Simply devastating is how I would describe Marc Caputo’s before-and-after story about George LeMieux’s efforts to downplay his ties to former Gov. Charlie Crist. There is just no other way to describe the story, which, along with LeMieux’s less-than-spectacular launch and social media snafus, actually makes Senator Mike Haridopolos’ problems stemming from a too-cozy book deal seem like just an early-morning headache. The issues brought forth by Caputo go to the very character of the man in a way that could derail LeMieux’s campaign before it really gets off the ground.
Of course there are anecdotes from Crist loyalists (my girlfriend Michelle Todd among them) which can be expected in a story like this, although Michelle makes a very interesting point about LeMieux now being publicly against the expansion of gambling yet he was the point-man for the Crist administration’s negotiations to expand gaming with the Seminole Tribe.
What’s really bad for LeMieux are the accusations from other former Crist allies who later became estranged from the Governor who think LeMieux is talking out of both sides of his mouth. FormerLieutenantGovernor Jeff Kottkamp and political insider Chris Kise offer stinging, albeit indirect, criticisms of LeMieux — a rarity for both men.
But I think the most devastating issues LeMieux faces are problems he created for himself. His I-was-for-it-before-I-was-against-it stance on climate change:
On a controversial cap-and-trade plan Crist pushed, LeMieux told the Palm Beach Post in 2007 ?hat the jury is in now, and we know this is an issue. We can? afford to ignore it and be wrong [about climate change].?
This week, LeMieux said: ? don? know if we?e having man-made climate change. And I think that the jury? out on it.?/blockquote>
isemblematicof a political record that cannot be washed away with a few conservative talking points.
Senator LeMieux’s fledgling campaign has gotten off to a difficult start. It will be interesting to see how he rights the ship.