Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why Crist Pushed Seminole Gambling

There is a nugget in a Miami Herald blog post about Charlie Crist supporter and political consultant George LeMieux that is fascinating. Crist and Lemieux worked on expanding Seminole gambling rights. Former House Speaker Marco Rubio fought against the expansion of Seminole casino gambling. The Florida Supreme Court ruled Crist made the Seminole deal without legislative approval. The Seminoles continued the blackjack and baccarat tables and the legislature, Crist and Seminoles have not been able to work out an agreement.

Crist and Lemieux talked about how the increased gambling revenue would help the state. There is another factor at work.

The Seminoles seem really happy with Crist and RPOF. The Seminole Tribe (since 1996) has donated nearly $912,000 to the state party, with 71 percent of that money coming in since Crist took over state party fundraising once he won the 2006 Republican primary.

Yes, I am cynical enough to believe Crist's main motivation was the Seminoles lobbying money. Why else would Crist go against the anti-gambling social conservatives?

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