Million Dollar Digs

     -----Original Message-----

From: John Sugg []
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2003 3:01 PM
Subject: million-dollar digs

I intend to comment on your litigation among other media issues in an
upcoming column. I note from the public records that you last year made a $1
million CASH DOWN PAYMENT on a luxury 5,000 square foot home in Jacksonville

You're welcome to comment on this revelation about your finances and the
apparent conflict with your fundraising appeals. I note from the record that
Steve repeatedly to disclose your finances. Without doing so, is there any
way you can assure supporters that money donated to you for legal expenses
won't be used to, say, furnish your mansion?




"Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity
in the context of professional journalism."
                         -- Hunter S. Thompson

John Sugg
Senior Editor
Creative Loafing
Atlanta, Georgia


RE: million-dollar digs 


9/2/2003 10:48:39 AM Eastern Standard Time




Sent from the Internet (Details)


Steve, thanks for noting the omissions in my hurried email, although I'm
sure the context of the message was clear. Whatever, let me repeat with
clarifying words, plus some new questions:

First, I'm surprised you don't recognize the authorship of your own words.
The source of the "get back on our feet" is your web page, on which you

"Although not as expensive as the trial, appealing this latest court ruling
will run up our legal bills even higher at a time we were just hoping to get
back on our feet."

Which, of course, raises the question: Wouldn't most people feel that having
sufficient resources to make a million dollar down payment on a home means
that you are, indeed, back on your feet? Thus, isn't your failure to
disclose your finances, including full net worth, deceptive?

Are you taking advantage of potential donors, almost all of whom are much
less affluent than you, with the implication that you are financially
strapped when, in fact, you have considerable wealth?

I note from the record that Steve repeatedly failed and/or refused to
disclose your finances. Without providing such records, is there any way you
can assure supporters that money donated to you for legal expenses won't be
used to, say, furnish your mansion? Do you have verifiable records of your
fundraising, audited by an independent accountant? Are those records
available to potential donors and the public? Have you created any form of
taxable or tax-exempt entity to receive and disburse those funds? If you
refuse to provide an independent accounting of the funds, what proof do you
have that the funds contributed for your legal fees have not been comingled
with your personal finances?

Do you feel that potential donors should have been advised by you that you
are, in fact, people with financial resources far greater than all but a
tiny percentage of Americans? Does the investment in the house constitute an
effort to shield, under Florida's liberal bankruptcy laws, your finances in
the event you lose your fight over legal fees and are forced to reimburse
WTVT for legal fees and expenses?


John Sugg