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And You Are Surprised?

The St. Petersburg Times has an op-ed on Florida’s temp Senator: Newest senator takes low road

In Tallahassee, LeMieux, Gov. Charlie Crist’s former chief of staff, was credited with helping the governor’s populist appeal. But Wednesday, he sacrificed candor in a predictable play to a partisan constituency. He reasonably equated Congress to a family who recklessly relies on credit cards to pay the bills. But he implied the runaway spending stems from Democratic control, ignoring that it began under President George W. Bush.

LeMieux really lost the high ground when he bragged that Crist and the Florida Legislature have cut spending by nearly 10 percent, or $7 billion, to balance the budget. LeMieux’s omission: This year’s state budget was balanced only because of $5 billion in federal stimulus dollars and $2.2 billion in new taxes and fees. Florida didn’t live within its means. In fact, it was more like the spoiled offspring of a wealthy family who called Mom or Dad for a bailout.

“High ground”? “Candor”? What part of “Republican” don’t they understand? Charlie needs the Republican base in the primary. LeMieux has to sound all of the right notes on the “dog whistle”, or Charlie won’t even get to run. He has his orders, and LeMieux intends to do exactly what Charlie needs to win.