Donald Trump names Joe Gruters to Amtrak board

Gruters

Republican state Rep. Joe Gruters landed an appointment from the Trump Administration Thursday to serve on the Amtrak Board of Directors through October 2022.

The Sarasota accountant served as co-chair of President Donald Trump’s campaign in Florida, and the move appears to have paid dividends.

Gruters took to Twitter shortly after the announcement, saying he was “incredibly grateful” for the opportunity.

The official announcement from the White House touts the Republican politician’s appointment by Gov. Rick Scott the Florida State University Board of Trustees, and his past role as campaign manager to U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan.

Left off the brag board are Gruters’ seven-year stretch chairing the Republican Party of Sarasota County, and his time as vice chair of the Republican Party of Florida.

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Gruters succeeded now-Sen. Greg Steube in 2016 for the HD 73 seat, which consists of inland portions Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


One comment

  • M.E. SINGER

    February 3, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    In respect to Mr. Gruters professional background as a licensed CPA, to what extent has he even conducted his own due diligence, which has been scrupulously avoided by Amtrak tolerating any external forensic audit, to understand and explain Amtrak’s history of avoiding traditional accounting principles to manipulate financial data to its preferences? Such due diligence leading to a full external forensic audit would answer the following:

    1) Why Amtrak has historically refused to apply the standard industry measurement of determining acceptable performance by “passenger revenues per mile,” as that indicator would have so obviously favored the long distance routes over the Northeast Corridor (NEC)?

    2) As the long distance routes are cash-positive, how much per year in national system funding–and revenues–has been diverted to subsidize the NEC?

    3) Why Amtrak has deliberately disregarded adhering to GAAP (Generally Acceptable Accounting Principles) for its methodology of cost allocations? How has Amtrak consistently declared the NEC “profitable” before ever subtracting its overhead and infrastructure expenses?

    4) How did Amtrak devise its cost methodology for allocations in defiance of GAAP to dump NEC overhead, NEC infrastructure costs, and corporate overhead onto the national system to protect the NEC and hide its deep black hole? What is the dollar value of this mis-allocation per year?

    5) How was the cost allocation methodology developed to charge state-supported routes all possible cost allocations to ensure Amtrak would not operate any such service at a deficit when the Passenger Rail Investment & Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) was implemented?

    6) What has Amtrak’s Board actually done to right size the proliferation of management? Note the similarity to THE WASHINGTON POST of 5 December 2016, which stated “the Pentagon struggled to explain to Congress why it buried an internal study that exposed excessive administrative waste, including sky-high salaries for legions of defense contractors.”

    7) To what direct extent was Amtrak involved in promoting, and actually preparing, PRIIA as a new source of revenue from non-NEC states? As benefactors of a trolley-like schedule frequency, why were the NEC states not also obligated and charged per Amtrak’s cost methodology?

    8) What has been the disposition of the payments received by Amtrak since 2013 from the state-supported routes, given that such funds were not re-invested back into those state corridors? Note the similarity of issues in THE WASHINGTON POST of 22 May 2017 how the Pentagon overcharged the armed services for fuel to create a slush fund (aka “Bishop’s Fund) to pay for mismanaged and underfunded programs.

    If Mr. Gruters is not to be but merely a strawman member in a newly created super majority Board of Directors to prepare a wake for Amtrak’s real ‘bread and butter’ services, the Long Distance routes, than it behooves him to roll-up his sleeves and dig into these issues–before any structural changes are made to the Amtrak system.

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