For Charlie Crist, parties and offices change but the fan and ‘the people’ are constant

With "the people" at his back and his ubiquitous electric fan at his feet, Charlie Crist launches another campaign.
With “the people” at his back and his ubiquitous electric fan at his feet, Charlie Crist launches another campaign.

Charlie Crist has been a Republican, an independent and a Democrat.

He’s won races for state Senate, education commissioner and attorney general, lost two races for U.S. Senate and won and lost races for governor. He’s been conservative-talking “Chain Gang Charlie” and a Barack Obama-embracing cheerleader for the Democratic stimulus and health care bills.

The fan beneath Crist's lectern led to a 2014 debate fracas with Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
The fan beneath Crist’s lectern led to a 2014 debate fracas with Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

But some things about Crist never change.

For one thing, there’s that electric fan. Crist brought the cooling device with him in his Republican days (“What’s the deal with the fan?” primary rival Tom Gallagher demanded before a 2006 Republican gubernatorial debate) and, most famously, as a Democrat to last fall’s debate with Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Not surprisingly, the fan was present Tuesday when Crist made an outdoor announcement that he’s running for a U.S. House seat as a Democrat in his home town of St. Petersburg.

Flanked by running mate Annette Taddeo (left) and wife Carole, "People's Governor" Charlie Crist concedes last year's election.
Flanked by running mate Annette Taddeo (left) and wife Carole, “People’s Governor” Charlie Crist concedes last year’s election.

There’s also “the people.”

Crist called himself “the people’s governor” when he took office as a Republican in 2007. As a Democrat, he ran unsuccessfully last year as “the people’s governor” against Scott. Crist regularly refers to “the people” in his speeches, and Tuesday was no exception.

“The real problem with Washington is that they fail to listen. They fail to listen to the people. I have always tried to listen to the people,” Crist said Tuesday.

He added: “I think it’s important to always listen to the people. That will be a hallmark of my campaign. Hopefully it’s been a hallmark of my career…The people’s will must be done.”

Hillary Clinton coming to North Palm Beach for Oct. 2 fundraiser

Hillary Clinton at a 2013 appearance at the University of Miami.
Hillary Clinton at a 2013 appearance at the University of Miami.

Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton will visit the North Palm Beach home of prominent trial lawyer Fred Cunningham for an Oct. 2 fundraiser.

The event carries a $2,700-a-head price tag.

Cunningham is a former president of the Florida Justice Association who has raised money for several Democrats.

Fred Cunningham
Fred Cunningham

After the North Palm Beach event, Clinton is expected to go to previously announced fundraisers that day in Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

It’s unclear whether Clinton will appear at any public events while she’s in Florida.

 

During her last visit to the Sunshine State on July 31, Clinton slammed Jeb Bush in a speech to the National Urban League conference in Fort Lauderdale and called for lifting the U.S. embargo on Cuba in a speech at Florida International University in Miami.

 

Clinton did only closed-door money events when she visited Florida in May.

 

 

 

 

Congressman shot Wednesday had Palm Beach County connection

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. (Associated Press photo)
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. (Associated Press photo)

UPDATE: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot this morning as he practiced for a charity baseball game in Alexandria, Va. This story was initially published on Dec. 30, 2014. 

More on Scalise’s West Palm connection:

The uproar over House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., speaking to a David Duke-founded group in 2002 sprang from a 12-year-old post on Stormfront, a “white nationalist” website that’s run by West Palm Beach resident and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Don Black.

As a  liberal Louisiana politics blogger  noted Sunday, a Stormfront contributor named Alsace Hebert posted an account in May 2002 of a European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) conference in the New Orleans area and mentioned that Scalise, at the time a state legislator, was one of the speakers.

EURO was founded by Duke, the former Klan leader and Louisiana legislator who is a friend of Black.

Scalise told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Monday that he spoke to many groups in 2002 in opposition to a tax proposal.  He said he didn’t know EURO is a white nationalist group and wasn’t aware of its association with Duke.

“I didn’t know who all of these groups were and I detest any kind of hate group…Everyone knew who he (Duke) was. I would not go to any group he was a part of,” Scalise said.

Black weighed in on the Scalise matter Monday night on Stormfront.

“Nothing ever dies on the Internet!” Black wrote. “Now this obscure, old thread, by our long departed friend Alsace, makes the legacy news media (formerly called the mainstream news).”

Black continued: “I remember that conference well. Hard to believe it’s been over twelve years. I won’t comment on Scalise. But I will note the absolute hypocrisy of the anti-White establishment…Politicians grovel before African-American, Latino and Jewish groups, which openly promote their racial interests. But they are conditioned to run like scared rabbits at the very idea European-Americans have rights.”

Black told The Palm Beach Post in a 2013 interview that white nationalists are not white supremacists. He said supremacists favor segregation while nationalists are “separatists. … We hope to one day achieve our own country with our own borders with a government reflecting our interests.”