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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Is Crist 'governing' or fundraising out of state?



CristatlantafundraiserYesterday, Marco Rubio challenged Gov. Charlie Crist to at least 10 debates in their GOP primary for U.S. Senate. A spokesman said Crist would debate at the appropriate time but "in the meantime, he’s focused on governing."

But Crist has spent the past two days fundraising, including an event in D.C. yesterday and one this evening in Atlanta. As for governing, his official schedule has shown no public events, just a few phone calls with staff.

The Washington event drew John McCain (Ariz.), John Cornyn (Texas), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Florida's Mel Martinez. Crist's former chief of staff, lawyer George LeMieux, tagged along at the D.C. event Tuesday night and declined to estimate how big a financial haul Crist's campaign received. "They did well," he said.

The Atlanta event (click image to enlarge) shows as invited guests Georgia Aerospace Systems' Thomas Mensah; both Georgia U.S. senators, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss; Gov. Sonny Perdue; and attorney Willie Gary.

More names here, including Florida Sen. Tony Hill. The Democratic lawmaker told the Buzz that he was not attending. Hill teamed up with Kendrick Meek (the Democratic candidate for Senate) in the famous sit-in at the Florida Capitol in January 2000 to protest Gov. Jeb Bush's changes to minority contracting policy. 

Hill said he is friends with Mensah and that Mensah put his name on the fundraiser without his consent. "People do things without consulting you," Hill said. "Man, I'm a member of the DNC."

Crist's schedule shows in back in the capital tomorrow.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:48pm]


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