Columns

Really? Carole Crist, Whose Husband Wants to Be Governor, Owes Florida Money?

By: Nancy Smith | Posted: June 29, 2014 3:55 AM
Carole and Charlie Crist

Carole and Charlie Crist

Who knows what lurks under the Carole Crist-née-Oumano-then-Rome name? Certainly when you find one holy-cowism, you have to wonder how many more there are.

And find one, the media have.

Which of the media can we thank for this find, you ask? The resources-rich Tampa Bay Times -- hometown paper for Charlie Crist? The Times' partner, maybe -- The Miami Herald? The Orlando Sentinel? Possibly the Jacksonville Times-Union?

Nope. None of the above. 

It took Jose Lambiet's Gossip Extra, "South Florida's Online Tabloid," to reveal that millionaire Carole Crist owes the Florida Department of Revenue $352.61, including principal and penalties, on an unpaid re-employment tax from July 1, 2012, through Sept. 1, 2013. (Check out the Pinellas County Public Records, book 18342, page 283, or see a copy in the attachments at the end of this story.)

I Beg to Differ

Certainly $352.61 is small potatoes. A drop in the bucket. But it doesn't strike me as meaningless. Holy cow.

Carole Crist was the first lady of Florida for two years. She aspires to be first lady again. 

She has the money, Heaven knows. She was a New York socialite until her marriage to Todd Rome started to crumble. She then moved to exclusive Fisher Island south of Miami, accessible only by boat, helicopter or ferry, and according to the 2000 census, its 1,400 residents had the highest per capita income in the United States. Carole was living in her 3,690-square-foot, $4.1-million condo when she and Charlie married.

So, if it's not money, what is her problem?

I'm going to rule out poor money management. Carole graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a degree in accounting.

So, why would the wife of a former governor, a man who desperately wants to be governor again, let herself owe money to the state of Florida?

Why isn't she concerned with the message that sends to Floridians struggling to stay lawfully above water?

The Crist campaign brushes it off as a matter of unfortunate timing.

A campaign source told Gossip Extra that just as Carole was supposed to pay the mandatory business tax on employees for her use of a personal assistant, along came Hurricane Sandy.

“This is an error due to a late filing by Mrs. Crist’s New York accountant during Hurricane Sandy,” the campaign source told Lambiet. “The accountant is no longer handling Mrs. Crist’s returns but the error is understandable under the circumstances.”

Nice argument. Except for one tiny hiccup: Carole's failure to pay re-employment tax has happened before.

In fact, in 2008, there were two similar tax liens for a total of $1,860 filed against her in Miami-Dade County (see lien No. 1000000219673 in county public records). They went unpaid all the years she and Charlie occupied the governor's mansion and didn't get paid until 2011.

I can only come to one conclusion. It's simple, really: Carole Crist was careless because she could be. Because no one is watching. And because she doesn't see the connection between who she is and what the people of Florida might expect of her.

I realize it's Charlie, not Carole, who is running for office. Yet I consider her actions, absent a better excuse than Hurricane Sandy, a huge lack of respect for the honor given her and the public trust generally.

Try to imagine if the subject of this story were Ann Scott instead of Carole Crist. Imagine the frenzy it would create in liberal-leaning mainstreamers at the Times, Herald and Sentinel. You can hear them now, can't you, calling in the midwives, pushing for dear life, anything to work that story out of the birth canal.

But now watch.

They've been beaten by a South Florida tabloid, of all things. Watch how fast they pooh-pooh or ignore this story.

Charlie Crist told reporters at a Democratic fundraiser in Hollywood Saturday night he has no intention of asking Carole to turn over her tax returns. His call, to be sure.

Trouble is, the more the Crists balk -- the more they avoid transparency in this issue -- the more red flags they raise and the larger the molehill grows.



Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423.

Attachments: 

Comments (18)

Michael
12:22AM JUL 16TH 2014
Nan Rich for Florida Governor!
Geo Mick
1:59PM JUN 30TH 2014
What if it's just the opposite - that she is withholding the tax returns not because they reveal wealth and assets of which charlie participates/benefits, but what if those tax returns reveal she is broke? Maybe she is embarrassed? I am not defending her, by any means, she knew the game when she signed on the dotted line, but maybe she and charlie don't want anyone to know she blew through (or never had) all the "millions". And maybe they reveal she does not participate financially in her daughters' upbringing.

To allow this negative story to continue, there is definitely something in those returns. They've dug in so deep I don't see how they reverse course and release them, or how they put this "tempest in teapot that turned into a tornado" behind them.
Frank
11:47AM JUN 30TH 2014
Ah, yes . . . . SSN Episode 352 of partisan personal demonization a day politics . . . . now expanded to include spouses . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Laura
10:00PM JUN 29TH 2014
I wonder if Ms. Rome-Crist is paying child support now? NY media had reported she all but abandoned her teenagers daughters, leaving them to be raised by their Father and his new wife. What kind of woman or mother does this? I know one thing is certain, I don't wan't this woman, who is devoid of any kind of moral compass as Florida's First Lady!
Scott Marshall
8:06PM JUN 29TH 2014
Scope please look up the meaning of this word. Do you get paid to print this dribble. Rick Scott is a known Medicare Thief ripping off every citizen in Florida Millions of dollars. Perhaps your time would be better spent looking into what conspiracy theory Marco Rubio is parroting today.
Charles
11:13AM JUN 29TH 2014
Wow, we are really reaching. No need to imagine that Florida's current governor was CEO of a company that paid a 1 billion dollar plus fine for Medicare fraud. He had knowledge of it or not; making him either criminally responsible or negligently incompetent. Now that's a history worth being concerned about.
Joanne
10:49AM JUN 29TH 2014
Another "do as I say,not as I do" Some just figure they are above the law
and that it does not apply to them.Look at the WH.Any questions??
Max
10:34AM JUN 29TH 2014
I'm more concerned about Scott and his 120+ million than Crist wife's money. If you want to check into criminal dealings suggest you check into Scott's background. He was a criminal before he was elected. And now he has blood on his hands for denying the people of FL healthcare. I'll take Crist any day over Scott.
Ashley
11:05AM JUN 29TH 2014
If Ann Scott had a tax lien, I'd want to see that too. But at least Scott has been upfront about his taxes and Crist acts like he's got something to hide. With this new info, it seems like his camp is trying to cover up Carole and it's not a great look.

Your choice to ignore something like this and then point the finger in the opposite direction says a lot about you and what kind of voter you are. Max Steele?
Earth to Ashley
11:51AM JUN 29TH 2014
On what planet to you reside?

"at least Scott has been upfront about his taxes."

His holdings are in a "blind trust" where the hopes the deaf, dumb and blind people of Florida will never find them!

A suit to force him to disclose his investments was decided in his favor for the Florida Supreme's!

Now we hear he is an investor in SCHLUMBERGER who is pumping oil from the everglades! Oil = BUSH

Could you please be more specific as to where "Scott has been upfront about his taxes."

The truth proves he just continues to take the fifth over and over and over, way more than the seventy-five times he is credited with in those 1995 depo's.

And he has never disclosed his partnership with George W. Bush in the Texas Rangers, other oil and hospital investments with the Bush family.

But, he took 12 cents from the Florida taxpayers for working all year for (whom again) and still had a taxable income of $40 MILLION BUCKS and won't tell the people of Florida where the profit come from.

No! Charlie Crist is not worth the 12 cents a year that Scott collects from us either. Two wrongs don't make a right and the only terms either of these perverts should ever is after fair trials - about 20 years to life!
Diane
10:13AM JUN 29TH 2014
Where’s the beef? So Ms Crist had an accountant way up in NY who handles her finances -- receives her bills and pays out -- and did not timely pay a couple of small tax bills. A local county commissioner failed to pay sales tax he collected for years (i.e., he had the taxes in his till and used them illegally), and currently owes IRS 80K. But keeps getting elected. Why don’t voters care? He has an “R” behind his name.
Dean
8:59AM JUN 29TH 2014
A question for which I can get no answer. How did Gov Scott go from a net worth of 80+ million to 120+ million last year?
they will never answer that
11:39AM JUN 29TH 2014
Dean,

That little $40 Mil in one year is why Rick Scott works for we poor "tax players" for ONE CENT PER MONTH!

I't probably residual's from his old partnership days when he, Jeb , Richard Rainwater and Mike Fernandez took over the first massive Medicare Fraud in US history from Jeb and his former partner Miguel Recarey and assumed the financing of Santo Trafficante, Jr.of their International Medical Centers schemes!

That kind of profits don't evaporate overnight.

And these mobsters are concerned about Charlie Crist's wife oweing the state less than $440 bucks and they keep on mentioning Charlie's friendship with Scott Rothstein. Maybe they should mention it was Arnold Rothstein the New York mobster that put the Trafficante's both Sr and Jr in chage of the Florida Mob in the first place.

They can't do that because that would put their Florida godfather stand in Jeb Bush and Rick Scott right in the bed with the Florida mob all along!

Oh! I forgot there is no Mob anymore the gubermint destroyed them all and the leftovers started doing reality TV shows!
deloclem
12:20PM JUL 1ST 2014
OMG! Florida has a MOB! All my life I've live here and did not know that!
Dean
1:44AM JUN 30TH 2014
It makes no sense to me. He had to make about $50 million before taxes. Yea, guys like Buffet make that on a bad day. But that is an unreasonabe return on investment. Either he owns some of the HMOs they forced Florida Medicaid patients into, has some fracking/oil ownership or he made it in the grey area between legal and illegal. Also, remember that he sold the 2 airplanes Florida and mishandled the sale funds, all while making the taxpayers of Florida pay his wife for him to fly around in his personal jet. That is hypocritical!
Dean
1:43AM JUN 30TH 2014
It makes no sense to me. He had to make about $50 million before taxes. Yea, guys like Buffet make that on a bad day. But that is an unreasonabe return on investment. Either he owns some of the HMOs they forced Florida Medicaid patients into, has some fracking/oil ownership or he made it in the grey area between legal and illegal. Also, remember that he sold the 2 airplanes Florida and mishandled the sale funds, all while making the taxpayers of Florida pay his wife for him to fly around in his personal jet. That is hypocritical!
Tom Bryson
8:40AM JUN 29TH 2014
Very much in keeping with the Republican attitude concerning taxes specifically and government in general.
RepublicanConscience
6:38AM JUN 29TH 2014
It seems that the molehill is actually under the carpet and Charlie Crist will eventually trip on it.

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