Last minute dirty tricks
MIAMI - Attorney General Charlie Christ called the surfacing of a 17-year-old paternity dispute less then a week before the Republican primary for governor "scurrilous" and reasserted that he did not impregnate the woman who made the claim.
"It's absolutely false and this kind of thing is sad," Crist said after three newspapers reported the claim Monday. "It's obviously a last-ditch attempt to try to hurt my campaign, but I have faith in the people and they can see this for what it is and I won't dignify it with any further comment."
On Monday, the St. Petersburg Times and the sister newspapers Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported the case.
In 1989 a woman, then named Rebecca Wharrie and in the midst of a divorce, claimed that Crist was the father of her child and placed the girl up for adoption. Crist denied the claim.
"Parenthood by myself is not possible as I have never consummated the act necessary for parenthood with Wharrie," Crist said then in a signed affidavit.
The Crist campaign released documents putting the woman's mental state in question at the time, including one showing she was involuntarily committed to a mental institution and a police report detailing an attempted suicide in 1994. Another 1998 letter submitted by her former father-in-law, Robert Wharrie, to the Florida Bar Association said the woman, who is now named Rebecca O'Dell Townsend, had made an unsubstantiated rape claim against her ex-husband and falsely reported abuse of her children.
"If that wasn't his child, he could very easily have proved it," Townsend told the paper. The Times reported she is an active member of the Christian Coalition and that she supports Crist's opponent, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher. His campaign has denied being behind the document's release.
The document was e-mailed to reporters under the name David Smith. In an e-mail exchange with The Associated Press, the sender said it was not released by a political campaign.
"Trust me, if this was orchestrated by an opposing campaign, it would have been 'leaked' weeks, if not months ago," said the sender, who declined to talk by phone.
An affidavit Crist signed that denies he was the father of the child and waiving any paternal rights was sent to a handful of reporters last week. After no one immediately wrote about the case, the documents were e-mailed Saturday to newspapers and other news organizations statewide, including The Associated Press. The AP decided not to write a story because the woman's claims could not be substantiated.
Funny but AP felt it was unsubstantiated but notable enough for the purposes of writing this article.
Who would most want to see Crist defeated at present? Tom Gallagher is trailing far behind Crist in the polls. His campaign would have the most to gain. The Democrats also want to beat Crist, but in TFM's opinion I think they would try using information like this before the general election not the primary. Crist is almost a lock to win tonight, this kind of news wouldn't change that and be soon forgotten.
So I'm betting it was the Gallagher campaign. Goodbye Tom, you're a worthless piece of tahe politician who Floridians won't be missing after the November elections.
Linked to- Bullwinkle Blog, Third World County,