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Crist's hunting pal: "I believe in taxes"

Cristgun Gov. Charlie Crist got all rural this morning when he toured the Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center near Monticello along with Beau Turner, along with his father/media mogul Ted Turner and squeeze/TV personality Catherine Crier.

It was a picture-perfect Charlie Crist event on a picture-perfect day at the picture-perfect outdoor youth center, where kids can learn to hunt, fish and be outdoorsey. Crist took a whirl with a bow and arrow (hit target 2:3 times) and tried to fell a few clay quails with a 20-gauge (1:12 or so). "Why don't I have a 12-gauge instead of a 20-gauge," Crist asked. "It's easier." Indeed. Woulda helped if he followed through with his shot as well.

Beau Turner plugged the new facility with a few crafty one-liners about how he wants "no child left inside" and how kids have "nature-deficit disorder these days." But the best line of the day went to the mogul himself who bristled when asked about the new amendment 4 to allow large landholders to avoid property taxes in return for conservation easements.

"I believe in paying taxes," Turner said. "How else are you going to pay for government?" Turner pointed out he once ponied up $32m just to help the U.S. pay its U.N obligations. Now that's something you just don't hear every day in this neck of the woods.

Later, when asked about property tax-cutting plans, Crist took a separate tack, saying more reductions are needed because the people of Florida are hurting enough. Then it was off to a private lunch of freshly shot quail (not the clay kind) with the Turners and energy visionary/oilman/swiftboater T. Boone Pickens.

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