By Roger Stone I predicted in the Tampa Bay paper months ago that Senator Mel Martinez of Florida would resign his seat early to allow Governor Crist to appoint a replacement. Martinez vehemently denied it. Crist also denied it.

Sen. Mel Martinez
Martinez announced he would resign his seat last Friday - proving that he lied to the public just months ago. Whoever Crist appoints to the vacancy will spend most of their time raising money for Crist's Senate campaign. As more and more is revealed about the corruption of the Crist Administration and the massive fortunes amassed by lobbyists close to Crist, the more the Senate appointment will come under scrutiny. Last week the STONEzone revealed the tip of the iceberg regarding the corrupt and illegal practices of former Crist Chief of Staff George LeMieux. LeMieux's tendency to bill the state $500 per hour to negotiate with companies that his law firm represents is SOP in the Crist Administration. LeMieux's double dipping on the FEC railway where the state pays his law firm to negotiate a right of way for a future high speed rail system at the same time his law firm represents the railroad, is a perfect example of why the little Frenchman's business activities are certain to become a General Election issue. You see, it's always about Charlie. Having broken his pledges to the voters of Florida to lower property taxes and insurance, the tan one thinks he can now waltz off to a sinecure job in the US Senate. Governor Crist has raised selfishness to an art-form. Predictions: 1) Crist will win the GOP primary more narrowly than expected but will sustain real damage; 2) A conservative Independent will get General Election ballot status - no small feat, but will concentrate his campaign in just heavy GOP counties. A 527 that takes unlimited contributions will drive the 'conservative alternative to Crist' message; 3) Kendrick Meek will not be the Democratic nominee. Democrats will nominate a candidate with greater appeal to whites and Hispanics and far greater intellectual heft than Crist.