'Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle:' Collier Commissioner Jim Coletta on political group SCREWED

It’s March Madness -- in college basketball and, some might say, in local government and politics.

Guests for this week’s "Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle’’ program, airing Sunday morning at 10 on ABC7, are:

Karl Smesko, coach of the Florida Gulf Coast University’s women’s basketball team that makes its first appearance in the NCAA post-season tournament today at 2:30 p.m. vs. St. Bonaventure;

John Sorey, Naples’ new mayor, who explains what comes next for bay boat speeds and unpaid utility bills.

Jim Coletta, Collier County commissioner, who sizes up an opposition political group called SCREWED.

Highlights are at naplesnews.com/newsmakers.

Here are excerpts:

********************************

NewsMakers: Jim Coletta

He sizes up SCREWED.

Jim Coletta

Lytle: Let’s get right to it, sir. You are the target of a mailing that went out in last weekend’s mail. It’s called "Stop Coletta," and it’s from an organization that comes right up front and in your face. The organization is called SCREWED, and it stands for Stop Commissioners Receiving and Wasting Everyone’s Dollars, and you are the bad guy. You’re the guy with the "Ghostbusters’’ slash across your picture on there.

Coletta: Oh yeah, most complimentary.

Lytle: And specifically it says that you waste money on the water park, propping up big land developers, elevated bathrooms and concessions on the beach. But it really comes after you about Ave Maria.

Coletta: Very much so.

Lytle: And it says in effect that you have subsidized the developer out there for road construction and other stuff ... you’ve seen this. This is not a surprise to you.

Coletta: Oh very much so, no surprise at all.

Lytle: Do you know these guys? And what do you have to say for yourself?

Coletta: Well, you know, I’ve been around the block a couple of times now, in five different campaigns. I have never in my life seen such a negative piece of literature put out against myself, as a candidate. I’ve never seen anything like this.

Keep in mind, Jeff, that we’re still five months away from the primary. And they’re starting early. If you have no credibility, and you’re a desperate person out there, you’re going to resort to this kind of negativity.

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