Saturday, October 24, 2009

Empty Chair Charlie Takes Off 2 1/2 Months Annually

Charlie Crist ran hard against the Democratic candidate for Florida governor, Jim Davis, just three years ago. He kept running stupid ads showing an empty chair, because Jim Davis missed some votes the year he was out campaigning. It was disingenuous, because Jim's record was stellar until that year---it's hard to campaign as a member of the state legislature and make every vote.

Given Charlie's schedule today, one wonders why he ran so hard for a job he clearly doesn't want:

Since campaigning three years ago on a promise to work hard for Floridians, Gov. Charlie Crist has scheduled the equivalent of almost 10 weeks off annually.

A Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times review of Crist's official daily schedule is a telling indication of how he mixes governing, campaigning for U.S. Senate and taking enough personal time to, in his own words, "recharge."

On 81 regular work days, Crist had no events scheduled or took off personal time. On 129 other occasions, the schedule shows Crist worked half days - just a brief phone call sometimes - equal to at least 64.5 more days off, the Herald/Times found.

The most notable change in his schedule lately: Crist is phoning it in more often in meetings with staff. He also is spending more time away from the Capitol, holding news conferences in South Florida, Tampa Bay and Central Florida - big television markets where he has "after-hours'' fundraisers.

We have an unprecedented economic crisis, foreclosure crisis, and insurance crisis for which we need leadership and a governor who isn't afraid of hard work. What we have is a clearly disinterested opportunist who is desperate to leave before his term ends so nothing will hurt his pursuit for higher office.

Hopfully, we'll do better next time.

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