The Julia Tuttle Causeway is the single human rights issue that may end Charlie Crist's political career at the Governor's mansion.
He's in trouble on the sex offender issue and he knows it.
Per The Miami Herald, Charlie Crist Weighs in on Sex Offender Laws (BY JULIE KNIPE BROWN AND BETH REINHARD, 7/29/09):
Gov. Charlie Crist, who has kept himself at arm's length in the thorny debate over sex offender residency laws, inched toward a compromise on Wednesday, saying he would help ``facilitate a solution.''
However, he reiterated his position that the state would not overrule local laws -- even if the residency boundaries vary greatly from one municipality to another.
The controversy stems from the legal and political wrangling over a group of sex offenders living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami-Dade. The squalid camp of 70-plus convicted molesters have few options because residency laws prohibit them from living within certain distances of where children play or go to school.
Asked Wednesday if local government buffers have gone too far, Crist said: ``Not necessarily. It's up to local government to make those decisions, and I wouldn't want to impose my will on them. I think they're doing what they believe to be responsible in their localities, and I want to be respectful of that.''
His statement came after a Newsweek article spotlighted the camp, and Ron Book, chairman of Miami-Dade's Homeless Trust, railed at the governor for failing to help fix the problem. After meeting with the governor and his staff, he was clearly frustrated.
``I had to walk away. I was annoyed. They don't even have a clue of a solution,'' Book told Newsweek.
On Wednesday, Book was more conciliatory. He said he called the governor and apologized for his Newsweek comments. The governor, he said, had become more proactive on the issue in recent days.
His staff, Book said, ``Engaged in a dialogue with me as we explore what options there are . . . they recognize this as a problem; we don't have to point fingers.''
Meanwhile, Book is moving forward with plans to relocate the Causeway dwellers.
He is ready to move eight of them to a private apartment building in South Miami-Dade -- but he said they aren't happy about moving so far south, even though some of them have transportation.
``I concede it doesn't have a lot of mass transit opportunities,'' Book said.
``But you got people with cars, give me a break.''
Who would those people be, Ron? The families you've made certain those under the JT cannot live with because of residency restrictions.
You give ME a break.
Check out what others are saying here.
One more aside.
DO NOT send Charlie Crist to the Senate.