Friday, August 7, 2009

Mike Pigott Responds to MP&F Controversy, Part 2: R.I.P. John Hughes Edition

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 2:51 PM

click to enlarge This guy totally would have made a sweet movie based on this post. And the Tears for Fears-heavy soundtrack would have rocked, too.
  • This guy totally would have made a sweet movie based on this post. And the Tears for Fears-heavy soundtrack would have rocked, too.
In Part 1, McNeely Pigott & Fox partner Mike Pigott admitted that his firm did help Mayor Karl Dean write speeches. Great. Now here's the thing. Right now we're just mincing words. Does Mike Pigott write "entire" speeches for the Mayor? No. Does he write some parts of some speeches? Sure looks like it. Is that what's important? Absolutely not. As Kotz pointed out this morning, the central thesis of this whole flap is that we, Nashvillians, are getting double-billed. The city already has a 60-member organization to sell the Music City Center. Now we have a second. The Mayor's staff already has communications persons (see update below) paid to provide information to the public in the form of speeches, presentations, et cetera. Now we have a second. The problem with all of this, of course, is that just as it costs .89 cents at Subway to double the meat, so too does it cost $285 an hour (times a million) to double the number of speech edits, talking points and e-mail blasts. Is that MP&F's fault? Well, a little. Anyone who reads through these invoices and thinks they weren't biting off as much as they can chew needs a new prescription. But it's the Mayor's office, the Department of Finance and, especially, MDHA that deserve the most criticism here. Quick analogy, partially inspired by John Hughes unfortunate death yesterday: MDHA are the parents going away for the weekend. MP&F are the teenagers hanging back to look after the place. Common sense would tell you the parents should withdraw no more than $100 in cash, point the kids in the direction of the nearest Safeway and haul ass out of the driveway. Instead, in this case, the parents handed over the American Express platinum card, turned off their cellphones and then acted shocked when they got their monthly statement. Do we blame the teens for buying an XBOX 360 and Bose surround-sound? Yeah, a bit. Because they're little shits who should treat their parents with respect. But we hold our highest contempt for the parents. Why? Because they should have known better. OK. So what do we do now? Who's in for a Part 3 where we cast this whole flap as an '80's coming-of-age flick in honor of Mr. Hughes? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Update: Dean spokeswoman Janel Lacy responds.
There is no whole staff taking care of this stuff - it's just me. I draft the mayor's speeches and remarks with help from others in our office. When the mayor has given speeches about Music City Center, I've always checked in with MDHA and their communications team to make sure what he's saying is accurate and up-to-date. You'd have to ask MDHA or MP&F about the billing process.

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