June 15th, 2010
04:06 PM ET
10 years ago

In Dem vs. Dem race, Meek slams Greene as a 'carpetbagger'

Rep. Kendrick Meek called his opponent in the Florida Democratic Senate primary a 'carpetbagger' who is trying to 'buy Florida's senate seat.'

Rep. Kendrick Meek called his opponent in the Florida Democratic Senate primary a 'carpetbagger' who is trying to 'buy Florida's senate seat.'

Washington (CNN) - The bitter Democrat-versus-Democrat race to become Florida's next senator on Tuesday saw a new salvo, with one candidate slamming his opponent as a "carpetbagger" who is trying "to buy Florida's senate seat."

Rep. Kendrick Meek's campaign has also said that Jeff Greene has lived in Florida for such a short time that he would be ineligible to run for other key statewide offices.

Meek's campaign made the charges in a campaign statement released Tuesday. Meek and Greene are locked in a battle for the Democratic senate nomination that will be decided in a late August primary.

The winner will vie for Florida's senate seat in a three-way race against Gov. Charlie Crist, who abandoned the Republican Party for an independent bid, and Republican Marco Rubio, the former Florida House Speaker.

The statement from Meeks' campaign references a website that, it says, "Confirms that Greene didn't live here long enough to run for any statewide office."

"…Jeff Greene decided to run for political office in Florida after only living here for two years," the statement says, adding that Greene "asks middle class Floridians to trust him, but why would they?"

Meeks' campaign goes on to slam the billionaire Greene, a real estate investor, as a "California carpetbagger" who amassed his fortune at the expense of middle class families.

The statement claims that Greene, "is spending millions of his ill-gotten gains to buy Florida's senate seat."

Those claims are "ridiculous," Greene campaign spokesman Paul Blank told CNN.

Related: Greene defends investments

Blank said that Greene moved to Florida 40 years ago with his family.

"He got his first driver's license on [well-known Florida highway] Military Trail, in Southern Florida, when Kendrick Meek was probably still in kindergarten," Blank said, referring to the year 1970.

Blank explained that Greene moved out of the state, for school and for his career, for several decades but returned in February 2008 with his family. Blank said that Greene got his most current driver's license the next month.

"He has deep roots in Florida," Blank said.

Regarding Meeks' charge that Greene amassed his fortune on the backs of middle class voters, Blank called it "utterly false."

"Nothing Jeff Greene did... in any way, caused the housing crisis," Blank said.

Meeks' campaign correctly states that Greene would not qualify to run for other key statewide offices in Florida.

According to the Florida Division of Elections, a candidate for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general is required to be a state resident for the preceding seven years. Candidates for Florida's legislature must be a resident at least two years.

The U.S. Constitution provides eligibility requirements for entry to the Senate, stating that candidates should be at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizen for at least nine years and a resident of the state when elected.

Seizing on that, Blank said of Greene, "He is eligible to run for Senate. And he's giving voters a clear choice."

"Kendrick Meek should worry more about defending his record of failure than attacking Jeff Greene," he added.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll Greene shows Greene and Meek in a virtual dead heat for the Democratic nomination. Meek gets 29-percent and Greene gets 27-percent with a third candidate garnering 3-percent in the poll conducted June 2 – 8 that had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5-percent.

Filed under: 2010 • Florida • Jeff Greene • Kendrick Meek
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Slider

    How pathetic has the Democrat Party become over the years.

    These people aren't fit to bag your groceries, much less impose laws to make you more dependent upon them for your livelihood.

    June 15, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. gt

    Look out another angry politian .... i hope he dont slap some one like his north carolina rep did to those young boys....

    June 15, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. raingirl2

    perhaps he is not an uncle Tom and a career politician perhaps he knows the pain of the everyday citizen and perhaps he will do a better job than any of the caree politicians perhaps this is God's plan Mr. Green has every right to run get elected and serve as any one else at least he didn't BUY his election as most other business mogels and well known corrupt people have done for decades Three cheers for Mr. Green I hope he goes all the way its time you you bigmouth corrupt criminals to go to jail so put a sock it your mouth and let god's will be done if he wins he is the right man that is unless you corrupt b@@@@@@@ decide to play one of your usual undercover tricks You might stop his serving but in the end you will pay for your sins. Don't let politics steal your soul.

    June 15, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. Rachel

    Jeff Greene is a good & decent guy. Meek needs to stop slamming Greene. I'll vote for Greene and so will a heck of a lot of my friends.

    June 15, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Steve (the real one)

    Greene is a carpet bagger! No doubt! So was Hilliary Cilnton and she was elected to the Senate from NY! All I'm hearing from Meek is Greene this and Greene that. Doesn't Meek have ny issues to run on?

    June 15, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. phoenix86

    Another proof point as to how racist the democratic party really is.

    June 15, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Luke Brown

    Is Jeff any relation to Alvin Greene in South Carolina?

    June 15, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. jeff

    Another whiny liberal who just can't cope with the idea that people might prefer someone else. Dang, these career hack politicians ought to just pack it up and go away.

    June 15, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. FOXswallow

    Neither Greene nor Meek will win. Both are not well known and most Democrats, including myself plan to vote for Charlie Christ instead. Anyone but Rubio is the answer.

    June 15, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Phoenix86 go attend one of your Tea Klux Klan rallies where they have witch doctor voodoo signs about Obama going back to Africa, then get back to me.

    No Billionaires should be allowed to purchase their own positions in governments. Whether it's Meg Whitman, Jeff Greene or Bloombergy regardless of party affiliation.

    June 15, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. Ron in California.

    This is better than any novel you could read....what a bunch of Dopes Baring any illegal actions on the part of Greene he is the candidate. The Dems are famous for changing the rules or contesting results. Losers all.

    June 15, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Brian

    So is it worse to be a new resident of FL or to have ridden your mother's name and connections to the US Congress? Having had Kendrick Meek as my elected representative in the past, I'd rather have a "carpetbagger."

    Mr. Meek graduated from FL A&M and within 5 years was elevated to the rank of Captain in the FHP assigned to protecting a FL pol. He then did short stints in FL house and senate before he "inherited" his mother's seat in Congress, running unopposed in a heavily Dem. district.

    Quite the self-made man!

    I'm no fan of Mr. Greene either-a self-made man perhaps, but hardly what one looks for in a Senator. Is it any wonder that Dems. (like me) are not optimistic about this race? The in FL, the scum rises...

    June 15, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |