Scandals, scandals everywhere. Here's the latest:
The Broward-Palm Beach New Times:
Crist Denies Trysts
GOP frontrunner: I have never had sex with a man
By Bob Norman
A young rising star in the Republican Party has boasted to witnesses of his sexual relationship with Charlie Crist, the frontrunner in the Florida governor's race who has repeatedly denied that he is gay.
The GOP staffer, 21-year-old Jason Wetherington, told friends at separate social functions in August that he had sex with Crist, according to two credible and independent sources who heard Wetherington make the claim first-hand.
Wetherington, who recently worked as a field director for U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris and currently works for state representative Ellyn Bodganoff's reelection campaign, also named a man whom he said is Crist's long-term partner, a convicted thief named Bruce Carlton Jordan who also recently worked for Harris in her long-shot Senate bid.
Jordan made headlines recently when the Miami Herald learned that the felon was working as Harris's travel aide. The newspaper noted that Jordan, 42, was reported to be close friends with Charlie Crist, whom he convinced to attend an annual Florida Funeral Directors Association meeting in 2003.
Jordan was charged in 2003 with stealing thousands of dollars from two organizations for whom he worked, including the Tallahassee-based Florida Funeral Directors Association, where he served as executive director. He completed a 60-day jail sentence in February and will be on probation until the year 2011, according to state records.
When the Herald questioned Crist about Jordan this past August, the frontrunner in the governor's race told the newspaper that he doesn't remember the man. "I don't know who Bruce Jordan is," he said at the time. "It doesn't mean I haven't met him. I don't know who you are speaking about."
I asked Crist during a phone interview on Monday morning if he had ever had sex with Jordan.
"No," he said. "I don't recall the name."
Crist is being challenged by a late-charging Jim Davis.
ARIZONA (1st CD)
A land deal involving Rep. Rick Renzi (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., is being scrutinized by the U.S. attorney's office in Arizona, a law enforcement official in Washington said Tuesday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity while the inquiry is ongoing, said the investigation has been under way for a few months and is still in its very early stages.
The official did not specify what land deal was under investigation.
A spokesman for the Arizona U.S. attorney, Paul Charlton, said he could not confirm or deny an investigation was under way.
Renzi also declined to comment, referring questions to his lawyer, former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods. The lawyer late Tuesday said Renzi was not aware of any investigation and had not been contacted by the U.S. attorney's office.
At least one transaction involving Renzi has raised questions in Arizona recently.
Records and officials involved in the October 2005 deal say Renzi helped promote the sale of land that netted a former business partner $4.5 million.
The rumor has been that Rick Renzi has already been indicted, with the state's attorney simply waiting until after the election to unseal it. But the story doesn't appear to support that rumor.
And that's not all from Renzi:
Federal authorities in Arizona have opened an inquiry into whether Representative Rick Renzi introduced legislation that benefited a military contractor that employs his father, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.
A real winner, that one. He's being challenged by Ellen Simon.
A fresh poll (PDF) from the district by Arizona State University gives Renzi a 45-32 lead. Only 40 percent approve of Renzi's performance, but Simon suffers from lack of name recognition.
Republican candidate Jim Gibbons isn't just having to deal with fallout from his alleged assault of a woman in a hotel parking lot last week, but now with revelations that the anti-immigrant Gibbons hired an undocumented worker as a nanny and his wife lied about it under oath.
The local news coverage, in the video below, makes clear that Gibbons' wife Dawn signed federal legal documents in 1988, under the penalty of perjury, stating that everyone knew the woman, Patricia, was undocumented and that she'd worked for the family since 1987, cooking, cleaning and babysitting, and even had an employment contract for $800/month. The employee, Patricia, says she was paid every two weeks, and worked ten hours days, 50 hours a week. But then, at the end of the broadcast we learn that the TV news team has just received a statement from Dawn Gibbons claiming that she tried to help Patricia for a time, but only with occasional odd jobs, and not as a full time employee. The news broadcaster said that this statement contradicts what Dawn Gibbons said under oath in the federal documents. If true, that's called perjury - from the woman who plans on being Nevada's next First Lady.
Controversy continues for a Missoula space group with ties to Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont.
A new accounting review shows, among other things, the organization's chief executive received three different salaries at the same time. And one of the company's former employees said in a Missoulian interview that staff members were expected to contribute to Burns' re-election campaign.
At issue is the Inland Northwest Space Alliance, which was created by the University of Montana in 2003 with $3.1 million in NASA earmarks directed to the Missoula campus by Burns.
Initially intended to bring space research and space-related jobs to Montana, INSA was the focus of a state legislative audit earlier this year and is at the center of ongoing investigations by the FBI and NASA Office of Inspector General [...]
The Missoulian discovered that the Montana Board of Regents never approved the creation of UM's space programs or its spinoff company, that INSA was funded by federal earmarks Burns helped bring to the university, and that several individuals associated with INSA are closely connected to Burns and have benefited from the federal earmarks.
The Missoulian also found that INSA and the Northern Rockies Center have a history of sharing employees, some of whom are related, have little to show for the $3.1 million they received from Congress, and that more than half of the funding was spent at INSA.
Datsopoulos said he is eager to learn more about the money INSA paid to registered lobbyist Leo Giacometto, Burns' former chief-of-staff.
Someone ask the FBI if they need to go on a recruitment binge to add investigators. Republicans are sure keeping them busy these days...