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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

LeMieux advised offshore drilling group



WASHINGTON — Up until he was appointed as Florida's newest U.S. senator, George LeMieux was advising a secretive pro-oil drilling coalition that is pushing a bill through the state Legislature to open up the Florida Gulf Coast to drilling.

But LeMieux, who could have to vote on drilling legislation, refuses to say what he did and the leader of the industry group says he cannot remember.

"As far as his contribution, I can't really say specifically," said Doug Daniels, a Daytona Beach lawyer who is touring the state on behalf of Florida Energy Associates' effort to overturn the state drilling ban.

LeMieux quit working for the group when Gov. Charlie Crist named him to fill out the final 16 months of retiring Sen. Mel Martinez's term, Daniels said.

But LeMieux's involvement revives questions about the role he played for business clients after he stepped down as Crist's chief of staff in 2007, and how those interests could shape his views as a senator. (story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:24pm]


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