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Kendrick Meek and the shady developer

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Over at Midtopia, I’ve been writing about Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., his mom, and the Miami Herald series exposing their connections to a developer who used lies and political donations to defraud local government out of several hundred thousand dollars.

In the latest installment, Meek fires back, defending himself in a Herald op-ed piece.

His defense? “My mom and I are close but don’t talk much, I didn’t do any due diligence, and I’m given to accepting public titles but not doing the accompanying work.”

Okay, he didn’t actually say that; it’s my translation. But it’s the essence of his case.

His defense is (generally) plausible, even if it involves him pleading cluelessness. Time will tell if it stands up to scrutiny.

UPDATE by Justin Gardner:
Politico reports that Meek is giving the money to charity:

Rep. Kendrick B. Meek (D-Fla.) told The Politico he intends to donate to charity $5,500 in campaign contributions linked to the Boston developer of a troubled project in his Miami district boosted by Meek and his mother, a former congresswoman.

The $5,500 is peanuts for Meek, who raised more than $1 million for his lightly contested 2006 reelection campaign. And he denied that the $5,500 in contributions influenced his actions in any way. But his decision to give away the cash demonstrates Meek’s concerns about his connections to the project and to Dennis Stackhouse of Boston, who along with his wife accounted for $5,000 of the sum.

Meek’s decision to donate the money comes in the wake of local media reports questioning the financing and stewardship of the project.

Again, jump over to Midtopia for the rest of the story from Sean.