Official Rapid Response Tumblr Account of the Republican Party of Florida

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Mixed message

Last Monday during a press conference after voting early, Charlie Crist’s running mate was asked about her position on Florida doing business with Cuba.

Annette Taddeo’s response?

“I don’t think we should be doing business with Cuba.”

But what is Charlie Crist’s jobs plan?

“…to open the markets of Florida businesses just 90 miles from our coast.”

Just one week ago, Crist’s running mate contradicted a major piece of his jobs plan for Florida. It’s just another mixed message from a ticket that can’t figure out what its message is.    


200 days of ducking

200 days. That’s how long it’s been since Charlie Crist first refused to debate lifelong Democrat Nan Rich. 

And when asked repeatedly about his refusal, he recently said he “doesn’t have the time.” 

As the Tampa Bay Times noted, “And now there is no campaign spin imaginable that will excuse the way Crist has ducked Rich.”

Charlie’s refusal shows how little respect he has for a woman who has been a champion of the party he only recently joined. But that’s nothing new. The fact is, Charlie has never cared about anyone but himself. 

He could show some respect to all Democrats, and the voters of Florida by being open about his positions and accepting a debate with his opponent.

Instead, it’s just been 200 days of ducking. 

It’ll Cost You

The Obamacare embrace continues for Charlie Crist, despite a round of new bad numbers – that show Floridians will be paying higher out-of-pocket costs for their Obamacare premiums next year – to the tune of a 13.2% average monthly increase.

What does Charlie Crist think is “great?” 

Check out these headlines:

Tampa Tribune: “Obamacare premiums rising 13.2 percent in Florida”

National Journal: “If You Like Your Obamacare Plan, It’ll Cost You”

The New Republic: “The Next Obamacare Glitch”

Politico: “Consumers’ next Obamacare challenge: Tax forms”

Wall Street Journal: “Small Firms Hit by Big Changes in Health Coverage”

Jobs just aren’t his thing

Yesterday, Charlie Crist did his best Barack Obama impression (he even borrowed the teleprompter) announcing his “policy” plan for jobs.

Only problem? Crist’s “major policy announcement” was nothing but rehashed, desperate attacks and a “copy-paste” of President Obama’s failed economic plan that made little reference to job creation. That’s right – pages and pages of attacks on Governor Scott – but light on policies that will create jobs.

The Miami Herald even said: “Crist’s jobs event in Ft Laud[erdale] was largely a repeat of his attacks on Scott about ed[ucation] cuts and Medicaid expansion.” Yep, Crist is stealing a page right out of Obama’s blame-everyone-else playbook.

Charlie Crist’s “jobs” plan? Implement proven job-killing policies.

  • Embrace President Obama’s failed health care law, which has raised premiums for the middle class? Check.
  • Circumvent the constitution and the legislature by mandating policies through executive order? Check.
  • Ignore any ideas that promote actual job creation? Check.

With a record of 832,000 job losses, you can’t fault Crist for playing the blame game. Jobs just aren’t his thing.

ICYMI: Charlie Crist’s Stance On Candidate Debates Is ‘Grand Hypocrisy’

On Friday, the Tampa Bay Times’ John Romano blasted Charlie Crist’s “grand hypocrisy” on debates. As Romano notes, “there is no campaign spin imaginable that will excuse the way Crist has ducked Rich.”

Excerpts below:

“When it was announced that Scott had agreed to three statewide debates this fall, Crist immediately released a statement blasting the governor for not taking part in additional debates. A “disservice to voters” is the way Crist phrased it.

To be honest, I’m baffled as to what factors might have led to this statement. It could have been an abundance of enthusiasm. It could have been excess hubris. It may have simply been a case of sudden-onset-stupid.

Though the actual reasons are up for grabs, the result is not:

It was grand hypocrisy.

For months, Crist has ignored calls to debate his lesser-known Democratic rival Nan Rich

And now there is no campaign spin imaginable that will excuse the way Crist has ducked Rich.

Thanks to his “disservice to voters” line, Crist has reminded us all that we deserve a chance to hear candidates in (relatively) unscripted moments. And his refusal to debate Rich was a disservice to 4.5 million registered Democrats in Florida.

Too many voters are wary of his past views. Too many worry that his embrace of the party is further evidence of his opportunistic ways.

The complete disregard of Rich’s candidacy showed a certain lack of humility on Crist’s part. It offered no self-awareness that he was the one who arrived late to their party.”

Click Here To Read The Full Story

An open “thank you” letter from polluter James Finch to Charlie Crist

Dear Charlie,

Thank you so much for letting me take you to that environmental press conference last Friday in Tallahassee. I know the trip from Gainesville to Tallahassee is short and most people would have opted to just drive – especially since your press conference was on “the environment!” ;) But, I really needed to be a part of that skillful messaging … you truly are a great speaker, by the way.

You see, times have been tough since my company, Phoenix Construction, was fined TWICE for violating those pesky Department of Environmental Protection regulations. Those DEP tree-huggers fined me $1.7 million in 2009 for polluting! Can you believe that? Almost $2 million just for some storm water pollution…

Anyhow, being a part of your “environmental press conference” where you committed to protecting the environment will hopefully go a long way to reforming my image. I was a little afraid on Friday when a reporter asked you about my pollution record that you wouldn’t want me involved with transporting you and your campaign anymore (not to mention that whole NASCAR debacle, LOL). But, Charlie, you are a true friend. And, it was a privilege for me to fly you again yesterday as well. I do love St. Pete!

Your friend,

James Finch 

PS – I attached some photos from our time together. Let’s make some more memories soon.

PPS – Don’t let those annoying campaign finance limits stop you from using my plane! Those are really more of “suggestions” and no one really looks into your flight records anyhow. 


Miami Herald Last Friday: “Charlie Crist Flies To Enviro Press Conference – On Jet Of Developer Fined For Pollution” “Democrat Charlie Crist flew to an environmental press event [Friday] on the private jet of a developer fined for pollution.Almost as soon Crist stepped off the 2005 Cessna 560XL, Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign had photographed its tail number and traced its ownership to developer James Finch, whose company Phoenix Construction was fined at least twice for violating environmental rules …”  (Marc Caputo, “Charlie Crist Flies To Enviro Press Conference – On Jet Of Developer Fined For Pollution,” The Miami Herald, 7/28/14)

  • Miami Herald’s Marc Caputo:“[M]aybe He Could Have Held The Event In Gainesville, Where The Governor Had Flown From. That’s Less Than A Three Hour Drive From Tallahassee. It Would’ve Saved Fuel. And The Drive Would’ve Spared Crist A Bad Headline He Didn’t Need.”(Marc Caputo, “Charlie Crist Flies To Enviro Press Conference – On Jet Of Developer Fined For Pollution,” The Miami Herald, 7/28/14)

Phoenix Construction, Owned By James Finch Was Fined $1.7 Million By Department Of Environmental Protection For Polluting Waters Near Panama City Airport Construction Site. “The Department of Environmental Protection is fining Phoenix Construction $1.7 million for environmental permit violations at the new airport under construction near West Bay. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) notified the company Friday. The DEP’s judgment follows an investigation over runoff violations from heavy rains this spring that already resulted in airport fines of $250,000 and $200,000 in fees for an outside environmental consultant.” (Pat Kelly, “Phoenix Fined $1.7 Million: Officials Say Issue Will Not Affect Opening Date, Recruitment Of Low-Cost Airline,” Panama City News Herald, 9/19/09)

  • DEP Said Phoenix Construction Was Cutting Corners On Best Management Practices. “The DEP calculated that Phoenix cut corners in what the industry calls ‘Best Management Practices,’ saving itself $964,500, according to a DEP investigation conducted by complaints and enforcement manager Jessica Kleinfelter, who did not return calls for comment Friday.” (Pat Kelly, “Phoenix Fined $1.7 Million: Officials Say Issue Will Not Affect Opening Date, Recruitment Of Low-Cost Airline,” Panama City News Herald, 9/19/09)
  • DEP Said Phoenix Construction Was Disregarding Its Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. “Phoenix didn’t follow its Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) by covering the soil with a synthetic covering or hydroseeding ‘for at least a period of three months,’ according to Kleinfelter. The average cost of seed and mulch is $1,500 per acre, according to EPA guidelines.” (Pat Kelly, “Phoenix Fined $1.7 Million: Officials Say Issue Will Not Affect Opening Date, Recruitment Of Low-Cost Airline,” Panama City News Herald, 9/19/09) 

Charlie Crist Was “Audibly Annoyed” With Questions About His Ride On Private Plan Owned By James Finch, Who Has Contributed $150,000 To Crist’s Campaign. “Minutes before the meeting began, a staffer from Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign showed up to hand out information about Crist’s ride to the event: a private jet. The plane is owned by Crist donor James Finch, a Panama City developer whose company has faced fines in the past for violating water pollution laws.‘That is not the issue of today,’ said Crist, who was audibly annoyed by the question … Finch has contributed $150,000 to a committee supporting Crist and given the campaign flights on his plane worth $2,268, according to the most recently available campaign finance reports.” (Matt Dixon, “Governor Candidate Charlie Crist Working To Formulate Climate Change Policy,” Naples Daily News, 7/25/14)

Finch Sponsored NASCAR Vehicle For Crist’s Campaign Before It Was Stripped Away By The Team’s Owner. “Charlie Crist is out of the race — at least the Coke Zero 400 … The Republican-turned-Democratic candidate for governor’s name was going to appear on Josh Wise’s No. 98 car, but his decals were removed Friday after the Republican Party of Florida filed a complaint earlier in the week alleging the sponsorship broke campaign finance laws, said car owner Phil Parsons and Mike Curb, the car’s entrant and associate sponsor … James Finch, a Panama City businessman, told The News-Journal Thursday he brokered a roughly $25,000 deal with Parsons to promote Crist during the nationally televised Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Curb put the deal’s value at $50,000. Parsons declined to discuss how much the sponsorship cost.” (Skyler Swisher and Chris Graham, “Charlie Crist’s Name Stripped From Race Car,” Daytona Beach News-Journal, 7/4/14)

By the numbers…nothing to see here

If Charlie Crist and Florida Democrats want to talk  about “dodging,” here are a few numbers to remember:

35:      Days since Charlie Crist DODGED Governor Scott’s challenge for full transparency by refusing to release his and his spouse’s tax returns.

177:    Days since Charlie Crist first DODGED debating Nan Rich.

259:    Days since Charlie Crist announced his candidacy, yet has DODGED releasing a single policy initiative. 

When it comes to Charlie Crist’s campaign, there’s nothing to see here. 

It’s Been One Month…

Floridians have waited 30 long days for Charlie Crist to be fully transparent after he was challenged by Governor Scott to release his and his spouse’s tax returns.

After Crist’s campaign promised to release both his and his spouse’s tax returns, we’re still waiting.

Florida has a tradition of transparency for candidates running for statewide office, yet Charlie refuses to give the voters what they deserve – a clear and accurate picture of his finances. Instead, he and Florida Democrats resort to baseless attacks to try and distract from his broken promise of transparency.

And, with yesterday’s uncovering of a deed document with Charlie Crist’s name but never reported on his income taxes or personal financial disclosure, we have to ask, what’s he hiding?

State Attorneys and Sheriffs Blast Charlie Crist’s Waffling on 10-20-Life

Last Thursday, Charlie Crist continued the inevitable process of waffling on previously held positions. This time it was crime-prevention policies that have helped Florida reach a 43-year crime low.

23 Florida Sheriffs said:

“Policies that have kept violent criminals behind bars are a big part of Florida being at a 43-year crime low. Charlie Crist’s reversal on his support of 10-20-Life legislation and mandatory minimums threatens the incredible progress we have made over the last 15 years to make Florida safe for families and visitors.”

5 State Attorneys said:

“Laws like 10-20-Life give us the ability to keep violent criminals off the streets and are a big reason why Florida is at a 43-year crime low. In the same week Governor Rick Scott vowed continued support for strong sentencing measures, Charlie Crist has reversed his position on 10-20-Life, sending a terrible message to law enforcement and prosecutors who work hard to keep Florida families and visitors safe.”

Setting the Record Straight on FDP’s Upcoming “New” Ad

The Florida Democratic Party is set to release a “new” Spanish-language ad today; in reality they translated an old ad full of untruths into Spanish.

Here’s a quick fact-check of the Florida Dems’ misleading ad:

CLAIM: Rick Scott “didn’t side with students and parents.”

  • FACT: After Charlie Crist Left Florida With A $3.6 Billion Budget Shortfall, Governor Rick Scott Cleaned Up Crist’s Mess And Has Now Provided K-12 Schools With The Highest Total Education Spending In Florida History
  • FACT: Last Year, Governor Scott Provided $480 Million In Teacher Pay Raises, Receiving Praise From President Of Florida’s Teachers Union

CLAIM: Rick Scott doesn’t side with working and middle-class families because of tuition.

  • FACT: Rick Scott And The Legislature Repealed Charlie Crist’s Policy That Allowed Colleges And Universities To Raise Tuition Automatically By Up To 15 Percent Per Year
  • FACT: Because Of Rick Scott’s Repeal Of Charlie Crist’s Tuition Increase, “Cost Of Prepaid College Tuition Will Fall By Thousands In Florida”

CLAIM: Rick Scott cut education for tax breaks for big corporations

  • FACT: In May 2009, Charlie Crist Signed Budget That Included $2.2 Billion In Tax And Fee Increases Including Higher Fees On Drivers Licenses And Motor Vehicle Tags
  • FACT: Governor Scott Has Signed 40 Tax Cuts For Small Business and the Middle Class Including Rolling Back Crist’s Vehicle Registration Fee Increases This Year, A Nearly $400 Million Tax Cut

Across the street from YOLO

One would think that Charlie Crist would avoid all association with convicted Ponzi-schemer Scott Rothstein. But hey, you only live once.

Charlie Crist is hosting a fundraiser at YOLO in Fort Lauderdale tonight, a restaurant Rothstein frequented. Why? It’s across the street from the law offices formerly known as Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, where he managed his multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme and organized illegal political contributions to the likes of Charlie Crist.

If it weren’t for that pesky 50-year prison sentence, it’s easy to imagine Charlie Crist and Scott Rothstein planning Crist’s next birthday party at YOLO.

“As Charlie Crist’s campaign stumbles and Crist continues to avoid full transparency with his tax returns, it’s fitting that he would return to the scene of Scott Rothstein’s crime tonight to raise money from trial lawyers and career politicians.”Susan Hepworth, Communications Director, Republican Party of Florida

Sunset on Charlie’s work ethic

Charlie Crist is out with a new TV ad saying “I’ll fight for you from sunrise to sunset.” But that’s not what happened when Charlie was Governor. Even the Florida Democratic Party launched a website blasting Crist for being an empty chair Governor, taking time off from governing instead of focusing on the tanking economy.

Here’s a quick look back at the sunset that was Charlie’s work ethic.

  • Crist’s Schedule Showed After 2 Years In Office, He Had Taken 70 Days Off Work. “According to a review by The Associated Press, the Republican governor’s schedule shows no work on the equivalent of 70 days, or 14 work weeks, including half and partial days.” (Brendan Farrington, “Fla. Gov. Crist Has Lots Of Blank Time On Schedule,” Associated Press, 4/17/09)
  • Over The Course Of One Year While Crist Was Angling For McCain’s VP, Crist Only Worked 72% Of Time. “The AP reviewed Crist’s public schedule for one year beginning April 16, 2008. Excluding weekends and nine state holidays, Crist’s schedule shows him working about 72 percent of the time.”(Brendan Farrington, “Fla. Gov. Crist Has Lots Of Blank Time On Schedule,” Associated Press, 4/17/09)
  • During That Time, Crist Was Paid $35,000 For Time He Didn’t Work. “With the governor’s annual salary at $132,932, Crist got paid more than $35,000 for the days where his schedule shows no work.”(Brendan Farrington, “Fla. Gov. Crist Has Lots Of Blank Time On Schedule,” Associated Press, 4/17/09)