Examining Charlie Crist’s record – what we don’t see in the media

Regardless of which side of the political aisle you reside we can all agree on one thing – the media has gotten lazy and have failed in their jobs. 

In an effort to reduce costs and be the first to publish or air a story, they have accepted a single source as fact without verifying the source or seeking a second validating source.  They also use Twitter to get quotes. 

We see the laziness in the media with the coverage of the 2010 Florida Senate race.  They publish attacks from Kendrick Meek against Charlie Crist on positions dating back to his recent stand against offshore drilling.  Marco Rubio’s attacks date back to Crist’s infamous hug with President Obama after Governor Crist introduced Obama to a Florida crowd where the president spoke of the stimulus package.

Rubio cites that Crist is really a Democrat while Meek argues that Crist is really Conservative.  Both agree that it is a show designed for November.

There are numerous areas where the media fails here.

First and foremost, they ignore Crist’s record as governor for the full 3½ years he has been in office.  They also ignore his time as Florida Attorney General.  His record speaks for itself and we will delve into it shortly.

They also let Meek and Rubio’s comments lay there unchallenged.  For example, they stop with the attack on Crist’s support of the stimulus package ignoring the benefits that have come from it.  Many people drive every day, as I do, through highway construction sites that have received stimulus dollars but it goes generally ignored by the media.

Read more about Florida Recovery.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist

The media also allows Meek and Rubio to spew their rhetoric with regards to Crist’s changing position for campaigning.  Of course, all candidates alter their position to put themselves in the best political light with the voters.  That’s why you need to look at the way candidates work while in office.

Of course Rubio does not want the light to shine on him as his record is horrible.  This will be further addressed in a later article.

Examining Crist’s record:

Home Foreclosures:

In March 2008 – while George W Bush was still president (in other words: pre-hug), Crist created and accepted the recommendations of a HOPE (Home Ownership Promotes the Economy) Task Force which addressed specific strategies to address foreclosures affecting Florida’s families.  [Read the recommendations]

Health Care:

Even before the Healthcare debate took to the Federal Government during the Obama administration, Florida, under Governor Crist, had already established the Cover Florida Health Care Access Program to help those without health insurance get quality affordable healthcare coverage. 

Early Voting:

Seeing the state-wide long lines, Governor Crist extended the hours for early voting in Florida ensuring that everyone who wanted to vote in the 2008 November General Election got to vote.  This was in direct opposition to the Republican Party who wanted to minimize the hours as the speculation is that the more people that can vote, the more that Obama would have benefited.  – Obama went on to win Florida.

Environment:

Crist was against off-shore oil drilling both before his failed attempt to become John McCain’s Republican running mate in 2008 and now.  He called for a July 2010 special session of the Florida Congress to address getting a Constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would permanently ban offshore oil drilling off the coast of Florida.  The Republican led Congress, in a fit of immaturity, adjourned both houses in less than two hours.

Crist also supports the Everglades restoration. 

Gambling:

Crist struck a deal with the Seminole Indians on a casino deal that so angered Rubio and Conservatives that they took him to court over the decision. 

More background:  There was a timeframe established by the federal government, with which Florida was able to negotiate with the Seminoles for revenue on casino earnings.  Once the deadline passed, the state of Florida would have wound up with zero.  The Florida legislature clearly had no intention of striking a deal and once Crist took the initiative by signing a deal that would generate billions of dollars for Florida over a 25-year period Rubio and the Republican legislature became offended and went on to file a lawsuit which the legislature won. 

Though Crist lost that case, he invariably won the war because this bought the legislature time and pressured them to work out a deal with the Seminoles.

Education:

Crist vetoed the GOP supported teacher pay and tenure bill known as SB-6 in April.  This garnered Crist much needed teacher and union support at the same time solidifying his fate with the far right.  This is another example of Crist doing what is best for Floridians.

Corporate rate hikes:

Crist stood up to State Farm after they requested a 47% rate hike. 

“State farm has been charging some of the highest rates in our state for a long time.  They haven’t been very friendly to our people and if they want to leave the state goodbye.” – Charlie Crist

He also called the Florida Power & Light’s proposed $1.3 billion rate hike ‘excessive.’  As Florida Attorney General, Crist got FPL to freeze its electricity rate.

As Florida Attorney General:

America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh publicly had filed the paperwork for Crist’s gubernatorial candidacy as a result of his work with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 

Crist stood against the Republican Party’s position with regards to the Terri Schiavo case.  If you remember that case, Fox News turned her life support battle into a public circus and the far right fringe used Schiavo as a political football.  Even President Bush ended his vacation early to sign a bill attempting to extend her life support.  Crist’s position was that government should not get involved in these types of cases.

As Governor he vetoed a measure that would have required women to pay for an ultrasound prior to getting an abortion.

Obviously, a little research will bring back even more cases where Crist has legislated in the best interests of Floridians not necessarily in the best interests of Charlie Crist’s political career. 

Much of what you read here is no longer being covered by the media. 

How long ago was it when Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek was being identified as ‘the likely Democratic nominee’?  Out of the blue came ‘billionaire’ Jeff Greene.  How many people can name another candidate? 

Unfortunately, the media will not provide us with enough information to make a smart choice in November.  In fact, they may try to steer us in a direction that will inevitably be bad for Florida.  That is why we owe it to ourselves to research and read as much as we can about the candidates. 

Study their actual records, not just how they campaign.  Once you examine Crist’s political career and compare it to Rubio’s – it becomes a no-brainer.  And the Meek – Greene primary should be nowhere near this close.  Just examine how Greene made his billions.  Same with Rick ‘Medicare Fraud Champion’ Scott in the Republican primary for Florida Governor.  That should eliminate both from contention.

November is 4 months away.  We have plenty of time to educate Floridians.

Gene

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2 responses to “Examining Charlie Crist’s record – what we don’t see in the media

  1. McCain is stupid. He picked failed, 1/2 time, quitter Gov. Palin which guaranteed him a loss instead of a successful Governor from FL, Crist, as his running mate. McCain might have won the WH with Crist. Instead, he chose a loser. Good luck in the November elections. It will be interesting. There may be a third candidate on the Governor’s ticket in Nov in PA.

  2. It’s amazing the number of 3rd party candidates popping up. Florida has Crist for the Senate and Chiles for governor.
    And Crist does deliver Florida for McCain. Had McCain picked Crist, it would have sent me a message that McCain was going to move to the center if elected.

    I’m starting to look around at the other states and will be watching PA too.
    I’ve started a second blog – for more political short pieces to go along with my Twitter account – called http://www.GenesShorts.com