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Can Crist attract millennial voters with his questionable ‘strip club’ past?

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While scrounging for votes in the last days before Tuesday’s election, Democrat Charlie Crist has refused to address controversial campaign donations from strip clubs.

Crist has gotten nearly $90,000 in donations from South Florida strip clubs in his latest run for governor, according to Sunshine State News.

Talk about a war on women.

The man who wants to return to Florida’s governor’s mansion, in fact, has long had close ties to the strip-club circuit. During his term as governor from 2007 to 2011, Crist had a close relationship with Joe Rodriguez, owner of the Cheetah clubs, Sunshine State News reported. Other papers described Rodriguez as “a successful South Florida business owner who stimulates the economy by creating jobs for attractive young women who then use their assets to generate income.”

Rodriguez popped back into the news when he donated $50,000 to Crist’s gubernatorial campaign on Oct. 7, but many may not be aware of the pair’s muddied past.

In 2009, the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco raided one of Rodriguez’s clubs and found “rampant drug dealing and prostitution” taking place, according to Sunshine State News. The state suspended his liquor license, but with help from Crist and then-Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer, Rodriguez’s drug and prostitution charges were dropped — almost as if they never happened.

Two other companies that own Florida strip clubs, J.W. Lee Properties and S.B. Productions, also donated $20,000 each to Crist’s campaign, Sunshine State News reported.

Crist’s controversial friends might actually make him more appealing to poorly informed millennial voters. Florida Atlantic University held a rally for Crist earlier this week, but many students told Campus Reform that they were only there for the free pizza.

Twitter users were not amused:

Hannah Bleau


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