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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist's Valentine for Marco Rubio



So much for nice guy Charlie. The Republican Gov just sent out this Valentine's Day email that's pretty darn short on sweetness. Rubio's camp responds below**

Here's the text:

1. COCONUT CARBON TAX Voted for cap and trade legislation.

2. STRAWBERRY SWEETHEART LOAN Implicated in questionable dealings involving sweetheart home loans and political favors for campaign donors.

3. CINNAMON SPENDING Wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars as Speaker of the Florida House.

4. TOFFEE TAX INCREASES Voted for several tax increases, including the largest tax increase in Florida history.

5. FIU FUDGE Long record of siding with special interests, cutting backroom deals, and passing out political favors, including delivering millions in pork to Florida International University, then taking an unadvertised $69,000 per year part-time job at the school.

6. NRA NOUGAT Called a “big disappointment” by a NRA leader when it came to protecting gun rights.

 7. LICORICE LOBBYIST Registered lobbyist in Miami-Dade County.

8. BITTERSWEET EARMARKS Took a $96,000 contract to represent a hospital just months after securing the hospital a $20 million state earmark.

9. TURNPIKE TAFFY Inserted special language in the state budget to help a major “political money-man” and friend more easily bid on a state fuel contract.

10. HAZELNUT HYPOCRISY Admits he would have taken federal stimulus money for the state had he been governor at the time.

** Rubio's response titled "Charlie and the Desperation Factory:"

Miami, FL – Desperate Charlie Crist is at it again. At a time when his poll numbers are lagging and he sees Marco Rubio raise $860,000 in ten days while continuing to attract support from respected conservatives Mike Pence and Grover Norquist, Crist is launching yet another false, negative and personal attack on Rubio under the cover of a sweet Valentine’s Day treat.

“Charlie Crist’s love of higher spending and taxes will get him nowhere with Floridians this Valentine’s Day and certainly not in August,” said Rubio for Senate spokesman Alex Burgos.  “These desperate attacks aren’t the work of a 'happy warrior' being 'civil,' but they are clear signs Charlie Crist is giving up on a real debate on the issues in favor of bitter character attacks.

"Given his long track record of dirty campaigning, we have long expected Charlie Crist would go this route of negative attacks.  Charlie Crist has chosen this path because he can't win on the issues, but Marco Rubio remains committed to campaigning on a limited government and free enterprise platform to get Florida and our nation back on track."

RUBIO RECORD: Shortly after Crist announced an executive order to impose cap-and-trade on Florida, Rubio announced his opposition to Crist’s mandates. (“Use Common Sense on Energy Policies,” Op-Ed By Marco Rubio, Miami Herald, 7/25/07)  Rubio and the Legislature then passed a bill that blocked cap-and-trade from taking effect by giving “themselves veto power over the final rules.” (“Crist’s Green Plan A Work In Progress,” Miami Herald, 6/25/08)

ON THE OTHER HAND: We know Crist would be a solid vote for an Obama cap-and-trade plan, since he’s tried to impose a similar plan in Florida through executive order.  (“Crist Picks Green Over Red: The Governor Is Well Aware His Warming Initiative Is Unpopular With Some In His Party,” St. Petersburg Times, 7/12/07)

RUBIO RECORD: Like millions of Floridians and Americans, Rubio is a homeowner who fully qualified for a 6.5 percent interest home loan, for which he makes regular payments each month.

ON THE OTHER HAND: Crist wouldn’t understand, since he’s never owned a home.

RUBIO RECORD: During Marco’s two years as Speaker, the Florida House’s administrative spending came in under budget both years. In fact under his watch, the House returned money to the state.

ON THE OTHER HAND: In his first proposed budget, Charlie Crist requested $222,000 to hire a personal television production team. (St. Petersburg Times, 3/25/07)

In The Summer Of 2008, Crist Traveled To Europe On A 12-Day Trade Mission That Cost Taxpayers “In Excess Of $430,000.”  “This summer, as the state's economy plunged, Gov. Charlie Crist took an entourage to Europe on a 12-day trade mission.  The business development trip to London, Paris, St. Petersburg and Madrid was supposed to cost taxpayers $255,000. The actual tab was far higher — in excess of $430,000, the Sun Sentinel found in a detailed review of the July trip's costs.”  (“Governor Crist And Entourage Traveled In Style Across Europe As Businesses And Taxpayers Footed The Bill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 12/7/08)

Taxpayers Footed The Bill For Crist’s Entourage Of More Than Two Dozen People.  “Taxpayers paid for more than two dozen people to accompany Crist, including a photographer, a spokeswoman, four aides, two agency heads and nine bodyguards. The bodyguards alone spent more than $148,000 on meals, hotels, transportation and incidentals, including nearly $630 in dry cleaning.  Their boss, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, went along to sign a crime-solving agreement with British police, billing taxpayers $5,135 for less than 12 hours of official duties over four days. … Taxpayers covered the airfare, lodging and meals for the state employees who went on the trip.”  (“Governor Crist And Entourage Traveled In Style Across Europe As Businesses And Taxpayers Footed The Bill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 12/7/08)

Crist Incurred More Than $30,000 Worth Of Expenses.  “Crist's expenses, totaling more than $30,000, were not paid by taxpayers but by business executives who went on the trip. The governor did not scrimp.  His London hotel suite, originally estimated to cost $1,800 a night, actually was $2,179, the Sun Sentinel found.  He flew first class for about $8,000 round trip, courtesy of a Miami travel agency. He ran up room service and minibar tabs of more than $1,300. And he spent $320 on electric fans to keep him cool while giving speeches.”  (“Governor Crist And Entourage Traveled In Style Across Europe As Businesses And Taxpayers Footed The Bill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 12/7/08)

RUBIO RECORD: Rubio has never violated his “No Tax Pledge.”  He also promoted what would have been the largest tax cut in Florida history, which would have eliminated property taxes entirely in favor of a sales tax increase.  It’s no wonder he has earned the support of prominent pro-taxpayer leaders and organizations like the Club for Growth and has been hailed by Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist as the “most pro-taxpayer legislative leader in the country.”

ON THE OTHER HAND: Crist violated his no tax pledge just last year, raising a historic $2.2 billion in taxes, prompting the Cato Institute to rescind its previous fiscal conservative ranking of Crist.

RUBIO RECORD: State university projects and funding requests are developed by the Board of Governors.  As the St. Petersburg Times has reported, “… all of the school's projects had been scheduled for funding at some point by the Board of Governors.”  (“Rubio's Relationship With University Raises Questions,” St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald, 12/12/09)

ON THE OTHER HAND: Crist supported the $787 billion stimulus plan, which even one of his prominent congressional backers has said was “chock-full of spending for pork and special interests.”  (“Crist v. Mack on Stimulus Plan,” Miami Herald Naked Politics Blog, 2/9/09)  In addition, “Governor Crist proposed a budget that increases spending 4% and spends billions more, by raising property taxes.”  (“Crist Unveils $69.2 Billion Budget Based On Money The State Doesn't Yet Have,” Orlando Sentinel, 1/29/10)

RUBIO RECORD: Rubio has voted in line with NRA priorities 100 percent of the time and received an “A” rating over the course of his legislative career.

ON THE OTHER HAND: Crist was initially indecisive about whether he would sign a “Guns At Work” bill that Rubio helped pass.  (“House Passes ‘Guns At Work’ Bill,” St. Petersburg Times, 3/26/08)  In March 2009, Crist nominated James Perry to the Florida Supreme Court, a move opposed by the NRA.  (“Supreme Court Pick Likely Perry, St. Petersburg Times, 3/10/09)

RUBIO RECORD: Rubio does not lobby.  Miami-Dade County requires all land use and zoning attorneys to register as lobbyists, even though lobbying is prohibited on these matters.  Rubio has worked as a land use and zoning attorney representing clients in quasi-judicial hearings.

ON THE OTHER HAND: It’s no secret that Crist is the Lobbyist’s Choice for U.S. Senate.

RUBIO RECORD: During Rubio’s last four years in the House, he did not file any individual member budget requests.  Like All Children's Hospital in Tampa, Miami Children's Hospital was spared a cut in Medicaid funding, not provided an earmark, due to the medical services they provide to children.

ON THE OTHER HAND: During Rubio’s two years as Speaker, Crist originally proposed higher spending than Rubio’s budgets.  Furthermore, Miami Children's Hospital, which Crist recently visited, is hardly a pork project.

“Governor Crist proposed a budget that increases spending 4% and spends billions more, by raising property taxes.”  (“Crist Unveils $69.2 Billion Budget Based On Money The State Doesn't Yet Have,” Orlando Sentinel, 1/29/10)

RUBIO RECORD: Rubio supported a measure that would have prevented Crist from awarding both the gas and food contracts in one single bid. He opposed this is because such a large contract would make it extremely difficult for small companies to bid, resulting in fewer companies competing in the process in a way that would drive down the costs to the state.  A few months later, Marco was proven right as the Orlando Sentinel reported, “At least two potential vendors have expressed concerns that smaller businesses weren’t given adequate time to prepare bids and asked the department to extend a Jan. 9 deadline – essentially the same argument former House Speaker Marco Rubio made last spring when he tried to force the department to keep the turnpike's food and fuel contracts separate. …Now it appears Rubio may have had a point.”

ON THE OTHER HAND: Crist’s Department of Transportation ultimately awarded the contract to a company represented by a Crist ally and Sen. George LeMieux's current state director.  Curiously enough one of the bidders, International Meal Company, hired Crist's hand-picked U.S Senator LeMieux. 

RUBIO RECORD: Unlike Crist, Rubio joined conservative Governors Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal and Haley Barbour in opposing the stimulus.

ON THE OTHER HAND: Crist endorsed, lobbied and rallied for the stimulus, though he later said he did no such thing.  He also said he would have been one of only four Republicans in the entire Congress to vote for the stimulus, one of which (Sen. Arlen Specter) has since become a Democrat.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:19pm]


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