Tom Lee: Democrats' Attack on the Enterprise Florida Tie a ‘Political Charade’

By: Jim Turner | Posted: February 21, 2013 3:55 AM
Tom Lee

Sen. Tom Lee

The continued assault on Enterprise Florida's new business-recruitment logo, which features an orange tie in the place of the Florida’s "I," has become a “wasteful” embarrassment, said Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon.

As Democratic members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development assailed the $100,000 logo and the accompanying plans to include it as part of a $3 million campaign to attract new business to the Sunshine State, Lee beckoned that such expressed indignation is a “non-issue.”

“To suggest that businesses, whether it’s the state of Florida, McDonald's or Coca-Cola shouldn’t have a logo, and shouldn’t be promoting their brand, just defies any business principles,” Lee said.

“As someone who has been in real estate and home building business for 30 years, with master planned community developers, they spend a lot of money to brand their communities. And to me, with all due respect, I just think this is a political charade and it’s wasteful of my valuable time.”

Florida Logo
The new brand, with its accompanying tagline of “Florida. The Perfect Climate for Business,” is supposed to make one think of Florida’s pro-business attributes, such as no personal income tax, growing global trade infrastructure and workforce.

With Gov. Rick Scott seeking a $256 million boost to the Department of Economic Opportunity for tax incentives and training grants, Democrats in the Senate ramped up the assault on the new Enterprise Florida business recruitment logo, which has been called sexist since being introduced on Jan. 31, and some questioned why a logo is even needed.

Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, said the brand should be about the sun, while the tie appears to exclude women in business.

“I think you have narrowed the market with this orange tie. You’re targeting males, rather than women. I don’t want to say this, but I think it’s sexist, and I think you need a different logo.”

Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, added that the tie has become archaic, especially for those in Central and South Florida.

“Most people that I do business with in the state, they don’t wear ties,” Ring said. “It’s a very casual state.” 

Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, asked why Florida needs a brand, instead using its marketing for additional incentives.

“The selling point, as far as I’m concerned, is in the incentives we’re offering,” Gibson said. “Clearly. since we’re being asked to put more money into the incentives pot, we don’t need a brand.”

Enterprise Florida Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Medley said the brand is part of the state’s new aggressive effort to grow jobs.

“Incentives are a tool, but they are not the core of why a business chooses Florida,” Medley said.

Reach Jim Turner at or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (1)

1:49PM FEB 21ST 2013
Yeah, yeah . . . it's all Democrats raising concerns, like:

(1) Rep. Mike Fasano (R) - “Was Coca-Cola not going to expand and create those jobs if we did not give them taxpayer money of $564,000 to expand those 60 jobs?” . . . “How do you justify your existence if you continue to use taxpayer money?”

(2) Rep. Frank Artiles (R) - “You should be recruiting more business instead of retaining and giving corporate welfare or giveaways to existing companies”

(3) Senator Andy Gardiner (R), who is pushing a bill to require more intense review of incentive programs.

(4) Gov. Rick Scott (R) "has quietly fired Enterprise Florida president John Adams, saying he wants a new leader to help promote his job-creation and economic development agenda".

Oh, and as to that "tie" business . . . it's the state’s businesswomen that are attacking it as being sexist . . . . many of them Republicans . . . . besides, this issue had its 15 minutes two weeks ago . . . perhaps this is the only news SSN can muster . . . .

Yes, SSN's once again got its truthiness right . . . the questions about Enterprise Florida (and that logo) are all part of a partisan demonizing attack solely by Democrats . . . . and once again, SSN's proven itself to be clearly . . . .

Pathetic . . . .

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