Charlie Crist, ultimate political hack

Charlie Crist is a man who stands for nothing but himself. He is a political prostitute who sells himself to the highest bidder. Currently, that would be the foul-mouthed, influential Democratic bundler and ambulance-chasing lawyer, John Morgan. Morgan likes hiring celebrity lawyers. He teamed up with OJ’s Johnnie Cochran and his latest coup was the judge who presided over the Casey Anthony trial.

Since I’m writing about lawyers, here is some documentation to support my opinion of Morgan and Crist. About Morgan’s ambulance chasing:

On the top floor of a downtown bank building, personal injury lawyer John Morgan is shooting the latest of his seemingly ubiquitous TV ads. Just as the camera starts to zoom in for a close-up of Morgan’s famously chubby cheeks and earnest face, a siren wails from the interstate below.

The filming halts. Morgan cups a hand behind his ear.

“Listen!” he says, looking a little like a prairie dog that has poked its head out of a burrow. “They’re playing my song.”

Morgan’s foul mouth:

Holding a drink and slurring his words, Morgan gave an expletive-filled speech to a crowd of screaming, cheering young people.

In a blurry video that looks like it was taken by a smartphone, Morgan exhorts the audience: “You lazy pieces of you-know-what, if you (expletive) don’t get out and vote, (expletive) it all, we can’t win.”

Here’s Morgan opening his home to host a fundraiser for POTUS. He claims this event raised $900,000.

There’s plenty more to say about Morgan, but this post is about Crist and yes, I am implying guilt by association. Most decent people wouldn’t work for someone like Morgan if they didn’t have to. On the other hand, Crist and Morgan are peas in a pod, as both are known for their alleged charm and charisma, which I don’t see in either.

So, on to Crist who after passing the bar exam on his third attempt practiced law until he became a career politician. According to the Naple News:

Crist has been in elected office, including serving as attorney general from 2003-07, for all but two of the past 18 years. He last regularly practiced law as a private attorney in the 1980s.

In 2003, Crist was elected Florida’s governor on Jeb Bush’s coattails. He didn’t run for a second term either because he decided to run for the U.S. Senate, or because he was a lousy governor.

At one point, Forbes asked whether Crist was America’s worst governor?

Charlie Crist is an extraordinarily gifted politician, known for his unpretentious and warm demeanor. He might also be America’s worst governor. Given that there is a great deal of competition for this dubious honor, that’s saying rather a lot.

…long considered by Democratic and Republican veterans of Florida’s political scene to be something of an opportunist if not a lightweight.

According to NewsBusters:

Florida’s economy lost over 900,000 payroll jobs during Crist’s first three years in office — over 11 percent of its workforce. With the exception of Nevada and perhaps one or two other very small states, that’s the worst percentage of job bleed in the entire nation during that time — even worse than Michigan’s and Ohio’s. The Sunshine State’s economy began losing jobs before most of the rest of the nation, while job gains during the first year after the early-2010 trough were weak.

His bid for the Senate didn’t go so well. When it became clear he would lose the Republican primary to Marco Rubio, he ran against Rubio as an Independent. That was in 2010. In January 2011 he was hired by Morgan & Morgan. In August 2012 Crist endorsed the current POTUS for re-election and in December of that year he declared he had registered as a Democrat. Now, he’s again running for governor and his current boss is one of his biggest supporters.

From the Naples News:

Along with being his boss, Morgan is one of Crist’s biggest political supporters. He has hosted fundraisers for Crist and used his national network of trial attorneys to raise millions for Charlie Crist for Florida, a committee supporting his re-election.

That committee has received $4.2 million from attorneys and law firms, which is about 42 percent of its overall contributions.

Morgan is smart enough to keep Crist out of the courtroom. From the Naples News:

Records show that Crist, who is based in Morgan & Morgan’s St. Petersburg office, hasn’t been the named attorney on any cases in Hillsborough or Pinellas counties since joining the firm…

During 2013, Crist made nearly $300,000 from Morgan & Morgan, according to recently filed campaign finance reports…Morgan said Crist hasn’t been in courtrooms because his primary task has been to recruit business for the firm…

Morgan said his firm got a “huge number” of cases related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill because of Crist. The firm was a member of the “plaintiff’s steering committee,” which took the lead on representing people and industries affected by the spill.

During that time, Crist also was monitoring the spill for the St. Joe Co., one of Florida’s largest landowners. After leaving that company’s board of directors in early 2013, remaining board members gave him a consulting contract worth $182,993, Scripps/Tribune reported in June.

Don’t you wish you had connections and therefore could make such easy money? Would it be worth your dignity and your soul? More from the Naples News article:

Crist made $50,000 in 2013 doing “consulting” work for Coastal Construction, a Miami construction company owned by longtime friend Tom Murphy, who is the father of Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, whose district includes Florida’s central Atlantic coast.

“I introduced the company to other people who need construction done,” Crist said during a June interview.

Charlie Crist, from The Richest:

net worth

This may come as a surprise, but Crist is sometimes accused of being less than ethical. For example,Crist accused of trading money for judges:

The testimony this week by Scott Rothstein, a onetime Crist fundraiser and prominent lawyer convicted of running a $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme, stunned court observers across Florida…Rothstein testified that as a fundraiser he had a “quid pro quo” relationship in which he was able to encourage Mr. Crist, then the Florida governor, to name judges to the bench in Broward County who would rule favorably for his law firm.

“For certain contributions, people were appointed to the bench ,” Rothstein said in testimony reported by local news media. “I was able to convince him to do a lot of things. He knew how that game was played. I expected him to do certain things in exchange for large contributions.”

Rothstein…was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Crist appointed his old campaign manager to the U.S. Senate. From West Orlando News:

Today, Charlie Crist appointed his old campaign manager and political crony George LeMieux to the United States Senate.

While the U.S. Senate is taking up important legislation focusing on our economy, global warming, and health insurance reform – Floridians needed Charlie Crist to appoint a Senator who would fight for us in Washington. Unfortunately, by appointing LeMieux, Crist once again put his own political ambition above doing what is right for Florida.

For the past several years, LeMieux has been a special interest lobbyist who has made millions of dollars selling access to Crist to the highest corporate bidders in Tallahassee. Because he has never been elected to any office, “Senator” LeMieux has only ever been beholden to Charlie Crist, Republican Party donors, and his special interest clients – not the people of Florida.

At least some of the money Crist used in his Independent run for the Senate had been raised for his run as a Republican. From a CNN report:

After failing to secure the GOP nomination for Senate, Crist was sharply criticized for refusing to refund contributions made to his campaign by Republicans.

The Senate candidate then came under fire for refunding a $9,600 contribution made to his campaign by Jim Greer, the disgraced former head of the Republican Party of Florida. Greer, who was appointed by Crist to head the RPOF in 2007, has been charged with six felony counts related to his alleged use of state party funds for personal expenditures…

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist appeared to suggest Saturday that he would give money back to donors if they asked…

Crist told Henry, “we’ll give it [campaign contributions] back to people who had asked for it.”

The independent candidate seemed to hedge a moment later saying, “People gave money to a good cause, I’m going to spend it on a good cause and that’s how I feel about it.”

There was also scandal concerning his sexual orientation. From the Huffington Post:

Allegations surfaced on Friday that former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist paid two men to conceal gay affairs…

[Crist’s boss] Morgan allegedly told Chase [attorney for the above-mentioned Greer] that his accusations were nothing more than inflammatory remarks intended to embarrass Crist and that even if the former governor were gay, they still wouldn’t relate to the charges Greer faces or constitute grounds for impeachment.

According to the documents:

Morgan stated that if Crist were homosexual why would he try to kiss Greer, specifically stating, ‘(Crist) would have to be a sick son of a b**ch to try to kiss Porky the Pig’ in reference to Greer.

In response, Crist accused Greer of extortion. However, Crist was also briefly implicated in the scandal of misused Republican Party of Florida funds and Greer stated in a text message to Crist:

I’ve lost everything due to my loyalty to you, and you did nothing to help me and tell the truth about VS (Victory Strategies) and the lies that have been said by this same bunch that hates you too, I gave everything for you and your political future. I’m told everyday that if I had not been so loyal to you this would not have happened, look what I got for it. My family and I loved you both. Take care.

But Charlie is such a nice guy. Just look at Crist and his wife at the baptism of Greer’s son:

Crist and Greer

From a former Crist supporter who, since 1992, raised $2 million for Crist:

I defended him as others called him an empty suit, an opportunist. I defended him when he supported increased tuition at Florida’s universities. I defended him as his hand-picked chairman of the Republican Party of Florida burned through resources and used the party coffers as his personal slush fund. I defended him, and his ambition, at every turn…

After so many evolutions, it’s blatantly obvious that he hasn’t evolved at all. An evolution requires a person to have some convictions at the outset. It’s clear that Crist never possessed convictions at all. His beliefs are fleeting, based on the moment at hand and the desires of those who can bring him the most gain…

It’s admirable to proclaim to be for the people. But when you try to be everything to all of the people all of the time, it’s solid proof that you’re only out for yourself.

Here’s the opinion of a self-proclaimed Conservative Politics Expert:

It wasn’t a gradual change for Charlie Crist. Overnight he went from a guy who swore Marco Rubio was the true liberal and he was Reagan reincarnated to someone meeting with Democrats to convince the Democratic nominee to drop from the race. His pro-life stances were scrubbed from his campaign website. Now that’s a trustworthy guy. After his switch, he suddenly opposed and later vetoed bills on ultrasound requirements [as] well as merit pay for teachers, bills he previously supported. He now believed whatever he felt was necessary to win. His blatancy in it all is what was shocking.

And the opinion of a Florida Democrat:

Charlie Crist addressed the Florida media brain trust unobstructed. In all his egotistical glory. His only opposition — his only enemy — was himself.

What a rude awakening Crist must have given many in the room…it was impossible for Crist to hide his lack of commitment, his insincerity…

It’s getting increasingly difficult for Crist to pull off this steady stream of policy switcheroos. Yes, he’s a good politician, but he’s not a deep thinker. The longer he goes on, the more often he’ll be caught like a deer in headlights. Unable to ad-lib his way out of now-fractured positions he once claimed to be proud of…

For Crist, everything changed. Abortion, marriage rights, vouchers, gun laws, Obamacare and, yes, criminal justice.

How he’s going to keep pulling it all off with that conveniently bad memory of his and keep looking like governor material this second time around is beyond me.

But none of it matters. Politics remains a good ol’ boys club and Charlie Crist is the ultimate political prostitute, a man who can help fulfill the political fantasies of greedy, power-hungry elitists.

Merriam Webster’s definition of a hack is “a person who works solely for mercenary reasons.” In other words, someone who serves merely for wages. I think that fits Charlie to a T.

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