Charlie’s Legacy

We can’t afford another Charley, thanks to Charlie

Charlie Crist, who is positioning himself as a conservative in his run for the U.S. Senate, has overseen one of the greatest expansions of government into the private market in any state’s history.

Read Mike Thomas’ column from today’s Orlando Sentinel by clicking here.

3 thoughts on “Charlie’s Legacy”


    Crist reaches out to county GOP leaders in effort to quell conservative revolt

    By MARC CAPUTO The Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times
    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    TALLAHASSEE — Facing perilous conservative revolts, Gov. Charlie Crist has been quietly reaching out to Republican county leaders throughout the state to gauge his political support, defend his policies —- and to turn on the charm.

    Crist began calling Republicans soon after he announced his bid for U.S. Senate in May. By then, he had already inflamed rank-and-file conservatives for embracing Barack Obama and his Democratic stimulus spending plan.

    At least three county Republican committees have cast nonbinding votes in favor of Crist’s Republican opponent, Marco Rubio, and at least three more are considering similar votes. Three county Republican parties have also insisted that the state party remain neutral in the Crist-Rubio race.

    In Volusia County, Republicans cast an even more extraordinary vote Aug. 1 to censure the sitting governor for what they see as supporting too many Democrats and Democratic policies while turning his back on Republican candidates and conservative principles.

    Palm Beach County Republicans held a similar censure vote late Wednesday. After hours of debate, the censure motion died in a dramatic fashion: on a tie 65-65 vote, according to The Palm Beach Post. While the vote is a sign Crist’s charm offensive has worked, it’s nothing to brag about for the Republican leader.

    ”The governor clearly has a problem with the base of the Republican Party,’’ said Sid Dinerstein, chairman of the Palm Beach County party. ”The first question you have to ask in a primary election is: Are voters ready to get rid of someone they once favored? The answer is yes, the Republican Party is willing to get rid of Charlie Crist.’’

    Dinerstein’s remarks are common among Republican leaders, but they stand out because Dinerstein often speaks highly of Crist. Yet Dinerstein and the rest of the party voted Wednesday to host an unofficial straw poll in October to see if Palm Beach County Republicans favor Crist or Rubio, the former Florida House speaker from West Miami.

    Echoing other Florida Republicans, Palm Beach County Republicans say Crist has done too little to help the party. Dinerstein said the calls from the governor and his campaign staff — he wouldn’t say how many — have increased in the past few months as rank-and-file Republicans began pushing since winter for a censure vote.

    Dinerstein cast a preliminary vote July 27 against the censure resolution. Crist called to thank him.

    Two weeks earlier, Crist’s campaign also reached out to Gary Lee, the Republican chairman in Lee County, after Republicans backed Rubio by large margins in a straw poll. Lee County was the spot where Crist literally embraced Obama during a visit to tout the stimulus plan. During the phone call, Lee mentioned the hug. So did Andy Maggard, chairman of Pasco’s party, when he received a call from a Crist campaign staffer.

    ”That picture is etched in our minds. The base is really fed up with this,’’ said Maggard. Pasco Republicans voted overwhelmingly in favor of Rubio over Crist in a June straw poll.

    Crist, who leads Rubio in fundraising and scientific opinion polls, has sidestepped questions about all the Republican unrest. Wednesday, Crist downplayed the political necessity of making the calls.

    ”It’s not a matter of having to do it — it’s I want to do it. I’m delighted to stay in touch with them. I get good advice and counsel from my fellow Republicans and fellow Floridians,’’ Crist said.

    Less than two weeks ago, Crist cold-called Brevard County Republican leader Jason Steele, who didn’t recognize the governor’s personal cellphone number. Steele said Crist acquitted himself well during the phone call.

    ”I’m as conservative as any governor. I’m Chain Gang Charlie,’’ Crist told Steele, using a nickname he fostered years ago for supporting roadside work crews for prisoners. ”I’m pro-gun. I’m pro-life.’’

    Steele said ”the Charlie Crist charm’’ was effective with him. But he also said Crist has a long way to go.

    ”He’s got work to do,’’ Steele said, ”and I think he’s doing it.’’


  2. Is Steele referring to Charlie working the charm? The statement alone denotes the fact conservatives are not happy with Governor Charlie Crist and in order for Crist to win support, he has to start by charming county GOP leaders. Crist is an amiable guy up close and personal, but he fails to win us over beyond the charm. Chris’s previous posts all clearly outline the lack substantive leadership in this man. The people are speaking. They are telling Crist he isn’t on their side. Charm wrapped in a warm and fuzzy call doesn’t change his record.


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