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John Morgan, caught on video, gives pot opponents an opening

John Morgan, leading the effort to legalize medical marijuana, had choice words for young supporters in Lakeland.
John Morgan, leading the effort to legalize medical marijuana, had choice words for young supporters in Lakeland.
Published Sep. 9, 2014

John Morgan, the trial lawyer leading and funding the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, should hope that the folks on the other side don't turn a recent video clip of Morgan into a TV ad. Morgan, appearing to have a cocktail in hand and sounding like it too, led a rally in the Lakeland area Friday. The video, which you can watch at tampabay.com/video, does not help Morgan's case.

"If you motherf------ don't get out and vote, f--- it all, we can't win," he tells the rowdy crowd of young supporters.

"We believe this video, in all of its offensive glory, shows John Morgan's real reasons behind his campaign to legalize marijuana. Their campaign has tried to be the moral authority on compassion, but clearly their chairman fell off the wagon," said Sarah Bascom of the Vote No on 2 campaign. "During the video, Morgan talks about 'smoking grass' and encourages young adults to get out and support Amendment 2, clearly showing this is about legalizing pot. This is not about sick Floridians; this is about pot for everyone and anyone. Just ask John Morgan."

Bill Clinton to stump for Crist

Former President Bill Clinton, below, will use his star power to ramp up support for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist on Friday in Miami.

The rally will be held at 6 p.m. at the J.W. Marriott Marquis hotel. Members of the public who wish to attend must RSVP at charliecrist.com.

In announcing the event, Crist said he was "over the moon." Here is more from an email to supporters:

"President Clinton's been fighting on the front lines for years on the issues we care about: Equal pay for women, raising the minimum wage, expanding health care to everyone who needs it, and making sure that everyone has a fair shot at success.

"He's better than anyone at explaining why what we're doing matters.

"I'm looking forward to kicking off the final two months of this campaign with him."

Sheldon gets his own PAC

Democratic attorney general nominee George Sheldon is stepping his campaign up a notch through the launch of his own political committee.

Called "Floridians Seeking Common Ground," the PAC will be co-chaired by former Attorney General Bob Butterworth and Walt McNeil, the former corrections secretary who is now chief of police in Quincy. Sheldon said his goal is to use the PAC to build a coalition of supporters unsatisfied with the Republican-led Cabinet, particularly Attorney General Pam Bondi, on such issues as the environment and restoration of rights for felons.

Pressing on private records

Tallahassee lawyer Steven R. Andrews expanded his public records complaints against Gov. Rick Scott and Bondi on Friday, asking a court to hold the state's top officers in violation of the state's public records laws and seeking relief and attorneys fees.

Andrews, who successfully sued the governor and Cabinet for violating a contract he had to purchase the building that houses his office near the Florida Governor's Mansion, has engaged in a two-year battle to obtain public records as part of his legal battle.

He now alleges that the governor's office not only withheld documents but engaged in "actively concealing them," and "conspiring with others known and unknown, to conceal public records" from him, as well as "delaying the production of public records to interfere with the Petitioner's prosecution of Andrews vs. Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund ("BOT"), Case No. 2012 CA 859."

Lawyers for the governor and attorney general have repeatedly argued they have turned over all relevant documents and deny the allegations.

Times/Herald staff writer Mary Ellen Klas contributed.

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