He's a Republican. The other guy's a Democrat. And both Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek are running for U.S. Senate. So is Gov. Charlie Crist. Guess what? They both bashed Crist's decision to appoint his former chief of staff, George LeMieux, to fill retiring Sen. Mel Martinez's seat until the 2010 elections.
This is a disappointing appointment for Florida. George LeMieux is a talented political operative and the governor’s best friend, but that doesn’t make him the right choice to represent Florida in the Senate. Governor Crist had a wealth of consistent and principled conservative candidates to choose from, all of whom would have been a reliable check and balance on the excesses of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda.
U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Miami) released the following statement after Governor Charlie Crist appointed George LeMieux to the U.S. Senate:
"From the moment Senator Martinez announced his retirement, Governor Crist placed his ambitions over Florida's needs. Floridians require a Senator working to ease their economic pain and achieve comprehensive health insurance reform, not a political appointee who serves the monied special interests.
"The Governor added another addition to his campaign team at taxpayers' expense. George LeMieux doesn't represent Floridians facing economic challenges - he represents privileged clients with expense accounts far removed from the realities Floridians are facing.
"Governor Crist was afforded a high responsibility with this appointment. Instead, he treated this process like a mockery, politicizing his selection by flying around the state at taxpayers' expense, touring major media markets and drawing this selection out. Well respected Floridians with a wealth of elected service experience from Congressman Clay Shaw to Mayor John Delaney to various Hispanic leaders were in a position to hit the ground running if appointed, but that possibility is now nonexistent.
"By appointing George LeMieux, Governor Crist's inner circle was rewarded with a U.S. Senate seat and Floridians are left lacking the representation they deserve."