I find the sponsorship most important....Second only to who is going. Water and Sewer Department head? I don't think so. Lobbyists, I think less of that. The motivation is for the lobbyists to underwrite the Mayor and his spouse’s trip to Paris...seems simple to me..”they like Paris in the spring time." Clearly they are motivaated to gain favor with the Mayor/Commissioners.
The sponsors also get to smooze with the mayor and county commissioner’s (Two) unfettered by Press or sunshine etc. The lobbyists write it off on their taxes as a “business expense."
The elected officials all WANT to go to Paris (except maybe Daniella and Zapata ) but all are afraid of getting bad press for spending public $$ on the trip.
Beacon travel costs are underwritten in part by “in-kind” tickets from American Airlines. When Giminez got elected Mayor and the air show was coming up Lopez floated the idea of a fund that would underwrite the MAYOR'S travel expenses.
Starting in 1996 the Paris air show was always attended by Several (many) commissioners and county officials and the airport spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on their participation (worthless expenses like a major display and marketing materials much of which was destroyed right after the show.) After one trip which was attended by Steve Spratt (then an administrator with the county) he questioned the expense and lack of ROI (return on investment). The scope of the mission was severely cut back as he cut the airport underwriting of the “junket". No Mayor ever went on the mission, however, Giminez goes.
Giminez's first trip to the air show was when he was first elected a county commissioner. (he also took a side trip after the mission to pick up his new Mercedes in Germany).
Pepe Diaz when he was last ITC chair and was traveling to Asia on a regular basis, the Herald did a series on the ITC”s past trips and it was so bad that Joe Martinez, when he was chair, pulled Pepe from the ITC chair..,,well he’s BACK and going on the trip. Pepe is going to discuss Trade with FRANCE??