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2 posts from June 8, 2014

June 08, 2014

Rick Scott's fundraising flap shows that behind every great donor there's a potential crime


Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign last week provided a political corollary to Honoré de Balzac’s saying that “behind every great fortune there is a crime.”

Behind every great donor there is a potential crime.

It’s especially true in scammer-rich Florida.

Had Scott’s campaign-finance team realized this, someone might vetted (or Googled) James Batmasian. He pleaded guilty in 2008 to failing to collect and pay $253,000 in federal withholding taxes regarding his Boca Raton investment company’s employees. Batmasian spent eight months in prison, paid a $30,000 fine and had his law license suspended in Florida.

Perfect guy to headline a $10,000-per-donor fundraiser, right?

The Florida Democratic Party thought so.

“Birds of a feather . . . Rick Scott to fundraise with ex-felon tax cheat,” Joshua Karp, the Democrats’ spokesman wrote in a Thursday morning email blast that conflated Batmasian’s past — as first reported by Mother Jones online — and the 1997 record $1.7 billion Medicare-fraud fine paid by Scott’s former hospital company.

Behind each opponent’s misstep is an opportunity.

Scott quickly pulled the plug on the fundraiser and sought to focus attention on Democratic opponent Charlie Crist’s record as governor, when unemployment and budget shortfalls reached record highs.

“This event has been canceled,” Scott’s campaign spokesman, Greg Blair, said in an email. “All the name calling and mudslinging in the world can’t hide Charlie Crist’s record of failure or the fact that he is too scared to debate his primary opponent.”

Karp got in a final email dig regarding Scott’s cancellation: “If you ask him why, he’ll probably just plead the Fifth.”

Indeed, this Scott’s fourth fundraising woe, and the governor won’t directly answer questions about any of them:

More here

Herald poll: Cuba-travel announcement, Cuban voters weigh Charlie Crist down in Miami-Dade


Charlie Crist has a Cuba problem and a Cuban voter problem, a new Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll of Miami-Dade’s electorate shows.

Crist’s headline-grabbing announcement last month that he wants to travel to Cuba has hurt his standing more than it helped in Florida’s most-populous county, with only 5 percent of voters saying they’d be more likely to support him over the issue, while 24 percent say the opposite, according to the survey conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International.

A supermajority, 67 percent, say Crist’s Cuba position makes no difference in their vote between him and Gov. Rick Scott — and that’s despite the poll numbers showing voters by 51-40 percent say they favor Cuba travel for all residents of the United States.

Continue reading "Herald poll: Cuba-travel announcement, Cuban voters weigh Charlie Crist down in Miami-Dade" »