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Charlie Crist flies to enviro press conference -- on jet of developer fined for pollution


Democrat Charlie Crist flew to an environmental press event Thursday 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 (more here, here and here).

Scott's campaign quickly informed reporters awaiting Crist at his press conference concerning climate change

Crist, not commenting about the irony of flying to an environmental press conference on the plane of someone busted for violating environmental rules, partly blamed his troubles on the remoteness and difficulty of traveling to Tallahassee.

"Listen, I’m trying to win this race and Florida's a big state. And if the Republicans don’t think that I should be allowed to fly and have to drive everywhere when their candidate has his own private airplane that he got from the ill-gotten procedures he had at Columbia HCA, I got another thing coming for 'em," Crist said. "I'm going to fly and I'm going to get around Florida as fast as I can to talk to as many people as I can to tell them the truth about what this guy isn't doing on climate change and education and other issues.".

Was there a better way to travel to Tallahassee?

"Perhaps there is, but that's really not the issue of today," Crist said. "The issue of today is who really cares about Florida."

No one asked how much carbon he blew into the atmosphere by deciding to hold a climate-change press conference in Tallahassee instead of his home base of Tampa Bay. Or maybe 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.

-- Rochelle Koff contributed