Florida Five: Dems file complaint over Crist robocalls, Attorney General Bondi exclusive

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

Charlie Crist won Democrat hearts but other voters aren’t swooning:  After barely a year and a half as a Democrat, Charlie Crist has secured his standing with his new party. Crist will easily rout Nan Rich in the Democratic primary on Tuesday and his allies have their hands on the controls of the party machinery. That was pretty clear in the primary as Allison Tant, who Crist backed to be party chairwoman, went out of her way to ignore Rich and ensure there was no debate between the two Democrats running for governor. Read more.

Democrats file complaint over robocalls using Crist’s GOP campaign clips: Those recent robocalls to Democratic voters featuring the voice and the conservative views of former Republican Charlie Crist have prompted Democrats to file a formal complaint with the Florida Elections Commission. Their target is Republican Sen. Tom Lee of Brandon. Lee engineered what he said were about 2 million robocalls to voters, using the same calls Crist used in his successful 2006 Republican campaign for governor, in which he called himself a pro-life, Ronald Reagan Republican who opposed same-sex marriage and supported public display of the Ten Commandments — views now starkly at odds with Crist the Democrat. Read more.

In Florida, return of the condo-hotel?: A luxury hotel operator is trying to revive a failed condo-hotel project in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hoping that a formula that faded during the economic downturn can make a comeback.Orchestra Hotels & Resorts is spending $160 million to acquire the former Trump International Hotel & Tower and redevelop it as a Conrad Hotel, a Hilton luxury brand. The new owner is planning to sell up to 40% of the 290 units as condominium residences, with the remainder to be sold as condo-hotel units. Buyers of the condo-hotel units can stay for a maximum of 120 days a year. Conrad will try to rent out the units as traditional hotel rooms during the other days, sharing room revenue with the owners. Read more.

Miami realtors group taking trip to China to lure Chinese buyers: The Miami Association of Realtors is organizing a trip to China this October to coincide with the industry show OPPLive China set for Oct. 23-24 in Beijing.The visit is coordinated with the Overseas Property Professional Group or OPP Group, which provides news, data, connections and events for professionals in residential real-estate across borders. OPP, launched in 2004, now publishes magazines and has offices in Beijing, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Thailand, Spain and Canada.The group started its OPPLive shows in 2005 in London. The China event will be its first there. Read more.

Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi describes what it’s like ‘drinking out of a firehose’ every day: When feisty Pam Bondi took office as Florida’s attorney general in January 2011, 98 of the top 100 painkiller-dispensing doctors lived in the Sunshine State. Today none of them do, thanks to Bondi’s tireless campaign for tough legislation and her hands-on collaboration with the state Department of Law Enforcement. In an exclusive interview with BizPac Review, the Republican candidate for re-election revealed that her day begins at 4 a.m., in order to tackle the wide variety of challenges confronting the nation’s third most populous state. Read more.

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page

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Michele Kirk


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