January 21, 2024

Billy Townsend: Does Ziegler “friend” Pat Neal think Bridget should resign?

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Billy Townsend blogs at Public Enemy Number One, where he keeps an eye on Florida shenanigans, including the many connections between the players. Reposted with permission

And you thought only Proud Boys called themselves Bridget Ziegler’s political “friends.” LOL.

Take a look at the “Friends of Bridget Ziegler,” the political committee Proud Bridget runs along with former Sarasota board member and political operative Eric Robinson.

You’ll see it was quite “friendly” to Christian Ziegler’s small time media company (Micro Targeted Media) where it spent more than $17,000 in money partially supplied by Pat Neal, Academica, and the Stafford Jones/Richard Coates axis of committees that I introduced you to recently.

Contributions on top, expenditures below.

The best of “friends,” or at least the most prominent

As I mentioned, three particular “friends,” contained within four entities, leap out on the contributions:

  1. Pat Neal, gazillionaire developer, former state senator, “respected” king-maker in the Sarasota area, if he does say so himself. And he does. Neal also made an appearance in my recent article about the committees because of the ease and regularity with which he drops $100K checks on the gross empire of Bridget Friends #2.


  2. Stafford Jones and Richard Coates, through two of their (at least) 77 political committees: “Conservative Choice” and “Florida Conservatives United.” The latter committee, particularly, is larded with $3.4M in endless huge contributions from many of the biggest brands in Florida and American business. Go check it out for yourself. They all helped bring you the Ziegler show.
  3. Ignacio Zulueta and “Academica,” the for-profit education giant that grifted Jefferson County and employed Manny Diaz, who is Florida’s Commissioner of Education and a former state senator. One of Academica’s tentacles, Somerset charter, is at the center of a subpoena issued by a federal grand jury investigating the DoE/Jefferson scandal.

What’s that you say? You don’t see Academica on “Friends of Bridget Ziegler” list? Look closer. See “School Development HC Finance?” See its address? 6340 Sunset Drive, Miami? Look who else dwells there:

The manager of “School Development HC Finance” is Ignacio Zulueta, co-founder of Academica (along with his brother Fernando) and board member for the Florida Charter School Alliance (FCSA).

That makes Ignacio Zulueta the employer of Ralph Arza, the FCSA’s director of government relations. Arza, in addition to his spectacular career of gross, racist criminality (literally), which Ron DeSantis’ campaign once called “disgusting,” is a crucial figure in the DoE/Jefferson scandal and named specifically in the federal grand jury subpoena.

Here’s a concise, decade-old summary of the Zulueta brothers and Academica from the Tampa Bay Times. Key points:

Moreover, for my dear Sarasota friends, there may well be an Academica angle brewing in the Rufo/Corcoran New College grift, as I wrote about recently.

Make the “respected” Pat Neal own his good “friend” Bridget

I fully sympathize with how satisfying it must feel to look Bridget Ziegler in the eye at a School Board meeting and make her eat the richly deserved moral consequences of her gross, unapologetic public cruelty and abusiveness.

This type of moral confrontation is delicious; and I urge people to keep doing it as long as she’s in public life.

But if Sarasotans want to really rid themselves of Zieglers, both literal and figurative, I’d urge them to turn their attention to Pat Neal. Folks should get him on the phone or on email or at the country club and ask him if his good “friend” Bridget should quit and stop humiliating herself, her community, her family, and even the “respected” Pat Neal himself.

Are you embarrassed, Pat? If not, are you capable of embarrassment?

If Pat Neal said out loud, where people could hear it, that Proud Bridget has to go, she’d be gone in a second — or she and hubby would signal one hell of a willingness to set fire to the system that created them by defying one of its important “leaders.”

Either outcome is fine with me.

Honestly, I can’t stop chuckling at a guy who writes this about himself in the third person on his own corporate website:

Pat Neal is respected for his business leadership, public service and philanthropy.

Imagine if I wrote something like that here at PE1:

Billy Townsend is respected for his boyish good looks; his mad hoops skills for a 52-year-old dude; and his kindness to all living creatures.

Which respect is more plausible? Which respect is more important to our respective self-images?

Pat Neal’s obvious public need to inform you that you respect him is your best weapon for changing his behavior.

You can email “Conservative Choice” at conservativechoice@electioneeringconsulting.com

The Zieglers of the day always come and go.

The Pat Neals and Stafford Joneses and Brothers Zulueta and Richard Coateses are more permanent. Power needs some permanence to truly strip mine our state of its decency and future at scale, as they have. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to reach the more permanent fixtures.

Academica got run out of Jefferson County, leaving scandal in its wake. A federal grand jury is now reaching into its documents. We’ll see to what end.

“Conservative Choice” and “Florida Conservatives United” both have email addresses at the domain “electioneeringconsulting.com.”

“Electioneering Consulting” is Stafford Jones’ political shop — which shows just how completely he and Coates own the committees that are Bridget’s friends. You can email these friends at conservativechoice@electioneeringconsulting.com or floridaconservativesunited@electioneeringconsulting.com. Who knows; maybe the domains will route to the Stafford Jones’ phone. Here’s mine:

You too can ask Jones and Coates if their friend Bridget should resign. They won’t answer if they get it; but it might annoy them. Here’s the contact info for Electioneering Consulting itself.

In the end, the Zieglers are just a symptom of a much, much larger moral and intellectual disease spread by of a generation of “respected” leadership in Florida. It’s always the respected “friends” who matter, those who pick and choose cynically among the ever-willing herd of gross social climbers eager to replace the Zieglers of the day when they predictably self-destruct.

We should at least point and laugh at their enormous, needy self-importance of these “friends.” Maybe we’ll get better Zieglers out of it — or, if miracles still occur, no Zieglers at all.

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