Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brown Became Used to the High Life

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Brown Became Used to the High Life

Article excerpt

Byline: Ron Littlepage

A few things kept my attention while I was on vacation and out of the state last week.

One, of course, was the federal fraud trial of former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown.

Put aside for the moment questions about guilt or innocence, the lavish lifestyle she chose to live is a powerful reminder of the stench coming from Washington.

Being elected to represent the people does not bestow privilege, and Brown certainly wasn't the only member of Congress who acts like it does.

According to the Times-Union coverage of the trial, for Brown that meant parties with a signature drink named the "Queen Corrine," a $750 birthday cake for her daughter, a luxury box during a Jaguars-Redskins football game and shopping sprees with her daughter in Beverly Hills.

It also meant partying in a $10,000 luxury suite during a Beyonce concert where guests were treated to smoked barbecue, chilled shrimp and a well-stocked bar.

That's a lifestyle that is a world away from the ones lived by most of the constituents Brown represented.

Regardless of the outcome of the trial, that's a crime that has become all too common in Washington and damages people's faith in their government.

BAD SIGNS FOR FLORIDA FOREVER

I also kept up with some of the doings in Tallahassee as the legislative session began drawing to a close.

All of the details of the $83 billion state budget haven't been hammered out yet, but it's clear that the Legislature isn't going to properly fund the Florida Forever land acquisition program.

It is also clear that the budget, as it stood Tuesday, would be a slap in the face to Gov. Rick Scott.

The money for two of Scott's pet programs, Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida, is only a shadow of what Scott proposed.

He has been complaining to anyone who will listen that these programs are critical for Florida's economy and that legislators aren't doing the job they were sent to Tallahassee to do. …

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