Politics & Government

Florida Gov. Crist spending less time in office, more on campaign trail

In his final months as governor, Charlie Crist is phoning it in — literally.

As his U.S. Senate campaign shifts into high gear, Crist's official daily work schedule shows him spending less and less time as governor, and more and more time checking in with his aides from the campaign trail.

Crist's schedule for the past month shows no official events on 11 weekdays and only one event on six other days.

A day-by-day review shows that even on most days when his schedule showed him working, he did not have a crowded calendar.

On Aug. 3, he attended one event, a tourism roundtable in Fort Lauderdale -- one of only two events in the past six weeks focusing on Florida's economic problems.

The next day, Crist's sole public event was a visit to Miami Jewish Health Systems. The day after that, he conducted site visits of two facilities in St. Petersburg and Sarasota, and the following day, Aug. 6, his only official event was a press conference in Orlando.

On 11 days, the only item of official business was a telephone call to Shane Strum, his chief of staff. He met with heads of executive branch agencies on Sept. 2, the first such meeting since July 21.

This from a governor who four years ago used an empty chair to symbolize missed votes in Congress by his Democratic opponent, Jim Davis. In that 2006 campaign, Crist promised Floridians: "I'll work for you every day."

To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.

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