Or as we call it in Florida, Campaign Season
OK, call me crazy, but I think I may have figured out one of the reasons Gov. Charlie Crist is doing so poorly in the polls in his Senate primary race with Marco Rubio. Some of it might have to do with his shameless phony grandstanding like the stunt he pulled yesterday.
Eight days ago, he signed legislation that would temporarily delay an unemployment tax increase in Florida. Not so unusual really, although it does leave open the dilemma of what to do when the temporary delay is over, but more on that later. He signed this bill eight days ago, but then he went through another signing in Tallahassee at the Capitol yesterday morning, formally for the cameras. Also not really unusual, they do that all the time. He smiles at a table where he signs the bill, they take pictures of him while he signs and it’s over. It’s how he spent the rest of his day after signing it that becomes the shameless grandstanding that I’m talking about.
Gov. “Elsewhere” Charlie then hopped on a state plane and traveled to Orlando, where they set up another table, and he went through the entire show all over again. He signed the “bill”, had another picture taken. Then he hopped back on that same state plane and flew to Tampa. Can you guess what he did there? I’ll give you a hint: “Anyone have a pen handy? Wink wink.” Right. He signed the “bill” once more, while mugging for the cameras. Then back to the airport, and on to Fort Myers where he did the same thing again, and topped that off with yet another signing in Miami before he was finished.. So Gov. Charlie, with a gleam in his eye, winked his way around the state signing the very same “bill” six times on a photo-op tour before ending his day with a fundraiser on Fisher Island.
If you’re a taxpayer in Florida and you’re reading this, you may be asking yourself “Hey, I wonder if I paid for Charlie to attend that fundraiser too since he used the state plane to get there? Hmm.” Why, I can answer that for you. Yes, you did! Because Charlie, who just yesterday referred to our other phony Senate candidate Marco Rubio as “Porkus” for quietly pushing for $250 million in pork himself, was asked that very question in Miami, which he was quick to answer.
After the last event at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Crist was slated to attend a fundraiser for his Senate campaign on Fisher Island. Asked at the chamber if it was appropriate to travel to a campaign event on the state plane, Crist said, “So long as I’m doing this (bill signing) before I do something else, yes, ma’am.”
So take THAT Porkus! He’s the Governor! He can do that! Nah, nah!
Except that Charlie used to brag about how he wouldn’t fly the state plane to locations where he had both state business and campaign events. Why last June he said this:
“I don’t think the taxpayer ought to get me to South Florida (for a fundraiser),” Crist told a Times/Herald reporter in June when asked why he was flying commercial. “I’m trying to do the right thing.”
So I guess back then he wanted to do the right thing, when he thought this whole Senate seat was in the bag. But now he’s not worrying about that because he’s fighting for his political life in a heated campaign…? Really? I, for one, am baffled as to how this helps. Granted, the childish taunts and name calling probably hasn’t worked so well with “Porkus the Back Waxer” and all, but flying around on the taxpayer’s dime to re-sign a bill six times in one day for the cameras? He had to think someone would ask that question.
In the meantime, this presents an entirely new opening for “Porkus” to attack him right back about not being a fiscal conservative like him (yeah, right). After all, yesterday’s trip around the state cost taxpayers around $3,100. I mean really, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if during the time I began writing this, Rubio has already either made a statement about it, or put together another made-for-FOX-only smear ad.
Also from the “Charlie, this is NOT helping” department, there was another question tossed to Charlie yesterday, and his answer was not exactly one which inspires confidence. About what happens when the temporary delay over the unemployment tax increase is over?
Somebody asked the governor what will happen later, when there is still a piper to be paid and the rates have to go even higher. “We are operating,” the governor replied, “in the present.” This seemed to say more about him than he perhaps intended.
“We’re operating in the present.” Is that kind of like Scarlett O’Hara saying “I’ll worry about that tomorrow?” As in, we’ll worry about that later when Charlie is no longer in charge? That’s an easy out for Chuck, anyway, I suppose. Not so great for the rest of us in Florida if it means we’ll have to start making our clothes out of old drapes in the future to pay for it.
I can almost see the new Rubio ad now. “I’ll call your “Porkus” and I’ll raise you a Scarlett O’Hara!”