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  • “Charlie Crist Flies Private Jet to Global Warming Media Event”

    Posted by Jonathan on August 10th, 2014 (All posts by )

    This is exactly the sort of phoniness and hypocrisy that Glenn Reynolds likes to point out.

    When reporters asked Crist why he did not drive to Tallahassee, fly commercial, or hold his press conference in Tampa, Crist said, “Listen, I’m trying to win this race and Florida’s a big state.”

    See, he’s trying to get elected. That’s important — unlike, by implication, the things that matter to lesser citizens. Therefore he should be exempt from the rules of environmentally correct behavior that his party wants to force on the rest of us.

    Crist doesn’t seem to be a bad man as politicians go. Nor is Rick Scott, the incumbent governor, without significant flaws. However, Scott has at least been somewhat consistent in holding down spending and overzealous regulation as he promised (this is doubtless part of the reason why my Democratic acquaintances all vehemently dislike him).

    Crist, by contrast, has been astonishingly cynical and unprincipled in his political career. He used to be a conservative Republican, then morphed into an Independent and finally a Democrat as Florida’s political demographics shifted leftward. His only constant has been opportunism. His use of a donor’s jet to avoid a four-hour drive makes clear that he doesn’t believe the climate alarmism he publicly supports.

    We would be in better shape if we paid more attention to the personal integrity of public officials as revealed by their long-term personal and professional records, and less to their ability convincingly to repeat current talking points.


    13 Responses to ““Charlie Crist Flies Private Jet to Global Warming Media Event””

    1. MikeK Says:

      Florida must have an interesting political culture. Scott, in my opinion based on his behavior with Columbia HCA, is a crook but Crist is a despicable person from what I see and certainly unethical.

      Can’t they find an honest politician ? I know, I know.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      I don’t know if Scott is a crook. There have been so many prosecutorial shakedowns of public companies resulting in “record fines” that are based on differing interpretations of complex regulations, or on inadvertent violations of recordkeeping requirements, that I don’t trust most of what I read or hear. Does anyone know if Scott had actual criminal intent as opposed to merely being a poor manager?

      He hasn’t been a great governor but he hasn’t been especially bad either. He seems to have poor management skills or political skills or both, but I think he’s better than Alex Sink would have been. What Democrats seem to object to, other than his history as a wealthy businessman, is that he hasn’t enthusiastically supported all of their spending agendas and has been properly skeptical of the net benefits of many environmental regulations.

      Crist is a weasel. The best thing you can say about him is that he is unlikely to do anything that might antagonize any large constituencies. When he was governor he signed insurance industry “reforms” that drove property insurers out of the state and will put Florida taxpayers on the hook for the damages from the next big hurricane. The best thing I remember him doing was commuting the sentence of some poor wheelchair-bound guy who had been taking a lot of opiates for pain and had been prosecuted for breaking drug laws.

    3. MikeK Says:

      “Does anyone know if Scott had actual criminal intent as opposed to merely being a poor manager?”

      I have a friend who was associated with HCA, owned by the Frist family which had built it from one hospital. He ran a program on research in medical quality. When Scott and his nursing home chain Columbia merged with HCA which was much larger, the first thing he did was cancel the quality project. Paul Batalden left for Dartmouth where he still is. I got much of my opinion of Scott from Paul but there is a legal trail. Obviously, Scott was never convicted of anything .

      He has denied knowing frauds were taking place while he was there, and he was never charged with any crimes.

      However, federal investigators found that Scott took part in business practices at Columbia/HCA that were later found to be illegal — specifically, that Scott and other executives offered financial incentives to doctors in exchange for patient referrals, in violation of federal law, according to lawsuits the Justice Department filed against the company in 2001.

      The doctor payments were among 10 different kinds of fraud identified by the Justice Department in its 10-year probe of the company, records show. Three years after Scott left Columbia/HCA, the company admitted wrongdoing, pleading guilty to 14 felonies — most committed during Scott’s tenure — in addition to paying two sets of fines totaling $1.7 billion…

      There is no doubt in Paul’s mind or in mine that Scott knew exactly what was going on. The merger was very similar to that between MCI and Worldcom in which a small company using artful accounting takes over a much larger rival and strips assets.

      MCI WorldCom has seen a flight of top-level MCI executives from its ranks since the merger was completed, including MCI’s chief executive, Gerry Taylor; its chief information officer, Lance Boxer, who went to Lucent Technologies Inc.; and its senior vice president for global engineering, Jack Norris, who moved to Teleglobe Communications Inc. Network World, a trade publication, this week cited “dozens of key managers and specialists,” virtually all from the MCI side, who have left the company, primarily in the network engineering, security services and product management areas.

      There was a similar flight of talent from HCA. Scott did avoid this :

      Bernard Ebbers, the former chief executive of WorldCom Inc., Tuesday was found guilty of fraud, conspiracy and filing false documents related to the $11 billion accounting scandal at the telecommunications company.

      The Frist family eventually recovered control of the HCA chain and there have been no more scandals.

      In 2006, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital, together with Merrill Lynch and the Frist family (which had founded the company) completed a $31.6 billion acquisition of the hospital company, making the company privately held again 17 years after it had first been taken private in a management buyout. At the time of its announcement, the HCA buyout was the first of several to set new records for the largest, eclipsing the 1989 buyout of RJR Nabisco. It would later be surpassed by the buyouts of Equity Office Properties and TXU.[18]

      On Friday May 7, 2010, HCA announced that the corporation would once again go public with an expected $4.6-billion IPO.

      It’s quite a saga and I am not unbiased.

    4. MikeK Says:

      I might add that the illegal practices that Columbia/HCA committed are now nearly standard procedure for hospitals coping with Obamacare.

      We have made progress in health care under the Democrats.

    5. grey eagle Says:

      In the middle ages Flagelants went from town to town whipping each other, praying, carrying crosses and doing other religious things (such as collecting donations from people who wanted to stay home/not join up). The Flagelants predicted that God would end the world with a Last Judgement and then the earth would be consumed in flames. They sang Dies Irae (I like Ingmar Bergman’s version). The movement continued for a hundred years.

      The Flagelants are back under the guise of global warming. The midevil flagelants were a bit more scientific than the modern Global warming crowd. But both were/are good at raising money from terrified onlookers.

    6. JonFischer Says:

      Besides the HCA thing with Scott, there is the issue of his “drug testing” scandal. Where he wanted all state employees and welfare recipients to be subjected to drug tests, AND he owned the drug testing company that was going to do the testing. So the courts told him he had to sell it, so he transferred his shares……..his wife. It is now held in a Blind Trust.

      Then there is the very recent matter where he and other BigWig state Republicans took a hunting trip to King Ranch, paid for by BigSugar, he tapped one of the ranch employees for a state regulatory board

      There are lots more examples. He is the joke of the nation, even making Anderson Cooper’s RidicuList.

      Crist, yeah, no substance there. Just an opportunist. Was the Republican Governor, then instead of running for re-election he ran for Senate. But when the GOP Establishment embraced Marco Rubio, Crist changed his party to Independent, because he knew he could not beat the Dem candidate Meek who was backed by Obama’s machine. Now he thinks he is a Democrat, flip-flopping on all the major issues.

      There is a 3rd candidate though, that actually has substance, cahonies to stand up to the Feds, he is small businessman that knows how the crushing regulations hurt jobs, and he has been heavily involved in politics for several years. Libertarian Adrian Wyllie, former Chairman of the LP Florida, is rising in the polls. A Quinnipiac Poll last month placed him at 9% and that was with zero media coverage. Since then the media is calling every day and he is doing major media spots, just last week he was on the huge Fox station in Tampa and today he was on Florida Roundtable that was heard on 80 stations around the state. No jets for Wyllie. He travels in his own car (gave up his driver’s license in 2011 in protest of REAL ID and finally got arrested so now he has legal standing), has a designated driver while he travels the state on his 30 day Craft Beer Tour. Hope, no $1000/a plate dinners.

      Wyllie walks the walk. The Florida Senate passed a bill this year that would have subjected the craft brewing industry to regulations forcing them to sell their product to a large Anheuser Busch distributor in order to buy it back, at an increased cost, in order to sell it. Thankfully Wyllie and others worked hard to keep this from passing in the House. He has a solid economic plan including cutting the budget by removing waste and fraud, an Intrastate Commerce Act that will have businesses flocking to Florida, and a 100% homestead property tax exemption.
      Listen to an in-depth interview here and if you are in, or know of anyone in, the area, come on out to one of the craft brew events

    7. tyouth Says:

      Crist doesn’t seem to be a bad man as politicians go.

      God help us.

    8. Jonathan Says:

      I might add that the illegal practices that Columbia/HCA committed are now nearly standard procedure for hospitals coping with Obamacare.

      Are these practices inherently wrong?


      God help us.

      I don’t think Crist is evil, merely an unprincipled parasite. That’s not so bad as pols go.


      Wyllie walks the walk.

      That’s great but he’s unlikely to win.

    9. MikeK Says:

      “I might add that the illegal practices that Columbia/HCA committed are now nearly standard procedure for hospitals coping with Obamacare.

      Are these practices inherently wrong?”

      They aren’t illegal anymore. Hospitals, instead of paying doctors for referrals are simply buying doctor’s practices. Before Obamacare, the doctors preferred to remain independent, or at least independent of the hospitals. Now, they have been herded into the embrace of the hospitals which are trying to accumulate vertical integrated networks. That may be a big mistake if reimbursement remains as poor as it seems to be now. No doubt large bribes from hospital networks analogous to Columbia / HCA will correct that situation.

      Soon the only independent doctors will be in cash practices.

    10. ErisGuy Says:

      With any luck he’ll live to be hanged by Greens for his crimes against the environment.

    11. MikeK Says:

      “Then there is the very recent matter where he and other BigWig state Republicans took a hunting trip to King Ranch, paid for by BigSugar”

      jonfischer, the sugar lobby is definitely bipartisan with Democrats well represented.

      From CATO:

      A few hours ago the Senate voted 50-46 to kill an amendment from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) that would have phased out subsidies and supports for the sugar industry.

      A Cato essay on agricultural regulations and trade barriers explains what 50 senators just voted to defend:

      The description of subsidies and price controls follows. Then:

      Of the 48 Democratic senators who voted, 32 voted to kill the amendment. And here I thought Democrats were supposed to be concerned about the environment and creating jobs. The Republican side did better with “only” 16 out of 46 voting to kill the amendment. Of note, Marco Rubio (R-FL), a tea party favorite and potential running mate for Mitt Romney, was one of the 16. An obvious sop to the powerful Florida sugar lobby, Rubio’s vote in favor of maintaining the federal government’s Soviet-style sugar racket is an all-too-common example of a politician choosing parochialism over principle.

    12. Death 6 Says:

      Since it is politics and the capacity to seek and grant economic rents has grown so vast as constitutional limits have been steadily eroded, it comes down to “choosing the lesser of two weevils.” (Patrick O’Brien, Jack Aubrey series of novel, probably an actual historic English navel expression)

      No wonder so many just opt out of the political process, seeing it as essentially corrupt. “Playing the game” to get to the point where one has a realistic chance of being elected is most often corrupting. There may be a few exceptions, but it’s hard to find them. Those few are overwhelmed by the the crony capitalism and other power buyers owned political establishment. That is probably the future trend until some crisis brings it crashing down or all those unconcerned and or low information potential voters wake up. We are talking about an honest to God miracle at this point. It seems to me that the the resulting symbiotic structures are essential self sustaining and expanding. Shoot, now I’ve made myself sick to my stomach.


    13. Jonathan Says:

      It is definitely bad vs. worse in the case of FL.