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Florida Politics - Paradise for Sale (to the highest bidder)

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Citizen John Russell Interviews Florida

Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman

Transcript and audio tape of the July 16 interview

Michael Collins

“Scoop” Independent News

Washington, D.C.

Earlier this week, “Scoop” covered the controversy surrounding the Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, Florida Citizens Versus Party Insiders. Florida news papers revealed that Florida Chairperson, Karen Thurman was lobbying for a law firm headed by Al Cardenas, the former Chairman of the Florida Republican Party. A powerful figure in Republican circles, Cardenas was open about the relationship and indicated that he may have more lobbying work for the prominent Democrat.

Thurman is paid $100,000 a year to be the full time chair of the party. She receives $3,500 a month to lobby for the Cardenas firm. In addition, she has a $100,000 a year lobbying contract with another group.

Florida progressives like John Russell are particularly upset at the lack of support provided to their campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives. Russell attended a Democratic Party fund raising event this Monday, July 16 in St. Petersburg, Florida. He approached Karen Thurman and engaged her in discussion. Russell had his video camera with him that captured the interview through audio recording. That audio recording can be found at YouTube at the link below. For some reason, YouTube displays the following message “Adding comments has been disabled for this video.” That may change by the time of publication. The restriction may have something to do with scheduled maintenance.

The interview is fascinating. Interviewer John Russell is a progressive Democrat and the recent candidate for the 5th Congressional seat in 2006. Karen Thurman, the current chair of the Florida Democratic Party and former Representative from the 5th; and, Al Cardenas, a prominent and highly influential figure in Florida legal and Republican political circles, was the former chair of the Florida Republican party;

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Date of Interview: July 16, 2007, Monday evening

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