Please note that they played no favorites. They nailed the Republican, the Democrat and the Independent. In fact they spent so much time calling each other liars during tonights debate that it was reported on local ABC news that it may be highlighted on ABC's Good Morning America tomorrow.
As much as we have enjoyed posting on the corruption in this state even we are in such awe at this accomplishment that we are damn near speechless. So what has CREW posted about those whom we have to choose from. READ:
Charlie CristRunning for U.S. Senate, Florida
Governor Charlie Crist is an Independent candidate running for United States Senate from Florida. Charlie Crist is currently the governor of Florida, but has held several public offices over the last 18 years.
Gov. Crist handpicked Jim Greer to head the Florida Republican Party. Despite multiple calls for Mr. Greer’s resignation by fellow Republicans, due to extravagant spending at the party’s expense, Gov. Crist defended Mr. Greer. Mr. Greer is now facing six counts of grand theft, fraud and money laundering. He is accused of secretly setting up a shell company, Victory Strategies, and signing a deal that would give Victory Strategies 10% of GOP donations – a deal that Gov. Crist allegedly approved.
Prior to serving as governor, Gov. Crist was the state’s attorney general. As attorney general, Gov. Crist was criticized for failing to investigate those with whom he had political or financial ties. First, he failed to investigate state contractor GDX for leaking the personal information of 100,000 state employees. GDX had been subcontracted by computer company Convergys to index electronic personnel records but when GDX outsourced the job overseas, the personal information of up to 100,000 state employees may have been exposed. Convergys had close ties to then-Attorney General Crist. The company had hired his advisor as a lobbyist and was a donor to the Republican Party. Attorney General Crist dropped the investigation.
As attorney general, Gov. Crist also failed to fully investigate boy-band mogul Lou Pearlman. Mr. Pearlman, who ran a $300 million investment scam, was eventually indicted by federal authorities and pled guilty of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering charges. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. A lawsuit brought by investors claimed Gov. Crist and Florida regulators knew about the scheme but turned a blind eye for four years. The suit alleges Mr. Pearlman got a pass from the then-attorney general because he had donated at least $12,000 to Gov. Crist’s campaign.
Kendrick MeekRunning for U.S. Senate, Florida
Representative Kendrick Meek is a candidate in the Democratic primary for United States Senate from Florida. Rep. Meek has spent the last 15 years holding public office, including the last 8 years representing the 17th district of Florida in the U.S House of Representatives.
Rep. Meek has been criticized for his relationship with developer Dennis Stackhouse, who is now awaiting trial for grand theft and organizing a scheme to defraud. Rep. Meek earmarked $1,072,750 million for Mr. Stackhouse’s development project and requested an additional $4 million in earmarks for Mr. Stackhouse, which were never awarded. In addition, both Rep. Meek and his former district director, Anthony Williams, served on the Miami-Dade Urban Revitalization Task Force, which loaned $2.2 million to Mr. Stackhouse’s project, but Rep. Meek did not vote on that particular loan.
At the same time Mr. Stackhouse employed Rep. Meek’s mother, former Congresswoman Carrie Meek, as a consultant paying her $90,000, giving her the free use of a leased Cadillac Escalade and donating the use of a 2,600 square foot office for her foundation. Mr. Stackhouse further curried favor with the congressman by contributing thousands to Rep. Meek’s campaign in 2003. Furthermore, Mr. Stackhouse gave Mr. Williams $13,000 to help him buy a house. Police tried to make a case against Mr. Williams for mortgage fraud, but prosecutors believed the evidence gathered was insufficient. Rep. Meek claimed not to have known about the mortgage deal.
During Rep. Meek’s tenure in the state Senate, he was employed by Wackenhut Corrections Corporation as a business development officer. Rep. Meek’s relationship with the company led to numerous conflicts of interest. For example, Rep. Meek failed to recuse himself from voting on bills that directly impacted Wackenhut’s bottom line. He was also a member of the Senate appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary, partly in charge of doling out state funds, while corrections-giant Wackenhut had multi-million dollar business dealings with the state.
The circumstances surrounding Rep. Meek’s initial election to Congress are questionable. Rep. Carrie Meek, his mother and representative for the 17th district, decided two weeks before the qualifying deadline for the primary election that she wasn’t going to run again, putting potential opponents at a disadvantage. She also announced her son would be running in her stead, essentially bequeathing him the seat.
Marco RubioRunning for U.S. Senate, Florida
Marco Rubio is a candidate in the Republican primary for United States Senate from Florida. Mr. Rubio served 8 years in the Florida House of Representatives, including two years as the Speaker of the House.
Mr. Rubio is currently implicated in a federal criminal investigation for the misuse of Florida Republican Party credit cards during his time as Speaker. Specifically, the IRS is examining records to determine if Mr. Rubio and other party leaders personally benefitted from the credit card scheme. Legally, party credit cards can only be used for political activities, but Mr. Rubio and his staff charged many seemingly personal expenses on the cards including car repairs, and grocery purchases. Mr. Rubio’s chief of staff racked up thousands of dollars in expenses on behalf of Mr. Rubio on his card including dinners and a Rubio family trip to a Georgia resort.
Mr. Rubio also admitted he double-billed both the Republican Party and state taxpayers for eight flights totaling about $3,000 in 2007. Mr. Rubio promised to refund the party, because the trips were for official business, but had not as of April 20, 2010.
Additionally, Mr. Rubio inserted earmarks into the state budget for his personal financial gain. While preparing to leave his position in the Florida House of Representatives, he accepted a $69,000 per year, part-time, unadvertised professor position with Florida International University (FIU). When he was hired, FIU had a $32 million budget deficit and had cut 23 degree programs and 200 jobs. During his tenure in the House, Mr. Rubio helped steer at least $29 million to the university, leading FIU’s president at the time to say that Mr. Rubio was “worth every penny”.
Similarly, Mr. Rubio was hired as a consultant for Jackson Memorial Hospital after he earmarked $20 million for the facility. Jackson Memorial paid Mr. Rubio’s firm $8,000 per month. The same firm, which also employed Mr. Rubio’s former aide, the wife of fellow Florida House Rep. Esteban Bovo, scored a $102,000 contract with Miami Children’s Hospital. At the time of the contract, Rep. Bovo was the Miami Children’s Hospital in-house lobbyist.
Furthermore, Mr. Rubio seems to have misused two political committees for personal gain. Mr. Rubio’s committee likely violated state law by failing to disclose $34,000 worth of expenses in 2003 and 2004 including a $7,000 payment to Mr. Rubio. While other Floridian candidates tend to itemize travel expenses, Mr. Rubio billed more than $51,000 in unidentified travel expenses to his committee. The same committee paid $5,700 to his wife, who is listed as its treasurer. Another Rubio political committee listed $14,000 in payments to family members, at least one of whom had a non-existent address.
Mr. Rubio has been criticized for giving preferential treatment to the Dosal Tobacco Company. Dosal had been a significant donor to Mr. Rubio’s campaigns and was a prominent player in Mr. Rubio’s Cuban-American constituency. Due to loopholes in Florida tobacco regulations resulting from a 1997 settlement reached by the state with big tobacco companies, Dosal had been able to avoid a significant per pack surcharge levied on most other tobacco companies. Since at least 2004, the Florida House debated closing the loopholes, but in 2007 and 2008, when Mr. Rubio was the very powerful Speaker of the House, no loophole fix bill was even introduced.
Moreover, Mr. Rubio secretly inserted language into the so called “proviso language,” passed along with the state budget, to increase the chances that Max Alvarez, a close friend and a political contributor to Mr. Rubio, would win a contract with the Florida Department of Transportation. Mr. Alvarez, who considers Mr. Rubio “like a son,” owns a small fuel business, which would not have been allowed to compete for a Florida Turnpike contract under the original language of the budget. Mr. Alvarez approached Mr. Rubio to insert the favorable language allowing his business to bid on the contract. Governor Charlie Crist eventually vetoed the bill underlying the proviso language.
It would appear that our best choice would be to flip a coin. But where will we find a three sided coin?
From the two-faced politico's who have been and will continue to make even bigger fools of the Florida electorate.
You would think that after the Bush-Gore fiasco Florida might be tired of being the laughing stock of the country. Oh well, at least when we wake in the morning we can say thank God for Delaware.Add to Technorati Favorites