Jim Norman’s stooge

Jim Norman’s wife owns this $400,000 lake front house out in Arkansas. Said house and two boats Norman owns became the subject of local news stories last week when it was disclosed the Norman’s own these pieces of property but didn’t disclose their ownership on Norman’s financial disclosure statements required of political candidates. Norman claims the disclosure of the house isn’t required because it is in his wife’s name (the boats are another story – they’re in his name and not on his forms). On the house matter ol’ Jimbo had the audacity to claim he didn’t have any knowledge of the terms of his wife’s property (the house) or how she bought it. Okay Jim, so your wife buys a $400,000 house and you don’t know how or where she got the money. Yeah right. All of us married guys believe that one. Not! But hey, will you take your twenty-plus years of screwing up Hillsborough County and go represent us in the state legislature? You’ve really got a keen eye for managing money and paying attention to details.

Poor Ben Kelly is just trying to keep the boss happy

By Chris Ingram

Ever wonder what the appointed bureaucrats of career politicians do all day? You know, the kind of little twerps who work for a guy like Jim Norman who after twenty years of screwing things up in Hillsborough County (think traffic congestion) now finds himself term-limited so he seeks the state legislature so he can go screw things up in Tallahassee. Little minions who work for people like Norman are sycophants, so they of course will say or do anything to advance their man’s course.

Ben Kelly-Butz  is one of these poor souls. Can’t survive in the real world? Go get a job working for some clown career politician like Norman.

Okay, so you’re asking “why does this matter?” Well it really doesn’t — this is more of shall we say, an “irrelevant view” than an irreverent one.

Here’s the story. 

Jim Norman’s wife owns this $400,000 lake-front house out in Arkansas. Said house and two boats Norman owns became the subject of local news stories last week when it was discovered the Norman’s own these pieces of property but didn’t disclose their ownership on Norman’s financial disclosure statements required of political candidates. Norman claims the disclosure of the house isn’t required because it is in his wife’s name (the boats are another story – they’re in his name and not on his forms). On the house matter ol’ Jimbo had the audacity to claim he didn’t have any knowledge of the terms of his wife’s property (the house) or how she bought it. Okay Jim, so your wife buys a $400,000 house and you don’t know how or where she got the money. Yeah right. All of us married guys believe that one. Not!  But hey, will you take your twenty-plus years of “experience” screwing up Hillsborough County and go represent us in the state legislature? You’ve really got a keen eye for managing money and paying attention to details.

So back to this Ben Kelly fella, and what he does sitting in his little cubicle at One County Center all day.

First you have to understand what it is like for some poor soul like Mr. Kelly working in this environment for a guy like Norman. More than likely Mr. Kelly spends a lot of time stroking the ego of Mr. Norman and telling him how much the media is out to get him, and how it is perfectly reasonable that his wife owns a $400,000 lake house in another state where he stores his two boats and he doesn’t have the foggiest idea where the coin came from. And no doubt there is lots of solitaire being played on his county-provided computer — these legislative aides for certain commissioners have to stay sharp with the card games — Sam Rashid could walk in and demand a game of “Texas Hold’em” at any time. Oh, and Mr. Kelly probably spends lots of time finding free tickets to the next Bay-area sporting event.

Oh, the day in the life of a government bureaucrat…

All of the above of course is just speculation about how he spends his day. What I do know is Ben Kelly sits around surfing the internet and posting his opinion about political matters on blogs. Of course there is nothing wrong with expressing one’s opinion and certainly a man of Mr. Kelly’s stature ought to — no, needs to be heard. I mean, a legislative aide to a county commissioner is an extremely important position within county government. These are people of influence, let’s hear from them!

So on Friday, while on taxpayer’s time, Mr. Kelly used his taxpayer-funded computer to post the following on Irreverent View after reading about my being named political analyst at Bay News 9:

Sosorryforyou
(207.156.7.250 , public.hillsboroughcounty.org)
2010/07/23 at 11:24 am
I cannot believe that a network of this caliber would hire a lightning rod like Chris Ingram. He has low standards of jornalism and will have the channel in trouble in no time. I hope that the station will caution him about distorting the truth and telling half of the story. This is dangerous ground and the station should be very careful.

I did a little sleuthing and traced the anonymous posting back to Mr. Kelly.

Now as I said, Mr. Kelly has a right to his opinion. And while I don’t agree with what he wrote I will leave it up on site (as I do with all comments supportive or in agreement with me or not) for all to read.

No, the issues I have with Mr. Kelly are that while he is quick to disparage me and attack my character, he himself does not have the character to leave his name. And secondly I am bothered that county taxpayer dollars (yours and mine) are being wasted by some dolt with an opinion who ought to be working.

On second thought, a guy like Ben Kelly may actually do less damage to the county if he spends time screwing around on his computer all day. So, keep it up Ben.

Norman is another story. He obviously has a low standard of employment-hiring practices and computer policies in his office. Kind of like his low standard of watching everything else going on around him — at home and on the job.

Voters will fortunately have an opportunity to send Mr. Norman packing to his wife’s house in Arkansas.

Permanently.

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of www.IrreverentView.com. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.

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13 thoughts on “Jim Norman’s stooge”

  1. I find it hard to believe Bay News 9 hired a conservative to comment on politics! Kind of flies in the face of their political agenda. But hey, with the success of FNC, now everyone is trying to claim that they are “fair and balanced”!
    Good luck working with Castor, make sure you have your batting helmet handy!

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  2. Poor Ben. He is defending his employer. Ben is a great guy, I have known him for years
    (Young Republican days & I use to be a county Commissioners aide as well). We don’t really play solitaire on the computer. Everything we do is open for the public to see. I think Ben was upset with what you wrote about Jim Norman, however thruthful it is. I am disappointed that Jim has not addressed how his wife PAID CASH for this luxuries house on the water that use to belong to a Miller Beer Distributor (the beer guy died, can’t find out who/how house was purchased)
    People like Norman, Greer, Crist need to be exposed! It is sicking the power has gone to their head, become greedy, arrogant and then when caught they play the “I dunno” game. That’s why the public hate these liars! Expose them!!!

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  3. Mr. Ben Kelly Butz is a little touchy isn’t he? He must be loyal to his boss. Didn’t his boss buy him a truck last election? He needed it for all the campaign work he was doing. I wonder if there will be another new truck this round?

    On to Norman, I can’t think of a better place for him to be than in Arkansas come the end of his reign of terror. Far away from here! And, please, no naming a building, stadium or port-o-let after him! Let him truly be gone!!

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  4. Wait for it: Norman will now say that his opponent, Ambler, is attacking innocent staffers. The last thing we will hear is, “You’re right. He shouldn’t have been doing that when he’s working for taxpayers.” Norman could also make “LakeGate” go away by coming clean, unless the truth would get him in more trouble than the stonewalling. The only thing he has less than integrity is judgment.

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  5. Ben is a good guy, I’ve known him for years, but in the end Norman will cost him more than some bad press. He has already cost him dearly.

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