Broward News

[UPDATED] Note to Jeff Greene: Being Called a "Sleazy Guy" Is Not an Endorsement

When the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington made out its list of political "crooks" last month, it was full of Florida candidates -- Marco Rubio, Charlie Crist, and Congressman Kendrick Meek, who's in the midst of a fierce primary battle with Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene, who didn't make the list.

CREW's executive director told me that Greene seemed to be a "sleazy guy" but that he wasn't on the list simply because he hadn't been in a powerful enough position to corrupt himself. (Rather, he was too busy getting rich off the collapse of the state's housing market.) Here's what Juice predicted two weeks ago:

[C]onsidering Greene has run one of the most cynical campaigns in recent history, don't be surprised if he uses the CREW material against Meek.
Above, you can see the ad that Greene's been running since last week. That's CREW at the 17-second mark. 

Granted, it wasn't the most daring prognostication. Greene has already demonstrated he'll go as low as humanly possible to defeat Meek. 

That said, Meek's done a good job making Greene looking like a palatable candidate, as you can see from the write-up on CREW's website:

Rep. Meek has been criticized for his relationship with developer Dennis Stackhouse, who is now awaiting trial for grand theft and organizing a scheme to defraud. Rep. Meek earmarked $1,072,750 million for Mr. Stackhouse's development project and requested an additional $4 million in earmarks for Mr. Stackhouse, which were never awarded. In addition, both Rep. Meek and his former district director, Anthony Williams, served on the Miami-Dade Urban Revitalization Task Force, which loaned $2.2 million to Mr. Stackhouse's project, but Rep. Meek did not vote on that particular loan. 

 At the same time Mr. Stackhouse employed Rep. Meek's mother, former Congresswoman Carrie Meek, as a consultant paying her $90,000, giving her the free use of a leased Cadillac Escalade and donating the use of a 2,600 square foot office for her foundation. Mr. Stackhouse further curried favor with the congressman by contributing thousands to Rep. Meek's campaign in 2003. Furthermore, Mr. Stackhouse gave Mr. Williams $13,000 to help him buy a house. Police tried to make a case against Mr. Williams for mortgage fraud, but prosecutors believed the evidence gathered was insufficient. Rep. Meek claimed not to have known about the mortgage deal.

Do we really have to vote for somebody in the U.S. Senate race?

UPDATE: While I was on vacation last week, CREW added Greene to its "crooked" politicians list, which makes it even more hypocritical for Greene to accuse Meek. For a guy who goes around calling Meek a "typical" politician, Greene sure typifies everything that makes voters cynical about politics.