Remember how Charlie Crist emerged on the "short list" to become John McCain's running mate last year?
Well, the behind-the-scenes money that helped make that happen came from, yes, of course, Scott Rothstein. Those were the Ponzi schemer's favorite candidates, after all.
Rothstein, you understand, put huge amounts of his stolen money into the campaign coffers of both Crist and McCain. He put millions of dollars into McCain's campaign, most of it bundled illegally through lawyers in the RRA firm and business associates. So much that Rothstein was made a member of the Arizona senator's unofficial "kitchen cabinet" of top supporters. Rothstein was, in fact, McCain's fourth-ranked fundraiser on the national level, and the Republican nominee kept Rothstein's number in his cell phone and vice versa, says a campaign insider.
Naturally Rothstein wanted his good friend Crist on the ticket and is said to have promised McCain personally that if Crist were chosen, he would raise the money to bring Florida to the GOP's side of the ledger in the general election. Rothstein put vast resources into the Crist-for-VP effort, paying for travel, hotel suites, meals, mailings, and other expenses, according to the insider. He allegedly paid Republican political consultant Roger Stone $50,000 to get to work to make sure Crist was named on the VP shortlist of three in the national media.
Of course, Crist made that shortlist, and Stone clearly worked his magic to help make it happen. He promoted Crist on his blog, StoneZone, which was then sponsored by Rothstein and is read religiously by GOP heavyweights. Remember when the rumor emerged that Crist was caught making out (with a woman!) in an elevator? That was a Stone plant, likely meant to overpower rumors and reports that the governor is gay. There is rampant speculation that Crist's engagement with Carol Rome was initially part of the VP push as well.
Stone wouldn't confirm or deny that he was paid the $50,000, but he confirmed that Rothstein made a considerable effort on behalf of Crist for the vice presidency. "Under federal law, expenditures to promote someone for vice president are not reportable or disclosable," he said. "It's perfectly legal to spend whatever you want."
Now of course in the end McCain, who enjoyed a fundraiser or two at Rothstein's home, didn't choose Crist, instead opting for Sarah Palin.
What needs to be done is a thorough accounting of just how much Rothstein sank into the Crist-for-VP effort and exactly where it went.
Specifically, did Rothstein pay for Crist's travel, hotels, and meals on the McCain campaign trail?
-- On to a housekeeping issue. Last night, the comments went off into no man's land like never before. Of course, I try to read all the comments because they almost always have good information, interesting theories, funny material, etc. Yes, there's occasional trash thrown in there too, but the good has always outweighed the bad. Last night, though, I couldn't follow it and, worse, didn't care to. It was full of religious rants and I-still-know-not-what.
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People have asked me about moderating the posts in the past. It's a rarity, but I have exercised the delete key a few times. For instance, there have been a few rare occasions when someone has blasted the Pulp with negative comments, one after another. I have kept up the first two or three -- they're entitled to make their point, after all -- and then start knocking them off because it's not commentary after a certain point but vandalism.
Other than that, I'm pretty hands off. We've had some outbursts from the anti-Semitic crowd but have been able to fly past it. Been lucky when it comes to racists and other hate mongers. The truth is that even if I had the time to moderate these posts, I would have little idea where to start and where to end. I'm not in the business of censorship; quite the opposite.
Here's the thing: There are always going to be wingnuts and people who want to spray verbal graffiti on this blog for a number of reasons. If you're a commenter and someone comes after you personally, you need to take that as a compliment and let them go. When I do my best work, I get the most attacks, many of them designed to try to beat me up on a personal level. I'm immune to that shit at this point. If they attack you on your argument or facts, it's good ol' debate time.
I guess the reason I'm writing this is to plead with the serious readers who really do want to find the truth and expose what is going on in Broward County not to entertain the BS and let it slide by. Some digressions and rants are good, but when they spin out of control like last night, it's a detriment to everyone here. I'm still going to take a laissez faire attitude, but I'm going to be a little more vigilant with repeat offenders.