We weren't all that familiar with U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns -- a gray-haired motel magnate from Ocala -- until Tuesday, when he tried to revive the long-exploded birther movement by questioning President Obama's birth certificate at a town hall meeting. Well, that must have been one hell of a town hall, because more video from the same meeting is now blowing up the left-leaning blogosphere -- this time of Stearns suggesting that the U.S. should make some fast cash by selling off a few national parks. How much for the Everglades, Cliff?
"We don't need more national parks in our country, we need to actually sell off some of our national parks," says Stearns, who, by the way, is also under investigation for bribery at the moment.
To be fair, Stearns -- who is also a big fan of the Santorum sweater vest -- doesn't specify to his Belleview audience which of our national treasures he'd sell off to the strip mining industry. Given that he lives in Florida, maybe he's actually checked out the Everglades once or twice and would spare the River of Grass from his plans.
Stearns national park privatization dreams may not be his biggest headache this week. He's also under attack in his home district from an opponent who claims Stearns supporters tried to bribe him to drop out of this year's Congressional race.
Jimmy Jett, the well-named clerk in Clay County, says that two of Stearns backers offered him cash and a job if he dropped out of a primary race.
"I'm sure diehard Cliff Stearns supporters are not going to believe it. I can't do anything about that," Jett tells the Gainesville Sun.
Jett tells the paper he's been working with the FBI; the agency doesn't confirm or deny whether it's looking into the matter. Stearns tells the Sun the allegations are "unfounded" and "contemptuous."
Kind of like Stearns stances on national parks and Obama's citizenship?
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