3:07 PM, Feb 23, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new story in the Miami Herald details some of Republican congressman Connie Mack IV's past financial and legal troubles. Mack, who is running for Senate in Florida, reportedly spent more than he earned and missed a payment to his first wife, Ann, according to divorce proceedings. Mack also apparently had a string of property liens and missed payments on a variety of things, from a condo to a yacht club membership.
But the juciest bits come when Caputo describes a number of Mack's run-ins with the law as a young man:
In October 1989, when he was 21, Mack was arrested by an off-duty Duval County sheriff’s deputy at a Jacksonville nightclub called Bananas. Asked to remove his hat, Mack refused, hurling four-letter insults at club workers and calling the officer a “rent-a-cop,” an employee testified. When Mack refused to leave, he was busted for resisting arrest without violence.
“You don’t know who I am,” Mack, whose dad had been elected to the U.S. Senate the year before, reportedly told the off-duty police officer.
In a deposition, bar manager Brian Held described Mack’s threats as “all of the stuff you see on Matlock,” referring to the popular 1980s television show.
Mack, calling the arrest a misunderstanding, pleaded no contest. The judge withheld adjudication — meaning he has no criminal record — and the arrest report was sealed.
Two years before, Mack traded blows with another motorist waiting at a draw bridge while on his way to a wedding. Then, in 1988, Mack’s car windows were smashed by a man wielding a baseball bat.
The incidents came to light after a February 1992 brawl with then-professional baseball player Ron Gant at an Atlanta bar called Calico Jack’s. A waitress testified that Mack, who had been heavily drinking beer and Jagermeister shots all night, took the first swing at Gant. Mack testified he couldn’t remember how much beer he drank, but said he had only one liquor shot — of tequila.
Gant claims a drunken Mack repeatedly bumped into him, precipitating a fight. Mack claims Gant attacked him for no reason.
During the melee, Gant head-locked Mack. Mack testified that he couldn’t breath. So he starting striking and grabbing the ball player’s crotch. At a certain point, the club’s bouncers got involved and Mack broke his ankle. He sued Gant, who was held liable. But a jury awarded no damages.
In a press conference in Tallahassee yesterday, top rival George LeMieux called Mack the "Charlie Sheen of Florida politics" and said the "rap sheet" showed Mack "does not have the temperament or the character to serve in the United States Senate."
Mack's campaign manager Jeff Cohen responded with an open letter to LeMieux. Here's an excerpt:
Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious concern. To compare your opponent, Connie Mack, to Charlie Sheen is both offensive and outrageous.
The Mack family – including Congressman Mack, his wife Mary and his parents – have been leaders in standing up against the rising use of drugs among our citizens.
I know you believe it was cute (albeit juvenile) to bring in Charlie Sheen. Instead, it was offensive, demeaning and belittling to the hard work that so many people – including the Macks – have done for so long in dealing with the serious problem of addiction, and particularly drug and alcohol addiction among teenagers.
6:09 PM, Jun 14, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Florida’s Mike Haridopolos, the current state senate president running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, doubled down today on his opposition to Medicare reforms in the 2012 House Republican budget proposal, saying that he would not want to see major reforms to the entitlement program until closer to 2035.
What does that even mean?1:01 PM, Oct 29, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
In case you were wondering if Charlie Crist's and Bill Clinton's last minute antics might shake up the Florida Senate race, Mason-Dixon says the answer is no:
Marco Rubio has built a "commanding and insurmountable'' lead in Florida's three-way Senate race, a new poll has found -- even without the latest political machinations in the race.
The White House knew.7:50 AM, Oct 29, 2010 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
On two occasions over the past week, former president Bill Clinton attempted to persuade Democratic congressman Kendrick Meek to drop out of the Florida Senate race and endorse Republican-turned-Independent Florida governor Charlie Crist in the three-way contest. Clinton, who had campaigned for Meek twice in October, was acting with the knowledge – and presumably the blessing – of the Obama White House.
1:14 PM, Oct 28, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Yesterday, Marco Rubio said during a conference call with conservative bloggers that the Florida Senate race has seen some tightening. And sure enough, Quinnipiac releases a poll showing Rubio up seven points on Charlie Crist, with Meek fading to 15%. Barring a Meek endorsement of Crist, it's hard to see Meek doing much worse than 15%. Bottom line: Rubio is still on track to win--he leads Crist by 10.8% in the RCP average of polls.
3:03 PM, Oct 24, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
The Miami Herald endorses Marco Rubio:
An articulate defender of belt-tightening, Mr. Rubio’s energetic campaign and insurgent candidacy capitalized on voters’ anti-Washington mood and changed the race’s political dynamics.
1:02 PM, Oct 13, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Another poll shows Marco Rubio sitting pretty with a double digit lead over Charlie Crist. As for the rumors that Meek might drop out and endorse Crist and turn this into a real race? Left-wing blogger Markos Moulitsas, who had been pushing for Meek to do just that, now says that Democrats "are actively boosting" Meek's "pretty much a hopeless candidacy" because Meek will help boost African-American turnout, and thereby help Democrats win the critical Florida's governor's race. Moulitsas's new line is a sign that Democrats don't think they have much of a shot of winning even if Meek endorsed Crist.
More good news for conservatives.3:57 PM, Sep 15, 2010 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Coming off of yesterday's poll that showed Republican Marco Rubio with a commanding lead over independent Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek in the Senate race there, new polls from Reuters/Ipsos and Rasmussen are showing compara
Not necessarily likely, but plausible.11:55 AM, Aug 31, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Steve Schale, the state director of Obama's 2008 campaign in Florida, writes that Charlie Crist can't win. Schale is a supporter of Democrat Kendrick Meek, but he makes a pretty persuasive case:
1:19 PM, Aug 30, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
The latest in a running series:
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist appeared to backtrack from statements he made regarding same-sex marriage during a CNN interview Sunday, saying in a statement that he does not support a Constitutional ban on the practice.
The comments appear at odds with what the Florida Senate candidate told CNN's Ed Henry on State of the Union, during which he expressed continued support for a ban on same-sex marriage.