Ex-Governor Charlie Crist Lied!

Reviewed by Charles Hummer - Rating: 5.0

This article about contaminated drywall was published in Ft Myers News-press.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Drywall victims confront Gov. Crist

The message from homeowners with defective drywall came through loud and clear Friday to Gov. Charlie Crist.
A group of about 35 of them gathered outside his campaign fundraiser in Port Charlotte.

“No help, no vote,” they chanted, waving home-made protest signs, as Crist arrived at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County for a $150-per-plate dinner.

He walked to meet the group, who are from Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, North Port, Venice, Sun City Center and Tampa.

They wasted no time bombarding Crist with pleas for help. Their No. 1 demand is an emergency declaration from Crist so FEMA funds can be released to help the homeowners.
“We can’t pay our mortgage and our rent at the same time,” said Charles Hummer of North Port, a main protest organizer.

“I hear you,” Crist said.

Crist did not appear to be fully aware of the implications of tainted drywall.

He asked for confirmation that the drywall affects copper pipes – something known for more than a year.

He told the group to seek federal Housing and Urban Development funds from Community Block Grants, but was quickly informed that those funds are almost all obligated by local governments for community projects.

“All right, well, let’s create another way,” Crist said.

Jerry Brynn of Sun City Center interrupted with the question on the minds of everyone who had sent Crist letters and e-mails with no response.

“We don’t understand why you haven’t given an answer back, why you have not issued a declaration of emergency,” Brynn said.

“Let me look into it,” Crist said. “If we make a declaration, we’ve got to make sure we have the resources.”

Hummer broke in: “But we’re living in homes that are killing us.”

Crist said he has to do research.

“I don’t want to give you false hope,” he said. “I want to give you real hope. You’ve had false hope before.”

He can declare an emergency by executive order and ask President Barack Obama for help. But first the state has to activate its own emergency plan and Crist has to show in detail why the crisis is so severe that it has overwhelmed state and local abilities to handle it.

Crist turned to enter the center for his fundraiser and the group took up the chant again, raising placards with sayings such as: “No Florida Dream Home Just Toxic Nightmare” and “Silent Hurricane Disaster.”

The homeowners aren’t convinced Crist was sincere.

“I think it’s garbage,” Hummer said. “I think it’s a cop-out.”

Gayle Cardiello of Cape Coral said her opinion is that Crist could care less.

“It’s not in his home. It’s not in his life,” she said. “The only time anything ever gets done is if someone dies.”

Jim Silverblatt of Venice said that if their roofs were covered with blue tarps like those of hurricane victims and electric appliances were scattered along with damaged furniture in their front yards, things would be different.

“We’d have Charlie and Barack flying here in helicopters looking at us,” Silverblatt said. “Then they’d help.”

Silverblatt said he called Crist’s campaign office and told them he’s always been a staunch Republican, but, he said, if Crist were running for Senate against Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, “I’d vote for her.”
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Posted on Oct 30, 2013 - Last updated on Dec 20, 2013

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