Who's Really Pulling the Strings in Charlie Crist's Campaign?

By: Allison Nielsen | Posted: November 19, 2013 3:55 AM
Charlie Crist cartoon

Most people in Florida are familiar with John Morgan’s advertisements -- Morgan’s “For the People” slogan is plastered over billboards, buses, and radio ads all over the state. So it seemed like a scene out of the Twilight Zone when Charlie Crist made the announcement that he was running for governor, because Crist, like Morgan, said he was “For the People,” too.

Not even a minute into his speech, Crist dropped Morgan’s familiar slogan.

“Tallahassee is out of control,” began Crist. “Governing for the people has been replaced with cronyism and government on the fringes.”

It seemed coincidental, maybe even just a slight nod toward Morgan, who currently employs the former governor at his Orlando-based law firm. Crist joined Morgan & Morgan in 2011 after he hadn’t practiced law for nearly two decades.

Yet as it progressed, Crist’s speech felt oddly reminiscent of a John Morgan ad. When Crist started to talk about getting Florida’s economy back in shape for the middle class, in came John Morgan’s famous slogan.

“We will get this economy working again for the people, for the middle class people,” he said.

When Crist slammed Gov. Rick Scott for siding with allies, those with fat checkbooks, and for putting special interests in Washington over the interests of Florida, the slogan made another appearance.

“We simply deserve a governor who will stand up for the people,” said Crist. “I always have, and I always will.”

The idea that the overuse of the phrase was sheer coincidence crumbled.

One of Morgan’s most recent ads aims to get signatures on a petition for medical marijuana in the state of Florida. In the ad, Morgan describes the pain of those suffering debilitating illnesses who are only able to receive relief by using marijuana. Morgan then pleads with listeners to sign their names on a petition to get a constitutional amendment supporting medical marijuana put on the ballot for 2014.

“If you’re willing to join this Army of Angels, email me at JohnMorgan@ForThePeople.com for information on how you can help us get this on the ballot in 2014,” says Morgan in the ad.

Funnily enough, Crist seems to have an army of angels working on his campaign, too. Yet instead of working on getting medical marijuana on the ballot for 2014, Crist’s army of angels would be helping him take back his old job.

“Rick Scott can spend a billion dollars on dishonest ads and it won’t matter,” said the former governor at his announcement speech. “You know why? Because we will have an Army of Angels every day on our side to support us through this.”

The familiar Morgan & Morgan slogan was heard once again.

“One year from today we will come back here that night and we will celebrate a great victory,” said Crist to the crowd. “A victory for the people, because you deserve it.”

Like that, Crist’s speech was over, and while Morgan wasn’t actually at Crist’s announcement, it seemed like he was right there telling Crist what to say with his familiar catchphrase.

Morgan is bound to be a driving force in Crist’s campaign and is expected to help the former governor raise money from attorneys across the country. Only 12 days into his campaign, Crist had raised $484,000 from attorneys and law firms alone.

But Crist’s speech and his early numbers leave lots of questions unanswered. Just how many strings is John Morgan pulling in Crist’s campaign? And while the initial numbers sound impressive, will an “Army of Angels” composed primarily of trial attorneys really be enough to lift Crist off the ground? 

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at Allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.

Comments (19)

Steve Ortiz
4:05PM DEC 6TH 2013
There's only man in Florida who is for the people, and for the needs of our people that's Charlie Crist as our Governor. I for one will talk to the hispanics. I'm an Auhtor, singer guitarist, and meet a lot of people there foe I will be singing about Charlie. I'll tell them in song, there's no other way, it's all about Charlie.
4:32PM NOV 20TH 2013
my buddy's sister-in-law makes $89/hr on the laptop. She has been unemployed for seven months but last month her paycheck was $13360 just working on the laptop for a few hours. visit the website...,,.,.....

===========>> WWW.FB49.COM
10:16AM NOV 24TH 2013
Gee . . . . another ad . . . . a different pseudonym . . . . guess SSN never really meant that "You agree not to upload, post or otherwise transmit, without SSN’s express prior approval, User Content which contains advertising or any solicitation with respect to products or services". . . . .

Unless, of course, SSN actually gave their "express prior approval" . . .

Pathetic . . . .
no doubt about that
5:03PM NOV 19TH 2013
Most people with some brains believe that Nan Rich is the only honest one in this race. Problem is between the Jeb Bush money and influence on the Scott side and the John Morgan trail lawyers support on the Crist side she will be monied out of the race.

And let us not forget Jeb Bush is holding those Tom Feeney - Clint Curtis inventions (chips) that fix elections. No doubt they will use them they apparently used them in St Lucie County to Defeat Col West. Results over 150% voter turnout.
3:08PM NOV 19TH 2013
Nan Rich is the only honest candidate in the race.
No Choice at all
2:34PM NOV 19TH 2013
So wonder who got the continued support and friendship of Mel & Brent Sembler when CharLIE Crist dumped his Bush man suit for first his independance and his his deomcraps.

CharLIE's father told everyone CharLIE acquired his funny lifestyle from Mel Sembler.

All the people have way too many skeletons in their closets to really become enemies. It's all smoke and mirrors and as the one blogger said Lord Rothschild will decide who wins and who loses to be still be kept close to the chest to be used yet another day and time much like they did Hitlery when they made her step aside and give Obama the presidency. They had Obama already primes and cocked to spin the USA into the hands of the New World "Odor."
10:21AM NOV 24TH 2013
So original . . . . is that like rICK scott . . . . no hint of demonizing, belittling right wing politics here. . . . . so grown up, that "Hitler" and the rest of those infantile attempts at humor . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
12:36PM NOV 19TH 2013
Charlie Crist has been using "the people's governor" or some variation of that since he first ran in 2006.
Well duh
2:49PM NOV 19TH 2013
I'm pretty sure that's well known, but you can't say the recurring lines and especially that Army of Angels part isn't weird at all. Crist is a puppet and will go any way the wind (or $$$) will take him
11:34AM NOV 19TH 2013
I never thought Crist could think for himself and this article proves it. He did nothing before so what is going to change? I guess have Morgan holding his hand and tell him what to do and say. I guess padding his pocket via Morgan helps a lot.
10:33AM NOV 19TH 2013
Under Gov pRick Dade County FCAT scores have plummeted to a 56% failure rate for the latest round of third graders. Scott has done nothing to help raise the test scores which are hard numbers to compare to Crist.
10:22AM NOV 19TH 2013
If I remember correctly, Crist spent his governorship in London seeking a VP nod from Lord Rothschild and then spent the rest of his time running for the Senate seat. When exactly di he or his orange jump suite backers actually govern?
10:10AM NOV 19TH 2013
Are you implying that Gov Scott is for the people? Obviously the writer took political science from Sarah Palin's dud son.
10:43AM NOV 19TH 2013
(didn't read article before commenting)
Gregg Mundy
9:46AM NOV 19TH 2013
“We simply deserve a governor who will stand up for the people,” said Crist. “I always have, and I always will.”
Your right Mr. Crist, that's exactly the reason we (The people of Florida) "DON'T" need "YOU". The last time you were the Gov. of Florida you were lame at best. (my opinion)
8:53AM NOV 19TH 2013
I will be glad to see Scott go. Also glad to see the huge support the MM cause is getting. Hope you signed a copy.
Common Sense
8:53AM NOV 19TH 2013
So who is pulling the strings for Scott? FPL, Florida Chamber, Seminole Gambling, Casinos, on and on and on. Let him without sin cast the first stone in this messed up race for governor.
No Choice at all
8:38AM NOV 19TH 2013
Just like four years ago the people of Florida have no REAL choice for Governor. The Repubs won't allow anyone to run against their Bush man Rick Scott who continues to repay Bush friends for their dirty deeds. Removing honest sheriff's and replacing them with the scum of the earth.

Now this morning Orlando news outlets are saying Rick Scott has announced Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger has made Scott's short list for Lt. Governor. This is probably payment for his dirty deeds for the mob.

Sad thing is CharLIE Crist knows where all the Jeb Bush bones are buried. This right wing mullet wrapper can report that John Morgan is pulling CharLIE's strings all they want too. the fact remains that jeb Bush and the Dixie Mafia is pulling Rick Scott's strings, so let's have a contest of the string pullers. Too bad Jim Greer had to agree to cave in and not go to trial when all this dirty laundry would have been aired. We would have a hold new list of want to be's running for governor if that had happened. Hence the greatest bipartisan effort to quell the trial of Jim Greer in Florida history.

Bring them on. Everyone knows Jeb controls the Florida Clint Curtis vote fixing chips including CharLIE. How will CharLIE and John over come that? When Rick Scott dwins CharLIE will say Rick Scott spent ONE BILLON DOLLARS on dishonest ads.
Bill Bledsoe
8:04AM NOV 19TH 2013
Just ignore this Crist mess and get behind Scott and make sure Scott
stays on top!

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