PolitiFact Says Greene Flip-Flopped on the Story of His Cuba Yacht Trip

Jeff Greene
Democratic Senate Candidate Jeff Greene
TAMPA (2010-08-09) -

The primary election is two weeks from Tuesday, and the gloves are off in the U-S Senate primary between Democrats Kendrick Meek and Jeff Greene.

Meek has made an issue of Greene's alleged 2007 party cruise to Cuba aboard his yacht, prompting Greene's campaign to offer what PolitiFact Florida said are three different versions of events.

When they debated Aug. 2, Meek pressed Greene about the trip, prompting this explanation:

"I was not on the yacht on the trip you're talking about [in 2007]," Greene said. "I was on the yacht another time when I had a visa to go there to visit the Jewish community. And I can tell you, what I saw there was sad. This was a community that was a vibrant community."

Greene said the trip was five years ago.

PolitiFact Florida Editor John Bartosek said that story changed quickly after the debate, when Greene clarified that he was on the yacht in Cuba, but he had gotten a visa through the Jewish Federation as part of a humanitarian mission.

Bartosek said the story changed again the following days when Greene's campaign spokesman corrected the story. He said Greene had not been to Cuba on a humanitarian mission, nor had he secured a visa through the Jewish Federation. Instead, the yacht stopped at the island because of a hydraulic problem.

Greene earned a "Full Flop" on PolitiFact's Truth-o-Meter for his changing story.

It was Greene's second poor grade from the meter in a week. He also earned a "False" ruling for a claim he made in a mailer that Meek "was named one of the two most corrupt Democrats in Congress by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington."

CREW compiled a list in 2009 of the most corrupt members of Congress, Bartosek said, but Meek is not on it and has never been on a previous list from the group.

Bartosek said the group did put Meek on a different list of "crooked candidates" because of his connection to south Florida developer Dennis Stackhouse, who is now awaiting trial on charges that he stole $1 million from a county agency.

Bartosek said that list is not the same list Greene is apparently referencing, however.

Click here for more background on Meek's connection to Dennis Stackhouse.

Listen to our full conversation with PolitiFact Florida Editor John Bartosek.

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