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317 posts from May 2010

May 30, 2010

Jeb Jr. gets married

Three generations of Bushes descended on a Brickell area church Saturday for a wedding and Memorial Day weekend family reunion of the Republican Party's most enduring dynasty.

The two former presidents -- George Herbert Walker Bush and George W. Bush -- were on hand, along with the former First Ladies to watch as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's youngest son, John Ellis Bush Jr., 26, known as "Jebby,'' married Coral Gables resident Sandra al-Gudady.

The family's elder statesman, George H.W., known as 41, emerged from a tan SUV, his wife Barbara at his side, after being escorted to the church by two Miami-Dade Police squad cars.

Wearing a white summer suit, he appeared frail as he entered the white stone, red-roofed St. Jude Melkite Catholic Church with the help of a cane and his wife, Barbara, at his side.

The groom's father arrived about 30 minutes before the ceremony in a dark suit. The ceremony opened with Pachelbel's Canon, according to a wedding program. The bride's father, Paul Joseph David, walked her down the aisle. The groom's best man was big brother, George P.

The second President Bush, George W., known as 43, was accompanied by former First Lady Laura and daughters Jenna and Barbara. He turned to a Miami Herald photographer and said jokingly, "Make me look good'' as he departed the church.

Security was tight. There were plain-clothed cops, uniformed Miami Police and Secret Service agents among the guests who arrived by limousine and also on foot from fashionable Brickell Avenue.

Security was also tight for a rehearsal dinner for 120 guests the night before at a Key Biscayne seafood restaurant, the Rusty Pelican. About 30 Secret Service agents guarded a private room on the waterfront restaurant's second floor.

More on the bride here

May 29, 2010

Candidate for Congress by day, psycho doctor on screen

Democratic congressional candidate Rudolph  "Rudy'' Moise has come up with a novel strategy to stand out in a crowded field of nine campaign rivals.

Become a movie star.

Voters driving around the Miami-Dade district currently represented by U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek can look up and see Moise's name and profile on billboards in three different locations, promoting not his congressional campaign but his new movie: Trapped: Haitian Nights.

Moise is the executive producer -- he said he carried most of the cost of the film with $2.3 million of his own money -- and thus had the inside track to be able to co-star with the lovely Vivica A. Fox. It's scheduled to open only in Miami in September.

For an amateur, Moise takes on a role that would challenge Sir Anthony Hopkins. He plays Dr. Richard Lazard, the chief suspect when his wife disappears. According to the trailer, the good doctor suffers from "a severe, delusional, paranormal psychosis. In other words, he conjures up images in his mind and then lives them out in his own reality.''

Perfect training for a member of Congress.

Column continues here and the must-watch trailer is below.

May 28, 2010

Crist signs elections bill

Gov. Charlie Crist just announced he signed HB 131, which re-regulates shadowy elections groups known as 527s. The bill requires any electioneering group to disclose its source of funds 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election -- so long as they engage in any advertising.

Budget vetoes prompt lawsuit threat against Charlie Crist

Fuming (again) about Charlie Crist's veto pen, House Speaker Larry Cretul threatened to sue the Republican governor, suggesting the way he slashed spending from the state budget was "unconstitutional."

In a statement, the Ocala Republican said he directed House legal staff to review Crist's actions.

"This apparent abuse of power is another example of the governor once again exceeding his legal authority," the statement said. "The House has successfully challenged the governor when he has exceeded his constitutional authority before, and we are prepared to do so again. The rule of law is at stake, and no one, not even the Governor, is above the principles set forth in Florida's state constitution.”

Read his full reaction to the budget vetoes below.

Continue reading "Budget vetoes prompt lawsuit threat against Charlie Crist" »

JD: Charlie Crist 'doesn't have any substance,' lied (again)

Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander just give a blistering criticism of Gov. Charlie Crist for vetoing $45 million for the University of South Florida's polytechnic campus in Polk County, Alexander's district. Alexander said Crist was getting revenge on him for voting against the governor's Public Service Commission picks during the last legislative session.

Here's Alexander, raw and uncut:

“Clearly, it was a personal attack on me because I didn’t share his view of his appointments to the PSC. It’s a shame he doesn’t share the vision for expanding education and helping expand education opportunities. Instead, he decided to be personally punitive. This was broadly supported across the state and across the region. I feel confident that we will prevail one day.

“He said he supported USF polytechnic. But what’s new? He didn't tell the truth. He was a Republican until he wasn’t. He supported Senate Bill 6 until he didn’t. And he was for polytech until he decided not to be. He’s all politics and he doesn’t have any substance.”

Last year, when the budget was smaller, Crist let stand two USF polytech appropriations that totaled $16.4 million.

Alexander said Crist could wind up in court for canceling a transportation trust fund raid that helped boost education spending.

"He can probably get away with the veto if the Legislature doesn’t take him to court," Alexander said. "There’s clear evidence that the governor can’t veto proviso language but keep the money. You can’t pick and chose"

Alexander, though, said he didn't support the trust-fund raid in the first place and suggested the House would be more likely to sue.

Touchy subject? MSNBC's Spitzer does a segment on Crist and Obama

Former NY Guv Eliot Spitzer just highlighted Gov. Charlie Crist's back pat of President Barack Obama -- questioning the politics behind it in a segment titled, "Touchy Subject."

Guest Jonathan Capehart, a Washington Post columnist noted that as Obama spoke, "it was Crist who was right over his shoulder," as opposed to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

But Spitzer shrugged it off as "no more than typical political Kremlinology" and suggested it was no more than one politician saying to another, "thanks for helping out."

Has Meek heard the pleas to show up in Broward?

Some Democrats say Congressman Kendrick Meek who is running for U.S. Senate hasn't spent enough time in voter-rich Broward. He needs to turn out a big vote in the Democratic-dominated county to erase deficits elsewhere if he is to beat Jeff Greene and Gov. Charlie Crist. Broward will see a lot of Meek in the next week or so:

Meek is headed to a nursing home in Pembroke Pines on Memorial Day, Hollybrook condos in Pembroke Pines Tuesday and the Wynmoor Democratic Club in Coconut Creek Tuesday, said his campaign spokesman Adam Sharon. On June 7, he'll meet with Broward mayors and then attend a fundraiser in Plantation at Deicke Auditorium.  

Charlie Crist vetoes $371m. Dade, David Rivera, lose out

Gov. Charlie Crist just announced he vetoed $371 million from the state budget, making it weigh in at $70.2b** (see note below). The biggest cut: A $160m raid on the state Department of Transportation trust fund. The money was tied to K-12 spending in an effort, so the Legislature thought, to block Crist from making a veto or risk cutting education spending.

Crist did it anyway, all but daring the Republican-led Legislature or whomever else to sue him in order to cut money from road projects -- the only projects that conservatives across the board said represented true "stimulus" in the stimulus package that they maligned before gobbling up all that extra federal cash.

"We should not have to chose between jobs for Floridians or funding for our children's education," Crist said in his veto statement.

But since the money is tied to schools, Crist technically cut school spending by $160 million, unless he can find a way to plug money back into the class room. Technically, legally, the Legislature is the only entity that can appropriate money. So it's unclear how Crist can avoid being forced to "chose between jobs for Floridians or funding for our children's education."

Crist has made legally questionable vetoes before, such as his decision to block a tuition increase in 2007 or his veto last year of a pay cut for state workers. Like this year's road-schools issue, those spending items were intertwined with other parts of the budget that should have suffered as a result of a veto. But no one sued. So Crist was never checked.

What's different this year? Crist is no longer a Republican, having abandoned the party due to the strength of Marco Rubio's Senate campaign.

Continue reading "Charlie Crist vetoes $371m. Dade, David Rivera, lose out" »

Kendrick Meek goes viral to lambaste Crist reversal

Meek's campaign attacks Crist's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" change in position.

President Obama and Charlie Crist, a handshake and a pat on the back, but no hug

CNN has been waiting for President Barack Obama for more than an hour -- showing just an empty mic stand fronting the water. Now people are gathering, including Charlie Crist, who stood just to Obama's left.

"This is our highest priority," Obama said, making his second trip to Louisiana amid criticism that his administration hasn't been as involved as it should be. He said he's instructed officials to triple the number of responders in areas where oil has reached land.

"I would gladly do whatever it takes to end this disaster today," Obama said, pledging to Gulf Coast residents that the government is in for the long haul. "We're in this together," he said.

There was no repeat of the famed hug, but Crist did give Obama a double-handed arm grab and a pat on the back.