Thursday, January 28, 2016

Florida’s charitable act not so charitable

Have you ever had a friend who won’t do a favor without getting something in return? Or acquaintances who do good deeds only if they have an ulterior motive? Or that neighbor who always brags about having a bigger TV or newer car?
Fifteen dump trucks dispatched from Florida
to help with snow removal in Washington, D.C.,
sport signs that encourage travel to the
"Sunshine State."

Well, that’s the type of friend Florida is being to Washington, D.C., right now.

Don’t get me wrong. Florida is doing a nice thing. Florida Gov. Rick Scott dispatched a 15-truck convoy to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to help with the snow removal from the recent blizzard that dropped more than 20 inches on the nation’s capital. Along with the 15 dump trucks, Florida is sending 31 state employees.

Again, Florida deserves kudos for doing a good deed. But just as with that friend, you know there’s a catch.

All 15 dump trucks will sport a sign encouraging residents of Washington, D.C., to leave the snow behind for a trip to the sunny weather of Florida.

And to give Florida credit, they are not being shy about their plan to turn a good deed into tourism dollars. 

“While Florida is proud to help out the nation’s capital in the aftermath of the storm, we also want to send a friendly reminder to our chilly northern neighbors that we have plenty of sunshine and warm weather for them to enjoy here in the Sunshine State,” said Will Seccombe, president and CEO of Visit Florida.

Some may call the strategy opportunistic. Others will deem it tacky.

Regardless, I’m sure D.C. appreciates the help. The deed may be enough for the capital to consider Florida a good neighbor or even a friend.

But just don’t be surprised if Florida’s invitation to the summer barbecue gets lost in the mail.