The True Cost of Protecting Crist's Family | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

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The True Cost of Protecting Crist's Family

The St. Petersburg Times ran an intriguing expose today about the thousands of dollars it costs to provide state security to Gov. Charlie Crist's wife and her children. It's worth reading not so much because of what it says, but how much was left unsaid--namely, why anyone would care about this, if it weren't for persistent rumors about Crist's sexuality.

In the past six months, it cost the Florida Department of Law Enforcement $57,000 to protect Carole Crist and her two kids. This is hardly an eye-popping figure, when compared to the $208,000 once spent to protect former first lady Columba Bush.

But the story also points out that Carole Crist's daughters live in New York, while she has a house in Fisher Island, and has only made rare public appearances since marrying Crist last December. Which calls into question whether Crist's new family is much of a family at all.

Rumors have swirled for years that Crist is gay, but mainstream media outlets such as the St. Petersburg Times have largely ignored them. Then along came the documentary Outrage, which exposes closeted Republican politicians who champion anti-gay legislation while secretly trolling for lovers in bars and men's bathrooms.

The film debuted in Florida this month, and Crist plays a prominent role in it. Two sources are interviewed on camera saying they had been at parties where a GOP staffer told friends that he had a physical relationship with Crist. ( New Times' Bob Norman first reported these allegations and more about Crist's mysterious personal life in 2006). Outrage also points out that Crist, a longtime bachelor, only seems to find a girlfriend--or wife--at politically expedient moments.

Crist, of course, has repeately denied having sex with men. But if everyone in the mainstream media believes him, why does one of the most venerable papers in the state need to make a stink about his new wife being MIA?

As one commenter on the Times story put it: "Charlie probably leaked this story just to remind everyone he has a 'wife' and is not 'Outraged'."