Columns

Mother Jones 'Mad Libs' ... No Pun Intended

By: Nancy Smith | Posted: April 5, 2014 3:55 AM
Mel Sembler and Charlie Crist

Mel Sembler and Charlie Crist

Only a far-left publication could come up with a Mad Lib that drops in Rick Scott's name where Charlie Crist's should go -- making Scott out to be Mel Sembler's great pal.

Trust Mother Jones.

In case you haven't seen it, the liberal San Francisco-based hatcheteers have a story this week that comes straight from the Democrats' playbook -- Rule No. 3: Demonize a conservative by association with a "public enemy," real or perceived.

Go ahead. Read the Mother Jones story, "GOP Gov. Rick Scott Raising Big Bucks With Founder of Abusive Teen Boot Camps." It cites a $1,000-a-head fundraiser for Scott's re-election campaign.

What's so absurd about the story isn't what it says about Sembler. The  founder of Straight Inc., the abusive drug treatment program that left hundreds of teens scarred for life, is every bit as retired Gen. Henry Hugh Shelton, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, once called him -- "one scary dude."  For 16 years Sembler and his wife Betty directed the business, then saw it dismantled in mid-1993 thanks to a breathtaking array of institutional abuse claims.

I Beg to Differ

The truly absurd part is this: Mother Jones -- with the playbook as its guide -- picked the wrong governor to connect with scary Mel. 

Charlie Crist was always the guber in Sembler's heart and in his pocket. Until the day Crist quit the party -- the very day -- he and Sembler were closer than a butterfly on a bluebell.

I'm not exaggerating when I tell you, Mel Sembler would have to throw 20 more Miami Beach fundraisers for Rick Scott to come anywhere near the cash he raised and bundled and outright-donated to Charlie Crist over the years.

Sembler was involved in the money-lugging and money-hugging of every one of Crist's campaigns for public office. Here's a rundown of his positions in various Crist election camps:

• Finance chairman - Charlie Crist for Governor

• Finance co-chairman for the campaign of Florida State Senator Charlie Crist

• Committee chairman for the election of Florida Education Commissioner Charlie Crist

• Finance chairman for the campaign of Charlie Crist for Florida Attorney General

Oh, yes -- and Brent Sembler, Mel's son, was finance chairman of Charlie Crist for U.S. Senator. Brent and Charlie, good friends since high school, have much shared history. 

So does Crist's father, Charles J. Crist, M.D. The elder Crist had his own history with Mel Sembler, and it goes back before Straight Inc. to Straight's predecessor program, called the SEED.  Dr. Crist was vice chairman and later chairman of the Pinellas County School Board when he served on the SEED Advisory Board -- right up until the time the U.S. Senate accused the program of brainwashing kids, and the Semblers rushed to morph it into Straight Inc.

However you cut it, the Semblers' participation in Florida politics is very much a Crist family affair. Or, maybe Charie Crist is very much a Sembler family affair. Who knows? This point is, neither politics nor the Florida governor's office -- nor maybe even Florida -- was a glint in Rick Scott's eye when Sembler and Crist first began their dance across the Sunshine State's ballroom floor.

Trust me, any attempt to make it otherwise is no more than a Mad Lib.

More on Mel Sembler soon. Don't go away.



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


Comments (11)

Frank
8:54AM APR 6TH 2014
Yes, yes, you must be right . . . after all, it's not like that bastion of truth, the Rick Scott campaign, isn't continuing to spread that blatant (well demonstrated to be a) lie about Obamacare that 300,000 Floridians have lost their health care, now is it . . . . yes, GOP (and SSN) strategies . . . . Demonize by association with a "public enemy," real or perceived . . . . . and then claim the other side is doing that very thing that you're doing . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .
Joel
3:11PM APR 6TH 2014
The most pathetic thing of all is how Democrats have to cling to a Republican who's best friends were monied creeps and hope he wins so they can finally elect SOMEBODY in Florida. Poor Frank. Worse, poor Florida.
Frank
7:49PM APR 6TH 2014
Yes, yes, you must be right . . . . the Medicare Fraud King should remain emperor . . . . and continue to ensure that we remain a national laughing stock . . . . . poor Floridians . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Joel
8:23PM APR 6TH 2014
Yes, yes, I am right . . . .
Frank
8:33AM APR 7TH 2014
So glad we can agree that Rick Scott makes Florida one of the GOP's laughing stock states . . . . . but then, I'm not the one who has called Rick Scott a "triumph" among Florida's governors . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Surprised
6:18AM APR 6TH 2014
Power brokers always support the ones that pay off for them. The Bushes paid off for Sembler for years with old man Bush even once making Sembler Ambassador to Italy and he can't even speak their language.

Sure he supported Crist and along with Jeb lifted Charlie Crist to the office of Governor of Florida, but for some reason Charlie Cirst turned on the likes of Mel Sembler and Jeb Bush. So, now thev've got them a "yes man" that they can trust and they're gong to stick with him.

You can't make charlie Crist look bad and Rick Scott look good by pointing out how the scum of the earth like Mel Sembler has changed horses in the middle of the stream. There is a reason the establishment is supporting Rick Scott and that is because Rick Scott is owned by the establishment lock, stock and barrel and therefore will do their bidding.

Notice how he replaced Jeb's friend Tony Bennett with Pam Stewart again after Bennett got caught fixing grades for Christel Charter Schools and notice how Stewart is marching full steam ahead to install COMMON CORE (under an assumed name) into Florida Schools. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist were both created by the same scum of the earth, but it's like then RPOF Chairman Jim Greer said in 2010 "we can't afford a Republican primary!"
Surprised
3:28PM APR 5TH 2014
Even if Rick Scott and Mel Sembler does not have a history (which is doubtful given Rick Scott's ties to Bush 43 and Jeb) they obviously have a huge connection now since Sembler and friends are raising money for Scott now instead of Charlie Crist.

Guess the story here is Mel Sembler now has a history of supporting Charlie Crist, Mitt Romney and Rick Scott as well.

It's the Repubs with all the Bush push that has had the secret pedophile farms and ranches from coast to coast in the USA and abroad as well, not the Dems - so Charlie won't get any more Sembler money but he will be expected to keep his mouth shut about all the partying and stuff.
I for one am surprised anyone supporting Rick Scott and the Repubs would dare open up this can of worms called Mel Sembler. If you are going to address Mel Sembler and his houses of horror why not address the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s vendor friend.

A pair of recent lawsuits against a private youth prison operator in Florida amplify claims that the company, Youth Services International, has frequently covered up reports that staff sexually abused young people held inside its facilities.

According to a suit filed in October 2013 in federal court, the top administrator at one YSI youth prison regularly made sexual advances toward teenage boys held there in 2010 and 2011 and on at least one occasion brought inmates home with him and into his bedroom. A separate case filed in Florida court in November alleges that a female guard at another YSI facility in 2012 began an "intimate and sexual relationship" with a 14-year-old inmate.

Florida officials at the Department of Juvenile Justice did not investigate these alleged incidents until months and even nearly a year after they occurred, according to accounts from the mothers of the victims and public documents. This was in part because the for-profit prison operator failed to immediately report the alleged episodes as required not only under under its contracts with the state but by Florida Statutes as well.
So why are heads not rolling and why are people not being arrested for sex crimes they committed against juvenile inmates being held in a Florida Juvenile prison’s by private vendors being paid by our tax dollars?
These lawsuits reinforce the report of findings in a Huffington Post investigation that revealed more than two decades of abuse and neglect inside private prisons operated by Youth Services International and other companies run by its founder, James Slattery. The series focused particular attention on the state of Florida, which has become emblematic of a nationwide trend in which growing numbers of prisoners of all ages are placed inside institutions operated by for-profit companies. Florida has entirely privatized its youth prisons.
Surprised
3:26PM APR 5TH 2014
Despite tons of evidence that proves inmates have suffered violence, sexual abuse and neglect inside the facilities of a private juvenile prison operator, the state of Florida has in recent weeks awarded fresh contracts to the company.

But, since October 2013 Florida has granted Youth Services International two new contracts to operate youth prisons, while signaling that YSI is in line to win a third contract to run a facility near Miami. The decision came after The Huffington Post released its extensive investigation that documented the more than two decades of abuse at the company's juvenile and adult facilities.

And, Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice has continued to award tens of millions of dollars worth of prison contracts to YSI, despite a civil rights investigation by the Justice Department and probes into negligence and violent conditions by authorities in at least five states. In the past year alone, the company has already received four new contracts in Florida totaling nearly $37 million. Florida has renewed an additional four existing contracts with YSI over the last two years, including a $29 million, four-year contract to operate the Palm Beach Juvenile Correctional Facility, the company's largest youth prison in the state. A June report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that the facility had the highest rate of youth alleging sexual victimization at the hands of other youth or staff, out of 36 facilities reviewed in Florida. Florida's process for choosing juvenile prison contractors fails to scrutinize past problems those companies have faced in other states. For example, when YSI was bidding for a new round of Florida contracts in 2003, its application did not mention that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating rampant abuse and mistreatment of juvenile prisoners at a facility the company ran in Maryland. Nor did executives disclose that an 18-year-old inmate had died of pneumonia at one of the company's Texas boot camps, despite begging to be taken to the hospital.

The company did not mention those incidents because officials were not required to do so, according to Florida's juvenile justice contracting system. If a company currently has contracts in Florida, officials do not examine its record in other states.

YSI's record in Florida has also been troublesome. A 2006 review of a YSI facility called Thompson Academy found that 96 percent of staff had left over the previous year, and eight cases of child abuse had been confirmed there. Yet Florida juvenile justice officials renewed YSI's contract.

So, right here in Rick Scott’s PRIME TIME all of Florida’s Juvenile Prison’s are privatized and operated by those who pay to play the Bush-Scott schemes. And what’s even worse is it’s all top secret! Have you seen these facts on the lame stream media? Have you seen Rick Scott on the television declaring he’s going to get to the bottom of all this sex abuse of juvenile inmates in state custody by proxy? No! You have not! Was James Slattery a previous employee of Mel Sembler and his organizations? Who knows? Stranger things have sure happened. He manages his houses of horror like Sembler – and like Mel Sembler the Governor of Florida is protecting him and in fact allowing him to be rewarded with more contracts.

How are they going to blame this on Charlie Crist all these allegations of sexual abuse by the YSI administrator and employee’s is alleged to have happened on Rick Scott’s watch!
Thanks for the Mel Sembler Expose'
9:40AM APR 5TH 2014
Richard (Rick) Lynn Scott [Number 65 on the Texas Governor George W. Bush pay to play and succeed list]
After law school, Gov. Scott stayed in Dallas, working for the city’s largest law firm, Johnson & Swanson, Texas License Date:11/06/1978 - Bar Card Number:17909700 - primarily representing companies in the health care, oil and gas and communication industries. In 1987, while still practicing law, Gov. Scott made an offer to purchase HCA, Inc. When the offer was rejected, Gov. Scott along with Richard Rainwater [#10 on “GW” list of pay to play and suceed members] started Columbia Hospital Corporation. Rick Scott claims he started Columbia/ HCA with his and Ann’s entire life savings of $125,000 – corporate records do not substantiate his allegations that his wife Ann was involved in these acquisitions.
During Rick Scott’s law practice tenure of “health care, oil and gas and communication industries” Scott along with Tom Hicks [#3 on “GW’s” list of pay to play and succeed] was partner’s with George W. Bush in the Texas Rangers. Rick Scott has a long history of Bush family connections. Likewise Mel Sembler has a long history of Bush family connections going back to George HW Bush (41) who twice appointed Mel Sembler an Ambassador. By 1976 Mel Sembler was operating a STRAIGHT, INC. facility in Dallas, TX.
Beginning in 1987 major acquisitions was made by Scott and his partners in South Florida facilities previously owned by Jeb Bush friend Miguel Recarey for whom JEB had made phone calls to HHS officials on behalf of Recarey to increase his allowable Medicare percentages.
1987- MIAMI -- A federal grand jury indicted International Medical Centers` principal owner, Miguel Recarey Jr., on charges of paying $115,000 in kickbacks to two representatives of a Miami union to obtain its health care contract. Recarey, who has been forced by federal health officials in Washington to step down as head of IMC, also was indicted on conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges for allegedly trying to block or influence the testimony of a potential federal grand jury witness by hiring his son.


The potential witness, former union president Antonio ``Tony`` Fernandez, later went to work for IMC, according to William Teich, head of the U.S. Department of Labor`s Office of Labor Racketeering in Miami. Recarey and his brother, Jorge, also were charged in the indictment opened with illegally conspiring to finance the election of Fernandez to a union office and with funneling $75,000 in IMC funds to Fernandez through Jorge`s bank account.
Department of Health and Human Services officials were moving swiftly Wednesday to reassure the 135,000 Medicare patients of IMC that their health care benefits are not in jeopardy. IMC offers Medicare through its popular Gold Plus Plans. IMC has an overall enrollment of more than 190,000 patients, most of them in South Florida. It is Florida`s largest health maintenance organization and the largest Medicare HMO in the nation.
Recarey, his brother and Fernandez made brief appearances before U.S. Magistrate Charlene Sorrentino Wednesday afternoon. Miguel Recarey was set free on a $500,000 signature bond. His brother and Fernandez each signed $100,000 bonds.
Thanks for the Mel Sembler Expose'
9:38AM APR 5TH 2014
After the impeccably attired Miguel Recarey surrendered, he had little to say. ``I think this should be decided in court. That is the proper way to do it,`` he said.
In a separate development Wednesday, Florida Insurance Commissioner Bill Gunter filed an administrative complaint charging IMC and two other South Florida-based HMOs with illegal membership enrollment practices and giving them 21 days to respond before they could lose their certification. Gunter said IMC, Finlay Medical Centers and Comprehensive American Care are duping the elderly into enrolling in the medical plans by such means as signing petitions calling for increased police protection for their community and requesting blood pressure checks.
The indictments provide the most severe blow so far to Recarey`s efforts to retain control of financially troubled IMC and resist increasing pressure to sell the company. IMC has been the target of numerous state and federal investigations for the past year.
Rep. Dan Mica, D-Lake Worth, said he had been told by federal officials that more indictments involving IMC may follow. Mica has been IMC`s harshest critic in Congress.
The five-count indictment of the two Recareys, Fernandez and South Florida businessman Mariano Villa Del Rey on labor racketeering charges was handed down April 8, 1987 but kept sealed until three of the four defendants pleaded innocent. Del Rey is expected to surrender this afternoon, authorities said.
Before the indictments were unsealed in Miami, William Roper, head of the Health Care Financing Administration within HHS, issued a statement pledging that ``Medicare beneficiaries will continue to receive medical service from IMC providers, as in the past.
Miguel Recarey fled the USA and remains a fugitive from justice in 2014.
On the other hand the Crist family Mel Sembler family connections go back a long way as well. As this article points out very well Sembler has been involved in every step of the political staircase on behalf of Charlie Crist and was the driving force in Crist’s policies aspirations.
It was Mel Sembler who connected Charlie Crist to Jeb Bush thereby causing JEB to anointed Crist as his hand chosen replacement ad Florida governor in 2006. That was short lived when the RPOF fell apart under the mismanagement of Jim Greer along with Charlie and Marco Rubio and the credit cards and secret deals and kickbacks. Charlie Crist is not the only one who has fell from grace as a Bush family partner. Others who come to mind are Manuel Noreiga and Saddam Hussein. But the facts are there is way to many to mention in this space.
Even though as you say Charlie Crist has had a long affair with the Sembler’s and especially son Brent over the years most likely that relationship was totally severed when he fled the GOP.
Mel Sembler is solely responsible for the decertification or de-licensing of juvenile facilities under the pretense they are somehow religious facilities. When officials of the Florida DCF (not knowing Sember’s powerful Bush connections) tried to take away his licenses at Straight, Inc. Sember pulled rank and the Florida legislature passed a bill allowing religious facilities to operate non-licensed group and juvenile facilities. As Staight, Inc. began to collapse under reports of abuse Sembler’s friends and employee’s began to spin off other facilities which like
Thanks for the Mel Sembler Expose'
9:37AM APR 5TH 2014
Straight, Inc. became houses of horror and sex abuse of the victims who were forced to participate. One such facility was started by non Lake County Florida Sheriff Gary Borders (appointed sheriff in 2006 by Jeb Bush) and his friends Don Brown whose family continues to own the various FDOC vendor’s who operate BRIDGES OF AMERICA half-way houses and prison ministries scheming taxpayers our of millions per year for their “services.”
From 1989-2010 Their Green Isle Ranch was the scene of untold numbers of rapes of the boys, one of which was only nine years old. In 2009 five boys was raped by an older boy who was friends of Sheriff Borders (pictures prove this). The sheriff blocked the investigation for months until house parents got the breaking news on the airwaves at which time the sheriff and his friends in the Fifth Circuit of Florida faked an arrest, prosecution and sentencing (probation) of the so called suspect. Court documents prove he was not on probation was in fact out committing dating violence and receiving traffic citations when he was supposed to be at home on “community control.”
So you see Nancy – like everyone else on this earth “Mother Jones” might not always be right, but in this case Mel Sembler is well connected to both of these heathens who suffer from the limp wrist syndrome – after all it was mostly the Republicans involved in the Franklin Scandal – It was also their power that stopped, halted and made the Franklin Scandal go away-
August-1984 - Lawrence King throws a lavish party in Dallas, Texas, after singing the National Anthem at the Republican National GOP Convention.
August-1988 - Lawrence King throws a lavish party in New Orleans, after a return appearance to the Republican GOP Convention to sing the National Anthem.
November-18-1988 - The Nebraska Legislature passes a resolution to investigate improprieties at the Lawrence King - Franklin Credit Union.

November-21-1988 - The Foster Care Review Board receives additional information from the Richard Young Hospital (Kristin Hallberg) including allegations of cult activities and sacrifices of small children, and sexual abuse involving Lawrence King .
December-19-1988 - Omaha TV news outlets mentioned they were investigating the sex and drugs angle of the Franklin Case. This marked the first time the media mentioned drugs in relation to Franklin matter.

December-25-1988 - The State Foster Care Review Board turns over their report of sexual abuse to the Executive Board of the Nebraska Legislature. [Interested parties can research]
No matter what your goal was; thanks for bringing the Mel Sembler connections to the massive child sex and other abuses to light, and thanks for reminding everyone that Mel Sembler is still a driving force in Republican politics today with the likes of Rick Scott and Mitt Romney – let us remind you that Mike Fernandez (hospital executive - related to Tony Fernandez -IMC) has already given Rick Scott $1.25 million was also at that Mel Sembler dinner.

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