Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami is planning to declare his bid for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, becoming the first candidate to enter the race triggered by Republican Mel Martinez's retirement in 2010.In fact Meek got a house seat without facing election. His mother conveniently announced her retirement less than two weeks before the 2002 filing date and Kendrick was just ready to run in time.(Turn off the sarcasm)
Meek, 42, who succeeded his mother in Congress in 2002, would be Florida's first black senator if he wins. If he loses, he will have given up a politically secure seat in Congress while his party is in control. Meek is also a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the only Florida Democrat on the influential Ways and Means Committee.
Some state voters may recognize Meek because of the legacy of his mother, Carrie Meek, and his leadership in 2002 on Florida's constitutional amendment to limit class sizes. But he has never run statewide or faced a competitive race for Congress.
Meek is a former Knucklehead winner. Here is why-
A South Florida congressman's mother was among the consultants and lobbyists a Boston developer paid to support a biotech project that has so far only cleared a lot in an impoverished neighborhood.When I wrote about this news in 2007, I said 'Even if you believe the Congressman's denials, he has a conflict of interests.' I didn't believe his denial then and still don't today.
As part of their ongoing series of investigative reports, our news partners at the Miami Herald report four years ago, Dennis Stackhouse proposed building a $250 million biopharmaceutical park in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood.
As the project stalled, Stackhouse diverted more than half a million dollars from a Miami-Dade County poverty agency through double billing and dubious expenses. The Miami Herald also reports Stackhouse spent hundreds of thousands more on political insiders. Among them was former U.S. Representative Carrie Meek, who received at least $40,000, a leased luxury sport utility vehicle and a 2,600-square-foot rent-free office for her foundation.
Congressional records show that she was paid while her son, who now holds her seat in Congress, sought millions of federal dollars for the project.
U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek has said there was no connection between his efforts to fund the project and his mother's involvement with Stackhouse.
Meek has little chance of winning the Senate seat. He is way too liberal to get swing votes and moderate democrats that are essential to winning statewide office. I expect Meek to give up his campaign before the filing day in 2010. Otherwise he will be looking for new work in 2011.
Hat tip- South Florida Daily Blog