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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Things we learned about Jeff Greene while touring a St. Pete children's hospital



Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene swung through the new All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg on Thursday for an hourlong tour of the emergency wing and neonatal intensive care unit. The event was mainly a photo op, but we did get a chance to learn some new things about Greene, the billionaire real estate tycoon.

1. His 9-month-old son, Malcolm, has his own iPad.

2. Greene says he has never smoked a cigarette or cigar in his life. "My dad was a smoker and died at 51 of a massive heart attack," said Greene, who supports higher taxes on tobacco products. "The less smoking the better as far as I'm concerned."

3. Greene said he supports the federal health care overhaul, despite polls showing that a majority of Americans oppose the bill. He blames Republicans for misrepresenting the bill to stir up fears. He also said he was not yet ready to support going further, including a single-payer, universal health care system. "I believe in one step at a time."

4. Greene has locked in his story about his 2007 trip to Cuba. He was leaving from West Palm Beach on his way to a diving excursion off Honduras with his then-fiancee, Mei. On the way to Honduras, a hydraulic problem forced his 145-foot yacht, Summerwind, to port near Havana. While waiting for a part that never arrived, Greene toured the city's synagogues. The boat then turned around and went to Freeport to be repaired. "It's a non-issue to most people."

5. While the media like to focus on Greene's friendship with Mike Tyson and Lindsay Lohan, Greene says he's also good friends with Ron Daniels, the president of Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins Medicine is integrating All Children's Hospital into its health care network. (Greene texted Daniels on his way to Thursday's tour.)


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:17am]


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