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John Mica and The Politics of Cronyism (Plus Luxury Trips to Italy)

Today, in Florida’s 7th Congressional District a primary battle between Rep. John Mica (R) and Rep. Sandy Adams (R) is culminating as voters go to the polls to decide which incumbent will represent the newly redrawn district. Mica, the entrenched powerful chairman of the House Transportation Committee, left his current district and a few hundred thousands constituents to move into the newly redrawn district of conservative freshman Rep. Sandy Adams.

Pledging to destroy Adams, Mica has run a tough and at times dishonest campaign, one that could be expected from a Washington insider who pretends he is a conservative but prefers to practice the politics of cronyism. Mica represents the failed governing style of people like former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who left Congress in disgrace after decades of cutting last minute backroom deals that benefited lobbyist pals like Jack Abramoff (who did jail time) and donors to his political causes. Mica’s ability to direct millions of taxpayer dollars to benefit his family and friends (and in return secure political contributions from the recipients) smacks of the old-style Washington that destroyed GOP majorities in 2006 and brought a premature halt to the vaunted ’94 Revolution.

John Mica is the kind of Republican Congressman who manages to destroy his party’s majority while hanging the American people out to dry.

Rep. Sandy Adam’s campaign has worked hard to point out Mica is a close Congressional ally of President Barack Obama. From standing with the president and union representatives in support of the bloated, wasteful transportation bill, to chumming around with the President on the floor of the U.S. House during the State of the Union speech, Mica has let it be known that he serves his own pleasure and his own interests.

But at least his tastes for pleasure are good. Congressional records show that Mica has managed to rack up the taxpayer credit card with frequent trips abroad. A favorite “work” location is Italy, where the Mica has visited no less than 11 times since becoming a public servant in the House. One of those trips was rumored to be a trip for a ribbon cutting of a new art museum just before Christmas. No doubt a wonderful season of the year to be abroad at someone else’s expense.

Rewarding lobbyists, directing federal money to family members and their clients, taking trips at the expense of hardworking Americans, and then threatening to destroy the political career of a female law enforcement officer turned lawmaker just because she is conservative make for a despicable candidate to represent conservative ideas. Washington D.C. has changed since John Mica first went to Congress, and he had nothing to do with it. Thanks to true conservatives like Rep. Sandy Adams, and the long list of fellow conservatives who have endorsed her, Washington D.C.’s culture of crony politics is changing. John Mica may have enjoyed palling around with President Obama, but Florida voters will have to ask themselves if they really want that at a time when unemployment remains high, the nation’s fiscal crisis a growing cancer, and America’s standing abroad is hostile to friends and hospitable to foes.

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