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Must-read: Kendrick Meek pulls no punches in op-ed response to criticism from Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Thomas

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If Kendrick Meek would show as much passion as in on display on the op-ed running in tomorrow’s Orlando Sentinel, there’d be no Jeff Greene and there’d probably be no Charlie Crist in the race:

Mike Thomas is no fan of Democrats. His strong biases are often on display. Sunday’s column (“Meek shall not inherit U.S. Senate seat”) was no different.

Blocks from where my mother lives sits the abandoned Poinciana Park located in the Liberty City section of Miami. Poinciana Park burned during the 1980 Arthur McDuffie riots. I was 14. Businesses closed, residents left, and urban blight set in.

The Miami Herald wrote a three-part series in 2007 regarding the failed development there. A developer took advantage of the project for personal gain, and it never materialized, disappointing many.

People are not waiting in line to build in depressed urban areas; just look at Parramore in Orlando. But the developer had successfully built a building in Opa Locka, another distressed area in Miami-Dade. The public and private sector would partner on the new project, and I requested federal funds for Miami-Dade County.

For two hours I met with the Herald’s editorial board on this matter. Local authorities have investigated this project for three years, but I was not contacted.

Nobody needs to convince me of the need to develop Poinciana Park, certainly not my mother. Carrie Meek served in Congress for 10 years and is a member of Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. Thomas makes an issue of her Cadillac. I am not my mother’s accountant. She saved money her entire life, and had leased two Cadillacs previously. Why would I ask her about a third lease?

Weeks ago I learned a former member of my staff allowed the same developer to help him get a home loan. He abused the privilege of his position. Had I known about his activities, he would have been fired. He has not worked for me in more than three years.

In nearly 16 years in elected office, my integrity has never been questioned. Voters demand higher standards from their elected leaders. Integrity is all that I have.

Thomas is easily impressed with Jeff Greene, the billionaire one-time conservative Republican candidate for Congress who moved to Florida two years ago, registered for the first time as a Democrat in 2008 and enriched himself as Florida’s housing market collapsed. That’s a shame.

As for me, I’ll stand with the AFL-CIO, Fraternal Order of Police, and more than 200 elected officials and law-enforcement members in Florida who endorsed our campaign, including local leaders.

Nothing scares the philosophical right more than having a strong Democrat at the top of the ticket with a history of taking on the powerful, as we did in 2002 to pass the class-size amendment, despite the deep opposition of Florida’s governor and Legislature.

I play the David role well. And we all know how that story ended.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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