few years, the young, former military members are now disabled veterans and are shunned by the very society they gave up their late teenage years to defend. Being a former Marine helicopter door gunner and a disabled Vietnam; aircrew member / veteran, I know the feeling of being considered a second rate American citizen. It feels wrong, strange, and is quite confusing. The disabled veteran must enter the process of proving they are disabled. They must continue waiting for an appointment to be evaluated by a sub-contracted outside doctor who gets paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs to basically deny the claim.

I had a baby doctor evaluate my radiation burns and he, having no experience with radiation burns wrote a report which didn’t include how my feet were burned. Therefore when the report was read by the claims specialist at the Florida VA regional office they denied the VA hospital caused the burns. The baby doctor actually told me I must have stepped into something toxic. The fact is I stepped into the VA hospital radiation room and they didn’t put a protective shield over my legs and feet. I understand what the new disabled veterans are going through today. After waiting to be APPROVED by the Department of Veterans Affairs so they can be APPROVED for medical or mental treatment, or to enter an educational setting, they become more broken down both physically and emotionally. Many have resorted to the final solution and have committed suicide to end the agony they are all quietly suffering.

This is not written in the newspapers or written online nor is it mentioned on the television. When one of these stories do make it out for the public to see, the viewer has already been trained by the very same television news, and the print and online media to become numb to such events. They shrug it off as being what happens to those for actually served in a combat environment. They have actually held another service members brains or intestines in their hands. They have sucked it up and carried blown up babies and women and have become dizzy with grief. Something the rich and elected ones ignore.

Then, right here on American soil we have CEO’s and major Dow Jones wealthy stock holders who benefit clearly and without waiting a week for billions of taxpayers dollars in what has become known as the great American bailout. They do not have to wait, they do not have to live in squalor, they just call their local elected official who they contributed money to during the election campaign and they receive a check no questions asked. This is what has been taking place in America during these past few months in 2008. The elected ones simply pay lip service to the waiting disabled combat veterans and simply write a check without any questions to their friends and family contributors. They ignore the very people who were protecting all Americans. These young service members who were unfortunate to get wounded are now disabled former service members called the disabled veterans.

It's a fact that these few wealthy stock holding unpatriotic few are being viewed as more needy then the very young former military service members; who are now disabled and must wait to be evaluated. How does this make any sense? The CEO’s receive millions of dollars for getting a pen stain or that terrible paper cut and making bad decisions and then get approved by the American elected leaders, who are for the most part in 2008 millionaires themselves. Never are these CEO’s asked to put their life on the line for America, never are they asked or required to fill out a form, they are asked only to put their signature on the campaign contribution check and now the bailout check they receive. The question is why are they placed before the disabled American combat veterans? The veterans earned their benefits. Yet the non-veteran millionaires get to make use of the American taxpayer’s dollar as they see fit.

Odd isn’t it? The CEO’s get millions of dollars and the returned disabled veteran gets a few hundred dollars and a bottle of pills if they live long enough to get a proper evaluation. And guess who owns the stock in the companies who supply the pills? The non-veteran millionaires and many of the American elected officials who told these young people you must be patriotic and serve your country, to die for your country while defending your country. A recent PEW survey has indicated that many of the corporations who have received billions of tax payer dollars along with their stock holders are not even Americans. Stories are appearing on the news and online that there has been no accounting as to where billions of these dollars have actually gone. And tonight over a few hundred thousand disabled, service connected veterans are freezing with empty stomachs and not one elected official is doing anything. They only are paying lip service about how they will call for another study and introduce legislation to create another (on paper) veteran help line. On this same cold night those wealthy recipients of the billion dollar bailout funds are laughing themselves to sleep after eating well and living high.

It's the Department of Veterans Affairs who needs a piece of this billion dollar bailout and they need it today. They need the money to upgrade the existing facilities and hire properly educated and licensed staff. Those elected to the American executive branch must live up to the promised benefits for those who volunteered to serve. This is what was discussed and written about this week at Scribes Cafe. 12-23-2008 Scribe Lovenguth

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