Out of bounds

Hot on the heels of the outgoing Premier and Tourism Minister publicly mooting not renewing the PGA Grand Slam contract, we get a last minute glowing press release that the head of the PGA will suddenly be participating in the Premier's send off this weekend.

Yesterday in the paper the Premier says this:

"We are in talks about next year but we are going to wait and see what happens this year. If we don't get a good deal this year we will have to renegotiate."

And now that they've bought in to the Gala he's effusive about the value of the 'relationship' and doesn't even hide the direct link of this act:

I am pleased that Mr. Steranka has agreed to join us for the Farewell Gala Weekend and believes his support bodes well for the future relationship between the PGA and Bermuda.

I'm almost speechless. The Gala is is a partisan political fund-raising event, not a Bermuda Government event and this kind of influence peddling is exactly what many people feared.

It screams quid pro quo: the PGA make a ten or twenty thousand dollar donation to the PLP/Premier's event and any day now we'll probably find out that one of the Premier's last acts as Tourism Minister will be to renew the Grand Slam for a million plus. Not a bad trade if you're the head of the PGA. (I should add that the press release doesn't say that the PGA CEO is paying to attend).

I really don't know what to say. It looks so bad. it's so blatant. To make it worse, this is more foreign money polluting local politics.

There's so much wrong with this.

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