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Trey Radel's drug charge brings ethics subcommittee investigation

The U.S. House Committee on Ethics unanimously voted last week to create an investigative subcommittee to look into the conduct of U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fort Myers.

Radel, 37, is on a leave of absence from Congress after pleading guilty to misdemeanor possession of cocaine last month in Washington, D.C.

From the committee statement: "Investigative Subcommittee shall have jurisdiction to determine whether Representative Henry J. 'Trey' Radel III violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other applicable standard of conduct in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities, with respect to conduct forming the basis for criminal charges of possession of cocaine in the District of Columbia, to which Representative Radel pled guilty on November 20, 2013."

U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., will chair the subcommittee. Other members: Reps. Yvette D. Clarke, D-N.Y., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Janice Hahn, D-Calif.

GOP has gift idea

Former U.S. Rep. Allen West will be the keynote speaker for the Republican Party of Sarasota's Lincoln Day Dinner.

The Feb. 12 event is at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. Dinner tickets are $125. VIP tickets (including a photo and reception) are $250. The group bills this as "A Great Christmas Gift for the Conservative in Your Family!"

For more information and tickets, go to sarasotalincolnday.com.

A poll Scott likes

A new statewide voter survey by Gov. Rick Scott's pollster, Tony Fabrizio, shows the governor trailing Democrat Charlie Crist by 4 points, Politico reports. The poll of 1,000 Floridians has Crist leading Scott among likely voters, 49 percent to 45 percent. That's slightly better than the latest Quinnipiac University survey, which had Crist over Scott by 7 points.

Fabrizio's poll was conducted Nov. 24-26 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. It's unusual for a candidate to leak an internal campaign poll in which the candidate is behind, but the Scott numbers — if accurate — feed a narrative that Scott is improving and that the Scott-Crist contest is a tight horse race 11 months from election day.

As Politico reported, Fabrizio also polled on which man can better handle 10 different issues. Scott prevailed on six: controlling state spending (+14), reducing taxes (+12), balancing the budget (+9), turning Florida's economy around (+5), standing up to Tallahassee insiders (+3) and creating jobs (+2).

Crist has advantages in four areas: cares about people like me (+8), is the most honest and ethical (+4), "someone I trust to be governor" (+3) and "shares my beliefs and values" (+2).

Steve Bousquet contributed to this report.

Trey Radel's drug charge brings ethics subcommittee investigation 12/17/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:21pm]
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