Wednesday, August 26, 2009

But It's a Party Card


GOP Credit Card ControversyAugust 25th, 2009 by Whitney Ray
The IRS is being asked anonymously to investigate members of the Republican Party of Florida who used party issued credit cards to spend 3.6 million dollars.

If members didn’t reimburse the party for personal purchases or pay taxes on the spending, the IRS could seek charges. As Whitney Ray tells us, Republican Cabinet members deny any involvement with the scandal.

In just 18 months, 3.6 million dollars in charges were racked up on credit cards given to members of the Republican Party of Florida. Former House Speaker Ray Sansom charged 173,000 dollars on his card.

No one is claiming the rest of the bill, with includes a 4,000 dollar charge to a cigar store, 13,000 dollars for limousines in New York, and 20,000 dollars to a London hotel.

There was also 9,000 dollars charged at this Tallahassee seafood restaurant.”

Since the spending was revealed, Senators Jeff Atwater and Mike Haridopolos canceled their cards. Party Chairman Jim Greer cut his in two, but he isn’t revealing who had the cards.

Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp denies ever using a party card. So does Governor Charlie Crist.

Gov. Charlie Crist blew off a question to investigate Sansom.

“It’s not necessary. Who needs it? It’s a waste of money. We’ve got to save people’s money. That’s why I’ve never had a party card,” said Crist.

Attorney General Bill McCollum also denies having ever owned a card. State Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer cancelled all the cards, but isn’t answering questions about who had the cards and which purchases are valid and which need reimbursement.

McCollum told a Panhandle resident he did not have the jurisdiction to investigate.

After the St. Petersburg Times reported McCollum's email, the Attorney General suddenly put his investigative powers into action.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Crist's A-Team

"(Two years ago / In 2006), a cracked group of politicians & lobbyist unit was investigated by the courts for some crimes but they could not prove.

These men promptly released into the public Fl. underground.

Today, still not wanted by most of the public , they survive as politicians of fortune.

If you have a problem, if you have lots of cash you can donate and if you can find them, when not on vacation. And they may get around to fix.. Maybe you can hire Crist's A-Team."

Governor Charlie Crist's former Chief of Staff George LeMieux has made millions since leaving state government. Now LeMieux's business dealings are likely to become the focus of Democratic attacks on U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist.

Huge State contracts with LeMieux's law-firm, awarded at the time LeMieux left the governor's office and which LeMieux claims he had nothing to do with, will be the focus of FOIA requests.

LeMieux's role in the negotiating a gambling compact with the Seminole Indian Tribe which granted the Indians card-games not allowed by state law, and subsequent contributions to the Republican Party of Florida from the Indians.

The Seminoles seem really happy with Crist and RPOF. The Seminole Tribe (since 1996) has donated nearly $912,000 to the state party, with 71 percent of that money coming in since Crist took over state party fundraising once he won the 2006 Republican primary.

Who paid for LeMieux's accompanying Crist on his European Trade Mission and what kind of largesse LeMieux got from the RPOF are both likely to become public now that Tallahassee State's Attorney Willie Meggs is getting access to the GOP party records in the House Speaker Ray Sansom investigation.

Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer, whose party disclosure reports to the Secretary of State hide more than they reveal, will be in the cross-hairs as well....Also worrisome to the Crist camp are conversations LeMieux had with indicted viatical scamster Joel Steinger of Mutual Benefits while Steinger was wearing a wire for the Feds.

We now know that Ex-Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom ran up at least $170,000 in inappropriate charges on his Republican Party of Florida American Express card including a lavish European vacation for himself and his family, expensive out-of State restaurants and even the New York City Apple store.

RPOF Chairman Jim Greer has been privy to the itemized American Express bills and was clearly aware of the Speaker's spending spree - yet he said and did nothing.

Why? Because Greer's spending on himself and his family makes Samson's expenditures look small-time. Greer has used the RPOF as his personal piggybank, spending donor's money on 5-star resorts, spa services, highly rated restaurants, green fees, luxury jet aircraft, limousines , sporting equipment, $800 bottles of wine, sports tickets and worse.

Former Party Chairmen Tom Slade and Al Cardenas flew commercial and drove themselves in low-budget rental cars when on Party business.

Reimbursement for meals was limited to real Party business, not taking the wifey out for a night on the town.

Both Chairmen presided over the growth and electoral success of the state GOP.

Governor Charlie Crist, who talks endlessly about transparency, has been aware of Greer's wild and inappropriate spending as it was an issue when Greer ran for re-election to his party post.

When news leaked of one wild and expensive weekend Greer spent at the Breakers in Palm Beach, where the cost of his room service alone could have elected a Republican to Congress, Greer said it was all a mistake - and sadly, the Governor did nothing.

Meanwhile, Greer continues to resist any attempt by party funders to see the actual American Express Bills, perpetuating the cover-up of the misuse of party funds. Read Here

Having lost the State for the McCain-Palin ticket (with left-over funds in the RPOF Federal account) Jim Greer is the first Republican State Chairman since 1964 to preside over the loss of the State by the GOP in a Presidential year, not to mention the loss of a Congressional seat.

The Mutual Benefits scandal will take down more Florida politicians who the company approached to stem the federal investigation that ultimately brought the company down. LeMieux may be the biggest fish. More Mutual Benefits news…

Ray Sansom, former speaker of the house in Florida was recently indicted by a Leon County grand jury on felony charges of perjury and misuse of office.
Part of the reason for that was six million dollars that Sansom diverted to North Florida State College for an "educational building" that turned out to be an airplane hangar.
During budget season, it missed Crist completely and was approved by the governor.Fast forward a few months and it has now been discovered that Sansom has racked up over $200,000 in credit card charges billed to the Republican Party of Florida.Charges include baby sitting services, purchases from Best Buy, and hotel charges in Nashville, New York, and Chicago.
Kind of sound like something you heard before maybe?
What is ironic is that some of that $200,000 was for airline tickets for Sansom's family and sightseeing tours in Europe while Sansom and family were ironically traveling with Governor Charlie Crist.
Hmmmm......On Friday, August 21 Governor Charlie Crist had the audacity to say that officials need to be frugal with other people's money.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Is God protecting the G.O.P

Or Crist protecting his own with his Almighty Winds

It would seem I remember another who asked God to intervene during a Democratic convention that did not work out so well.

Hurricane slams Republican National Convention, flooding the streets of Minneapolis/St. Paul with rivers of savage hypocrisy as levees of evangelical denial and sexual confusion overflow into the streets, leaving stunned party members scrambling in vain for shaky moral high ground.

As to protecting Fl.Seems like Crist has forgotten the flooding caused by last year's Tropical Storm Fay some of the heaviest rain Fl's ever had.
Hit Florida four times — a record — killing six Floridians.

Being Mr.Crist wants to use biblical content to bring him into the light.

Going to the Western Wall and inserting a note with a prayer. It read, “Dear God, please protect our Florida from storms and other difficulties.
Lets see unemployment high, greater number of home fore closer, No money to maintain our schools or pay teachers.
I might add other events that have taken place within the state of Fl.

Which the floods an natural event one could say caused by God.

The event of which I speak is the increasing number of pythons which was cause by the flooding in which Mr. Crist has taken no steps to fix.

Following the logic that Mr. Crist trying to bring to lite could God be punishing that of an state being mainly G.O.P.

The python is an snake just as another evil snake in the Garden of Eden.

Not to mention mold created by flood waters and Mosquitoes that bring sickness.

I think this is just a cynical attempt by Crist to encourage the faithful among us to view him as God’s chosen one so that they will support his bid for Senator next year .

If another storm hits after Crist has driven out the insurance & has nothing to fix flooding issues the people of Fl.may like to make sure he's closer to God or maybe another well none character.

The Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Could it be divine intervention that's kept Florida safe from hurricanes since Gov. Charlie Crist took office?

Crist says he's not taking credit, but did tell a group of real estate agents Friday that he's had prayer notes put in the Western Wall in Jerusalem each year and no major storms have hit Florida.

He's not taking credit for the Foreclosure , problem in Fl. either.

Crist said each of the notes read, "Dear God, please protect our Florida from storms and other difficulties. Charlie."

The first time he personally put the note in during a 2007 trade mission to Israel. Last year, he gave the note to Sen. Nan Rich to be placed in the wall.

This year he gave a note to a friend .

He told the group, "Knock on wood. I would ask you all to say a prayer."

An interesting side note this was it was Pat Robertson proclaimed God would smit Fl. for their stands on gay rights one of them has to be wrong.
Might it be Pat Roberson or one like Christ trying to ponder their vote?
In 1985, Pat Robertson prayed away Hurricane Gloria which was headed for the Virginia coast.

He claimed that his success in steering the Hurricane away from Virginia was an important factor in his decision to run for president in 1988.

He said,

"It was extremely important because I felt, interestingly enough, that if I couldn’t move a hurricane, I could hardly move a nation"

I’m really not sure how Robertson could claim this as a victory over the Hurricane.
Even though there was no official landfall over Virginia, this was a major storm that brushed the coast, resulting in over $5.5 million (1985 dollars) in damage to southeastern Virginia.

Official landfall of the storm came further north, on Long Island, causing even more damage.

Overall, the storm caused $900 million (1985 dollars) in property damage and killed eight people.

(see Hurricane Gloria at Wikipedia for more storm details.)

You would think if Robertson could turn the storm away from Virginia he could have also turned it harmlessly out to sea.

Maybe that would have been asking too much.

Now we get to Florida and governor Charlie Crist.

He recently claimed that god is protecting Florida from hurricanes because he has prayer notes placed in the western wall each year .

I hope his connection with God is better than Robertson’s.

If not, Florida is going to be in trouble very soon.

Even if it has been a couple of years since Florida was hit by a hurricane, that would seem to indicate that the time is coming for another one.

Maybe this year.

The problem with Crist’s proclamation that Florida is protected is that people could die because of this.

If he really thinks that his state is protected from storms, how much planning is he going to do?

How quick will he be to mobilize rescue efforts when a storm actually hits?

If he takes these actions, he is publicly doubting that his prayers will be answered.

If he remains confident in his faith and a storm hits, Florida will be unprepared and people will die as a result.

I’ll go ahead and predict now that if Florida remains safe from storms for the next year or two, we’ll see Charlie Crist make a run for the White House.

But I don’t think this will happen.

Storms hit Florida every year. A major one is due before long, I just hope that sensible people are in charge of the preparations.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Crist's "Sweet" Deal on U.S. Sugar Expressway

Governor Charlie Crist and his "sweet" deal with U.S. Sugar.

It is wonderful to see the "People's Governor" running out on the people. He only wants to serve one term so he can do better work for the people. That just amazes me.

Just think what good he has done with the water district. Buying land from the sugar companies, which really want to get rid of the land. Sugar doesn't make money anymore, since imports have killed the industry.

The people will pay once it's incorporated into the budget, where it will be buried.

Best of all, if we don't complete the full purchase from the sugar barons, they will get $50 million for doing nothing but making fools of the people.

This is so the governor will get the deal no matter what and look like he helped the environment.

Just think paying $7,500 an acre? Maybe now that is overpriced. Who is checking on the assessor? The same people who let houses sell for $500,000 and $600,000 when they were only worth $200,000?

But to add to this the money push for could have been better applied to fixing the issues of Inaccurate drainage of flood waters.

Also the direct case of Python problem.
Some snakes never shad their skin

I'm glad this governor will only serve one term. Maybe we can find someone who really cares about Florida

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released a graph of the economic growth of all 50 states. Florida ranks in the lowest tier for growth. Last month, Florida's unemployment was at 12.2 percent. The state's unemployment is higher than the national average of 9.5 percent.

Which brings up an interesting question.

Why Isn't Crist Spending Stimulas Money ???

Maybe waiting for his Sweet Deal with U.S Sugar to go through. Will be interesting to see projects in this area start.

Charle Crist just a little help from his friends

Add to this Crist's push with the horrible idea of of private companies owning toll roads.

Florida was considering privatizing roads to pay for new construction. The St. Petersburg Times editorial board pointed out the state could borrow money and run tolls cheaper than outsourcing to private contractors.

Alligator Alley or Charle's Tail End for Fl.

The last pieces of the puzzle may well be his selection to fill a senate seat.
With his connections to sugar interest.

Jim Smith: That whole lobbyist question. Is the People's Governor really eager to appoint one of Florida's top lobbyists, whose clients include a bunch of health care and financial institutions, as well as tobacco and sugar interests?

But may also answer the question as to why Crist pushing his
Gov. Charlie Crist touts Cover Florida healthcare plan as ...

MiamiHerald.comCharlie Crist says his health-insurance idea should be a national model, even though it's done little to help Florida's uninsured.

Just some back information. Here

Gambling with Crist

Because he will hold them and very good at folding and leaving the state as Governor.

With many wary of his plan to expand gambling in Florida to generate more money for the state's budget and memory's of the promotion of the lotto suppose to beef up the funding already on hand for the states school system. The nagging questions is where did the money go it was suppose to beef up?

With the lotto sales growing in the state how is the school system now so deeply in the red?

Crist didn't make his pitch directly to the Riverside Elementary Community School teachers or students. He made it to a troop of television cameras.

Back in South Florida, the school's principal, Sharon López, said she didn't know the governor was coming to talk about gambling -- only that he wanted to see the school.

''It will put more money into education for this hard-working principal and, more importantly than that, for the children " Again a review of past issues Straight, Inc,

You no the one the X Govenor was on the board to Review here 3rd artical from the top.

"He said when the federal stimulus money runs out in two years, ``when we want the gambling revenue, we'd end up with squat.''

To my way of thinking the funding there was is now gone. Again where did it go?

The biggest endorsement on campus for Crist's proposal came from the president of the United Teachers of Dade, Karen Aronowitz, who has been battling for teacher raises for months. ''I'm for anything that will enhance revenue for education,'' she said.

2009 Legislative Lobbyist by Principal

Crist's pitch recalled the 2003 campaign by slot-machine proponents, who used school funding as a selling point for a constitutional amendment paving the way for gambling referendums in Miami-Dade and Broward.

And my last point to be made was it not Governor Crist that had the stand to lower propert taxs?

Not only did that not happen but now it seems hes trying to pass the buck about raising them .

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Death Panels"

Did you see his face when the panel dropped??

Sarah Palin, embracing the fanatical, loony conspiracy theory that Pres. Obama is organizing "death panels" to come to kill her infant son.

Well on first reaction to this tiny bit of wisdom .

Was it not than Governor Plain that said the evil reporters and bloggers involving her family in politics and they are off limits.

Except for photo ops of course.
But she came out on stage with flashes from cameras that her daughter was with child out of wedlock . Showing just saying no still working for all other teens.

Proudly stating her son enlisting in the service and going to war . I guess going by bus.
One based on lies and scare tactics maybe facing killing someone aka you no life.

Which being pro life shows the narrow view of life shes promoting

Than followed by this news.

By now, most of us have heard Sarah Palin's "death panel" comment on her Facebook page.

But what we may not know is that, during her tenure as governor, an important program for in-home elder care became an actual "death panel" for over 250 vulnerable Alaskans.

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care.

Such a system is downright evil.

But as the Anchorage Daily News reported this last July, the situation in the state's Medicare- and Medicaid-funded in-home elder care program became so bad that the federal government had to step in and force Alaska to make necessary improvements.

In one 2 1/2 year stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help.

The feds had been tipped off to the systemic problems by doctors and other health care providers, who found the state unresponsive when confronted with their incompetence.

No other state faced comparable problems.

This follows the additional info ops no updates

Than to wrap up theres this GOP senator behind Palin's "death panels"

U.S. Rep. Virginia Fox (R-N.C.) also recently accused the Democrats' health care reform plan of putting seniors "to death."

But there is nothing resembling the alleged "death panel" in the health care reform plan.

A spokesperson for Palin told ABC News that the former governor was referring to a section promoting advance care planning that appears on page 425 of the House Democrats' bill

Advance care planning includes living wills and durable powers of attorney that allow individuals to make clear their wishes for end-of-life care, whatever they may be.And as it turns out, the cause of advance planning has been championed especially strongly by a pro-life Republican -- U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia.Isakson (photo above) is a member of Senate Health committee that played a key role in shaping the health care reform legislation.

He successfully offered an amendment in committee that allows funds for a government-funded program that provides in-home services to people with disabilities to be used for advance care planning, according to the national Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Isakson has been promoting advance care planning for years.

In 2007, for example, he co-sponsored two bills to encourage such planning -- the Medicare End-of-Life Care Planning Actand the Advance Planning and Compassionate Care Act.

In 2005, Isakson joined with state lawmakers to publicly sign a personal "Directive for Final Health Care" to encourage Georgians to discuss their personal wishes for end-of-life care.

He cited the controversial case of Terry Schiavo -- a Florida woman who lived for several years in a persistent vegetative state before her husband had her disconnected from a feeding tube -- to illustrate the importance of advance planning.

"I believe it is every person's right and responsibility to make sure their loved ones are prepared to make decisions on their behalf by discussing and documenting their wishes," Isakson said at the time.

"It is my sincere hope that all Georgians will join me in following the lead of the Georgia General Assembly's Resolution and make their final wishes known."Isakson is a pro-life politician who opposes abortion as well as stem cell research entailing the destruction of human embryos.

But all right with the life's of vets being killed in war based on lies.

So far Isakson has remained silent publicly on the "death panel" brouhaha. Facing South called his press office for comment today but no one was available.

Meanwhile, another prominent Georgia Republican has rushed to Palin's defense: Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich told ABC's "This Week" that people are being asked "to trust turning power over to the government

when there are clearly people in America who believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards."

But other at least one Georgia politician has tried to distance himself from Palin, with Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) telling Bill Maher that her "death panel" allegation was "a scare tactic."

Related posting here G.O.P. Principles

That like Bush using Fox Net work reporting they had indeed found weapons of mass distruction as "scare tactic"

On Fox News Channel (3/23/03), the headline banners were already rolling: "HUGE CHEMICAL WEAPONS FACTORY FOUND IN SO IRAQ.... REPORTS: 30 IRAQIS SURRENDER AT CHEM WEAPONS PLANT.... COAL TROOPS HOLDING IRAQI IN CHARGE OF CHEM WEAPONS." The Jerusalem Post, whose embedded reporter helped break the story along with a Fox correspondent, announced in a front-page headline (3/24/03), "U.S. Troops Capture First Chemical Plant."

So went the weapons hunt. On numerous occasions, the discovery of a stash of illegal Iraqi arms was loudly announced--often accompanied by an orgy of triumphalist off-the-cuff punditry--only to be deflated inconspicuously, and in a lower tone of voice, until the next false alarm was sounded.

In one episode, embedded NPR reporter John Burnett (4/7/03) recounted the big news he'd learned from a "top military official": "the first solid confirmed existence of chemical weapons by the Iraqi army." According to Burnett, an army unit near Baghdad had discovered "20 BM-21 medium-range rockets with warheads containing sarin nerve gas and mustard gas."

True believersSome of the more gung-ho media weren't discouraged at all by the constant false alarms.

According to Rush Limbaugh's website (4/7/03), "

We're discovering WMDs all over Iraq.... You know it killed NPR to report that the 101st Airborne found a stockpile of up to 20 rockets tipped with sarin and mustard gas....

Our troops have found dozens of barrels of chemicals in an agricultural facility 30 miles northwest of Baghdad."

"The discovery of these weapons of mass destruction doesn't surprise me," Limbaugh explained on his radio show (4/7/03).

"The only part of it that surprises me is that we discovered them in Iraq."

If U.S. forces were to look in Syria, he proposed, they would probably find an additional "huge cache" of smuggled weaponry.

They only thing that surprises me that Fox news and Rush Limbaugh still aloud to broad cast. But I guess Huckabee working for Fox net work handles that part. Other here

On April 11, a Fox News report, still posted to the network's website as late as July,announced: "Weapons-Grade Plutonium Possibly Found at Iraqi Nuke Complex."

Sourced to an embedded reporter from the right-wing Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the story was soon debunked by U.S. officials (AP, 4/15/03).

Fox didn't mention that the "massive" underground facility "discovered" beneath a military compound had actually been subject to continuous on-site U.N. monitoring for years.

Instead, the network featured a soundbite from "former Iraqi scientist" George Gazi, who declared: "I think this demonstrates the failure of the U.N. weapons inspections and demonstrates that our guys are going to find the weapons of mass destruction."
(This story originally appeared at Facing South.)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

G.O.P. Principles

I mean that you will become engaged in mainstream Republican politics.

Scoop!: letter from Jeb! to Charlie Crist! The Five Principles ... by gimleteye
Dear Charlie,

I slept on your offer last night. Yes! Let bygones be bygone. I will be the next US Senator from Florida and accept your appointment to fill the remaining term of Mel Martinez, the last man our team recruited to fill the job.

While I say, yes!, there are conditions that should be agreed upon by your signature,

"Should make sure he sighned and read it."
beginning with the assurance that this letter remains private, between us, and not leaked at any time especially to the blogs.

"So much for the platform of transparency
And now a little late has now been posted in every city in Fl."

To verify and proceed, please click ‘read more’.

First, your assurance that you will fight the next US Supreme Court nominee from the Obama. By fight, I mean that you will become engaged in mainstream Republican politics.

"Free Democracy: Teabaggers Bring Guns To Cohen Health Care Event
By See You On The Other Side
Steve Steffens at Right Wing Cracker: “Randy Wade is to be complimented as well; he arranged for security. There were actually idiots who brought guns (legally, it seems they had carry permits, but why did they feel they needed them?)….
Free Democracy –"

"Is this what he ment???"

Second, you must not ever appear in a photo with the Obama. Not by his side. Not at his shoulder. And not at his table.

“ I take it not across this means not across party lines too.”

Charlie Crist faces criticism over the slow pace. BY JACK DOLAN Gov. Charlie Crist, hailed as a model of bipartisanship when he reached across the aisle

"To him it appears that Photo Ops more important than discussing real issues such as python hunts"

Third, you will support Marco Rubio to be governor of Florida in 2014.

During this campaign, in 2014, you will appear with me in photos on my left side, which would be my right side facing the camera.

"Just nothing like being well trained wonder if he rolls over on command. That being said from other posting just a Little help from His friends such he does"

Fourth, that following your 2010 victory for US Senate-- which I will support -- you will staff 50 percent plus one of positions within your office according to their prior service during my administrations as governor in Tallahassee.

"Guess even he worries about Crist’s staff letting out his signature on thank you to a hate group leader and saying has looking forward to sharing it with the rest of Fl."

Fifth, you will not support immigration reform like Mel Martinez. The immigrants are voting for our common enemy.

"Well so much for the caring of Hispanic issues."

Democrats. When you appear before Hispanic audiences during your campaign, you will invite me to interpret your speech in two sentence intervals.

You speak two sentences. I interpret two sentences. You will agree that James Baker, my father's former chief of staff and Secretary of State, will adjudicate any and all disputes as to what we meant, when we said it.

"I guess image over rides there need to explain what they are saying in case they put their foot in their mouth."

Under these five principles, I humbly accept your appointment to serve out the remaining three years of Senator Mel Martinez' term.

You will agree to these conditions by signing your name and clicking the "publish" button. With deep respect,

Crist vows 'transparent' process in selecting Martinez's replacement

"Under these five principles none include leadership truthfulness transparency communications or honesty"

All my comments in “Bold “

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's Ok I'm not Much on Funerals Either

I'm not much on funerals either we both had more important things to do.

Sen. GOP leader blasts Charlie Crist for skipping King funeral

Gov. Charlie Crist attended the Tuesday memorial for Sen. Jim King in Tallahassee, but by then, it was almost too late for some of the former Republican senate president's close friends.

Crist was a no-show at King's Jacksonville funeral over the weekend.

Seems to me has been no show for many things once being at magic kingdom trying to make his dreams come true than. But in his defense I suppose funerals even those of a friend would not be much of photo op.

Regardless of what party you in or who you might vote for there is a thing called respect.

As a retired vet those in arms friends or other wise deserve this.

Crist was in Aspen Colorado, where he attended a fundraiser for his already-well-funded U.S. Senate campaign. (Crist said he also had a family engagement, but didn't elaborate.)

Maybe meeting a friend for golf.

Senate Republican leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla wasn't too keen on the governor's explanation, saying publicly what many privately grumbled.

"Quite frankly, I thought it inappropriate and very disrespectful. There is a time and a place for everything," the Miami senator said.

Story on the memorial is here