It's heating up. The Davis campaign today released this statement from Jim Davis and Florida Dem Chair Karen Thurman:
Davis and Thurman Criticize Personal Attack on Crist
TALLAHASSEE - Democratic nominee for governor Jim Davis and Florida Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman issued a statement criticizing any attempt to inject unfounded allegations about Charlie Crist's personal life into the campaign for governor.
"As I have said from the beginning of this campaign, allegations about Charlie Crist's personal life are not and should not be an issue in this campaign," said Davis. "The debate about the future of Florida is too important to be sidetracked by something that has nothing to do with reducing property taxes, lowering hurricane insurance rates and improving our schools. That's why I condemn this renegade
effort to politicize these rumors and allegations."
"The Democratic Party in no way condones and, in fact, condemns this effort to inject allegations about Charlie Crist's personal life into the campaign for governor," said Thurman. "There is a clear difference between Davis's campaign to change Florida for the better and Crist's campaign to stay the course. Anything that distracts from that debate is not in the best interests of Floridians."
Now, I'm not going to call this a cynical ploy, but ... oh well, I might as well call it a cynical ploy. The Davis camp knows that by issuing this statement, it's going to provide fuel for the story while at the same time allowing the campaign to remain on the high ground. Or, conversely, it might just be that journalists have begun dogging the campaign with questions and rather than weird silence, it decided to take a position. Either way, it works for Davis, rightly or wrongly.
And a note to those following the story, journalists and kind readers alike: Jason Wetherington is out of the state and has been since the initial story was published. He was in Georgia at his father's house and is now staying somewhere in north Georgia. He called me yesterday after I called his father and we had a chat. Some of it was off the record, but the gist is that he continues to deny, incredibly, that he boasted of an affair with Crist. He has an attorney in Hollywood, Todd Payne, who won't answer my calls. A very good source close to Wetherington says that the Republican Party is financing the lawyer, but that isn't confirmed.
And Bruce Carlton Jordan? I have no idea where he is. He has never contacted New Times to confirm or deny the stories and the Crist campaign has basically accepted that he has been talking about having a romantic relationship with the candidate. "This is a false story from a convicted felon," was the exact line put out by Crist's campaign spokeswoman, Vivian Myrtetus.