Irony gasps back to life! Thanks, Florida GOP.


Florida, America’s poxed appendage

Their finances are in a shambles now, because one man held the keys to all of the accounts.

After spending months railing against COVID-19 precautions and criticizing Dr. Anthony Fauci, a Republican Party official in Florida passed away this week — leaving his county-level GOP organization without access to critical financial accounts.

Gregg Prentice, 61, served as accountant for the Hillsborough County GOP and also chaired the organization’s committee for election integrity. A software engineer by trade, Tampa Bay’s local Patch outlet reported that he built and maintained the local Republican party’s campaign finance software last year and was responsible for filing its monthly reports to the Federal Elections Commission.

A FEC filing from the surviving members of the organization claims that Prentice died without sharing login information for these accounts, or any sort of instructions for how to use them. The letter also tells the regulatory agency it will likely need more time to complete a report on its August fundraising numbers, and foreshadows trouble compiling the local party’s financials for future months as well.

Can you guess how he died? Can you? Guess! The Republicans are frantically straining to get extensions, so they explained how.

As a Political Party Committee, we file our FEC reports on a monthly basis. For several years we have been submitting the reports electronically, and for over a year we have done this with software developed by one of our members, Gregg Prentice. Gregg’s software converted data from our Quickbooks accounting software to supply the information needed by the FEC.

Unfortunately, Gregg passed away suddenly from Covid 19 on Saturday, September 11, 2021. Gregg did not share the software and instructions for its use with our officers. We will have to enter the August data manually, and according to the information we have received from our FEC analyst, Scott Bennett, we may likely have to re-enter the data from our first 7 months of 2021. We will be struggling to get all of this entered in the proper format by our deadline on September 20, but we will try to do so with our best effort.

Killed by a virus he had denied. It would be sad if it weren’t so fitting.

In addition to his role compiling the Hillsborough County GOP’s financials, Prentice spent most of the past year fearmongering about COVID-19 vaccines, mask mandates and other pandemic safety measures. Like many other conservatives in public life, he took aim in particular at White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, writing on Facebook that America needed to “End Faucism.” He also argued that “we need more socialist distancing than we do social distancing.”

Think of all the work the party would have been spared if only Gregg had taken a few minutes to get vaccinated. The pandemic is going to not only cull Republican voters, but is going to disrupt their organization. I hate to suggest it, but in the name of our common humanity, go get the shot, Republicans and other kooks.

Comments

  1. says

    Anybody else wonder just what they’ll find once they undo the books? I mean let’s face it, these types aren’t all that well known for their honesty to begin with while using accounts that are easily accessed by others.

  2. says

    @Ronald Couch
    Literally my first thought. I’m not sure if he had access to the actual money from the accounts, but if he did, someone should be sweating.

  3. kome says

    I’m wondering how effective it would be to do a little reverse psychology. For the liberals and Democrats to play like the monsters the right-wing paints us as. Go on TV and publicly say that Republicans shouldn’t get the vaccine because that’ll mean more of them will die, and the upcoming election cycle will almost guaranteed result in a blue wave across the country, which will itself then result in all the children orphaned by the piles of newly dead Republicans being raised (by the state!) surrounded by messages about the positives of socialism.

    We can’t reason with these idiots, but maybe we can scare them or anger them into doing the minimally responsible thing.

  4. consciousness razor says

    I’m not sure if he had access to the actual money from the accounts, but if he did, someone should be sweating.

    Not clear that he did. And probably, there’s nothing especially interesting to report anyway. They’ve been losing to Dems for years in that county.

    But it is surprising that nobody else in their organization had access. In addition to Prentice (acting as accountant), there are a lot of others who you might have expected. According to their website, their executive board has a treasurer, a secretary and assistant secretary, as well as a chair and three vice chairs. They also have chairs for committees named “audit” and “fundraising.” Not one of them?

    I mean, that sounds like too many for a round of golf … so what do they all do with their time?

  5. blf says

    kome@4 wonders:

    […] how effective it would be to do a little reverse psychology. For the liberals and Democrats to play like the monsters the right-wing paints us as. Go on TV and publicly say that Republicans shouldn’t get the vaccine because that’ll mean more of them will die, and the upcoming election cycle will almost guaranteed result in a blue wave across the country […]

    Snippet from Lynna in the current Infinite [Pandemic and Politics] Thread, teh eejits are already claiming something like that is happening:

    Say what now? From Wonkette: Breitbart Columnist: Liberals Trying To Trick Trumpists Into Not Getting Vaccine So They Die

    Pack it in, everyone. Breitbart’s John Nolte is onto our dastardly plan. He’s figured out our secret plan to kill off the Right by encouraging them to get the vaccine. Is this because he thinks the vaccine is part of Bill Gate’s plot to depopulate the world? Or that it’s poison? No! He says he is vaccinated himself and is a great proponent of the vaccine. He just thinks that we’re encouraging conservatives to get the vaccine because we know that if we tell them to get the vaccine, they will deliberately not get the vaccine just to spite us — and has been pushing this theory in several columns as of late.

    […]

    More at both links.

  6. lotharloo says

    @4:
    Some dumb fuck at Breitbart already has suggested that libarals want to kill republicans through covid, by aggressively promoting vaccines, masks and social distancing while perfect knowing that maga people will do the opposite to trigger the libs.

  7. blf says

    Teh loon was apparently an astonishing eejit…
    Forbes, GOP Group That Fights Against Vaccine Mandates And For Election Integrity Might Miss Campaign Filing Deadline After Bookkeeper Dies From Covid:

    [… T]he committee has taken a hard line against Covid-19 prevention protocols, urging its Facebook followers to oppose mask mandates, vaccination requirements and lockdowns. On August 27, the committee honored Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene (R–GA) […] at its sold-out Lincoln Day Dinner. […] In addition to handling the Hillsborough GOP’s financial records, Prentice headed its election integrity committee.

    In fairness, Forbes notes it’s unclear if teh eejit attended the Lincoln Day event (which was apparently largely unmasked). However, Forbes does not follow-up on the eejit’s heading the “election integrity committee” (which, I presume, is anything but).

    Salon, Anti-mask FL GOP bookkeeper dies of COVID — leaving party without access to finance software:

    His death also opened up a firestorm of conspiracy theories from other local Republican Party officials

    After spending months railing against COVID-19 precautions and criticizing Dr Anthony Fauci, a Republican Party official in Florida passed away this week […]

    […]

    In addition to his role compiling the Hillsborough County GOP’s financials, Prentice spent most of the past year fearmongering about COVID-19 vaccines, mask mandates and other pandemic safety measures. Like many other conservatives in public life, he took aim in particular at White House COVID-19 adviser Dr Anthony Fauci, writing on Facebook that America needed to End Faucism. He also argued that we need more socialist distancing than we do social distancing.

    Prentice’s death has also opened up a firestorm of conspiracy theories from other local Republican Party officials, including one who called COVID-19 a medically engineered virus and suggested — without evidence — that his death was the result of wrongdoing on behalf of the hospital he was being treated at.

    Jason Kimball, a fellow Hillsborough County GOP member and close friend of Prentice, even suggested that Tampa General Hospital was performing intubations illegally, Patch reported. Kimball, whose LinkedIn profile says he is a pharmacy technician at a local Walmart, called the procedure a high-fatality protocol in comments to the Tampa City Council.

    ER and ICU doctors are criminals and murderers, Kimball wrote on Facebook[factsbork]. They intubate everyone and stick them on a ventilator for no reason, just ‘out of precaution’ as the doctor told me — without consent from the family. Tampa General Hospital is evil.

    At least one council member interrupted his comments to denounce the conspiracies.

    “I rarely chime in when it comes to people’s comments, but that one I think is extremely dangerous,” John Dingfelder said. “I think it’s a dangerous comment to be spreading to this community, telling people they shouldn’t go to Tampa General Hospital.”

    “That was a very dangerous comment from that individual. People listen to ridiculous comments without doing the right research.”

    Credit to Mr Dingfelder for calling out the loon’s comments.

  8. tacitus says

    I’m wondering how effective it would be to do a little reverse psychology.

    I’ve been suggesting we call the vaccines “freedom juice” for months, but nobody is listening…

  9. jillianemergent says

    “I hate to suggest it, but in the name of our common humanity, go get the shot, Republicans and other kooks.”
    Also in the name of the under-12s and the immunocompromised with whom who these people will interact.

  10. raven says

    Jason Kimball:

    “ER and ICU doctors are criminals and murderers, Kimball wrote on Facebook[factsbork]. They intubate everyone and stick them on a ventilator for no reason, just ‘out of precaution’ as the doctor told me — without consent from the family. Tampa General Hospital is evil.”

    Jason Kimball is free to refuse any and all medical care and die at home or in the street.
    It happens occasionally. A lot of the Covid-19 virus deniers/antivaxxers are dying from the Covid-19 virus. One of the reasons is that since the virus isn’t real or very serious, they wait too long to go to the hospital. They come in by ambulance, already very sick and that makes them harder to treat.
    They are also frequently hostile, scream at the health care staff, and occasionally attack them.

    The ventilators are a last resort just slightly ahead of ECMO, heart lung machines. They have their problems. Survival of ventilator patients is 5% to 75%. An average figure is 50% or so.

  11. jrkrideau says

    @ 6 consciousness razor

    If I am reading that correctly they use Quickbooks accounting software and he only wrote the software to upload the info so others should have access to the accounts.

    I would have thoucht that the FEC would have providee standard software for that but it’s the USA (shrug).

  12. blf says

    @14, The Salon article (second link in @10) explains, “A FEC filing from the surviving members of the organization claims that Prentice died without sharing login information for these accounts, or any sort of instructions for how to use them.” That suggests teh other thugs don’t even have access to the Quickbooks database(?), albeit as @6 points out, it seems rather weird — even for thugs — no-one else has access to the database. (And what about, e.g., backups (of the database)?)

  13. consciousness razor says

    If I am reading that correctly they use Quickbooks accounting software and he only wrote the software to upload the info so others should have access to the accounts.

    Right, they can still get to the data, and the problem has to do with filing it on time.

    Probably, “upload” is the wrong word though…. As I understand it, they need to fill out IRS Form 8872, which means (perhaps lengthy, but not too detailed) itemized lists of information about their contributions and expenditures. So, it sounds like the software takes the data from QuickBooks and enters it into the appropriate fields in that PDF form. Because that’s faster/cheaper than hiring somebody to do the data entry manually every month. Then, that completed form is what would be uploaded (or mailed), but nothing fancy is required to do something very simple like that.

  14. consciousness razor says

    That suggests teh other thugs don’t even have access to the Quickbooks database(?)

    Not sure if it’s access to the computer itself, maybe? Was it all on the dude’s home computer? And nobody else knows the password(s)? But they also talk about instructions for its use, which suggests access isn’t really the problem. No idea what’s going on there. Like I said, it’s not an especially small organization — they’ve got a treasurer, etc. Only the one guy could get to it? Or only the one guy knows what the fuck he’s doing with it?

  15. blf says

    @18, The quoted summary talks about both accounts and instructions. We have no idea what accounts (plural) are being talked about — or even if that summary is correct — they could include (as just one example), the account(s?) used to upload the data / form, at either or both ends. And I concur it’s odd only one person might have had access to the data, (from @15) “as @6 points out, it seems rather weird — even for thugs — no-one else has access to the database.”

    As an aside, it’s a very bad idea for a passphrase (password) to be shared amongst multiple people. That looses accountability — you have no idea (after the fact) who did what (or allowed something to happen). There are ways of “sharing an account” which preserves individual accountability (i.e., individual proof of identity), albeit some systems and many sites aren’t, shall we say, “helpful”…

  16. consciousness razor says

    rmsith:
    Since this one involves Florida Man too, it’s not out of the question that this is also a case of Dimpled Chad. Very difficult to rule that out.

    blf:

    The quoted summary talks about both accounts and instructions.

    Yep. They need to say to the FEC (without getting in trouble) that they “can’t” do it on time, and they need to explain why they can’t.

    The latter excuse is irrelevant, if the real issue has to do with the former. However, they are nonetheless promising to do it manually, so I think it’s just that they simply don’t know how to use the software.

    They came up with the “better” excuse of not having access (passwords or some such), just in case the real one (“we’re disorganized/incompetent”) wouldn’t sound good enough to the right people.

    When you’re in the excuse-making business, it often makes sense to pad the list with as many items as you can think of. However, it seems like in this case the goal was more about coming up with a better excuse than they really had (one which is also hard for anyone to verify). Maybe they just didn’t think through it to realize that they shouldn’t be giving the real one in addition to the fake one, if they want people to believe the fake one. They and their supporters believe inconsistent things almost constantly, so that seems very plausible to me.

  17. tacitus says

    The ventilators are a last resort just slightly ahead of ECMO, heart lung machines. They have their problems. Survival of ventilator patients is 5% to 75%. An average figure is 50% or so.

    Yeah, I was talking to a cousin of mine the other day. She’s a retired hospital administrator and a retired physician friend of hers was hospitalized with Covid-19 (before vaccinations were available) and told the medical team treating him that under no circumstances was he to be intubated. He knew from having treated ventilated patients himself that even if he survived the ordeal, at his age he would almost certainly be eking out the rest of his life in a nursing home, and he didn’t want that. Unfortunately he passed away shortly thereafter.

  18. says

    If an individual worth a few thousand dollars locked himself out of his accounts, do you really believe the financial entity or government would show any empathy or assistance? Not bloody likely. At least the guy who lost a bitcoin fortune was philosophical about it, not whining for others to solve his own mistake.

    The last time I heard of a republican intentionally handling all the money himself was Joe Arpaio, and the suspicion was he was misusing county funds. If the accounts in Florida are ever opened, I’ll bet that happened.

    rsmith (#19) –

    Since he was a software engineer, does this count as PEBKAC?

    As I recently heard PICNIC: problem in chair, not in computer.

  19. says

    And I bet when they paid him to write their software for them, they did not think to ask for Source Code and Modification Rights …..

    (Seriously. If you are ever commissioning anyone to write bespoke software for you, always insist on Source Code and Modification Rights. In fact, insist on everything the GPL would give you. If you’re paying enough, even demand a bound copy of the Source Code with annotations.)

  20. Marshall says

    So wait, does the GOP not get reviewed by accounting organizations like Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC (the “Big Four”)? Almost every large company in the nation that has a federal oversight committee does. Are there no audits? Am I missing something here? How is it it even possible that the financial software for Florida’s GOP was developed by one man in under a year, and that nobody else had access or any way to perform ANY validation of what he was doing?

  21. unclefrogy says

    @26 they should of course but since it is just one county it might slip by because of size or some other loop hole they they found

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