Saturday, September 5, 2009

Crist Foggy on the Gambling Compact

A WPLG reporter in Miami was stunned/skeptical over Gov. Charlie Crist's inability to answer questions about the gaming compact.

Local 10's Roger Lohse blogs:

Me: "So if the state gave the airport a permit, would the Seminoles still be required to pay?

"Crist: "I'd have to review that to find out for you."

Me: "You don't know the answer to that?

"Crist: "Not offhand, no.

"Me: "But you signed the contract with the Seminoles

."Crist: "That's right and I'll look into that detail for you."

Excuse me?

The governor can't recite a major clause in a contract that he negotiated and signed -- one that could cost taxpayers, by his own estimate, $6.8 billion over the next 20 years. That seems hard to believe.

At this remark I wonder if the reason he could not recite the clase that he negotiated and signed might be it was the same way he signed letter to indorse an hate movie to the rest of Fl.

Or is there another reason or would care to explain these facts ?

Some how I think these items would be foggy too.

Amid charges of political cronyism and claims he was picked to be the governor's proxy in Washington, there is renewed scrutiny of LeMieux's dealings and those of his law firm, Gunster Yoakley & Stewart:

• The law firm, chaired by LeMieux, helped foreign workers get visas last fall to help build a high-rise hotel and condos in Miami, depriving dozens of Florida workers of jobs at a time of rising unemployment.

Other questions that don't follow. Read Here

CBS4 News in Miami first reported the law firm's efforts, which included persuading the U.S. State Department that the Mexican workers had special skills that Americans didn't. Neither LeMieux nor the firm would discuss what involvement if any LeMieux had in arranging the visas.

So much for being transparent.

• While serving as Crist's chief of staff in 2007,

LeMieux helped secretly negotiate a lucrative gambling agreement with the Seminole Tribe of Florida that was struck down by the Florida Supreme Court as unconstitutional, and has triggered a debate over the expansion of gambling in Florida.

So much for the rights of people in Fl.

LeMieux recently helped negotiate a second compact that the Legislature will consider this fall. He has said the compact will contribute more money to Florida schools and will limit future expansion of gambling.

• Two weeks before LeMieux left Crist's office, Gunster Yoakley landed a $500,000 contract representing the state Department of Transportation on two matters.

DOT general counsel Alexis Yarbrough, who signed the contract on Dec. 20, 2007, is the wife of Shane Strum, a deputy chief of staff who reported to LeMieux when he worked for Crist. LeMieux said he played no role in his firm's hiring;

DOT has said the firm has special expertise in arcane railroad law. The firm did work for DOT before LeMieux returned there.

• After leaving Crist's office in December 2007, LeMieux earned about $150,000 over a 13-month period as an adviser to state Republican Party chairman Jim Greer, a lucrative sideline that has led some to label LeMieux a "political consultant.

" He will not discuss what he did to earn that money, which was paid from the party's federal account to his firm, MTC Strategies (named after his sons Max, Taylor, and Chase).

• For the past 15 years, West Palm Beach-based Gunster Yoakley has represented U.S. Sugar Corp., which for months negotiated with Crist's office to sell much of its land to the state and federal government to clean up polluted runoff in the Everglades.

Ended up being sold for much more than its really value. Read Here

LeMieux said he avoided any involvement in the U.S. Sual while working for Crist or afterward. The state's chief negotiator was Eric Eikenberg, a LeMieux protege who succeeded him as chief of staff.

To date, he has declined to release a full list of his law firm's clients, citing attorney-client privilege, but has said he will fully comply with Senate disclosure laws. "I have 30 days to file it. I will comply with whatever the law requires," LeMieux said.

Crist said he was not concerned about questions of LeMieux's business dealings.
"I know of his personal integrity, his professional integrity,

" Crist said. "And I'm comfortable that."

I'm sure that he is. Read here

No comments:

Post a Comment