$5,000 for Jimmy Buffett seems like a deal next to $17,600 for Obama

Today we're pulling the curtains back on everything from secret concerts to bogus campaign claims.

Let's start with last weekend's Jimmy Buffett concert.

Didn't hear anything about the show?

Well, you're not alone. Most Parrotheads missed it. And for good reason — because it was a private affair that cost $5,000 to attend.

The event was a fundraiser for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, and Buffett performed barefoot in the backyard of John "For the People" Morgan's Heathrow mansion Sunday evening.

The set was short — just a few songs, including "Margaritaville" and "Volcano." But the cash haul was big — about $500,000, according to Morgan.

"The best night ever," Morgan said, adding that the highlight was when Buffett agreed to play his and his wife's special song: "Come Monday."

Here's the hitch though: Ultima Morgan wasn't in the crowd to hear it.

Though John's a big Dem, Ultima is a staunch pro-life conservative who usually avoids her husband's fundraisers. (The Democratic ones, anyway. Morgan has also raised money for Republicans such as Dean Cannon and Charlie Crist.)

Still, on this night, Ultima couldn't help herself completely. She stuck around the house — and even poked her head out on the balcony when she heard Buffett start strumming her song.

Faulty claims

Speaking of Cannon, the House speaker-designate is among multiple legislators making an incredibly gutsy — and questionable — claim in their campaign mailers.

The claim: that he "Balanced Florida's budget without raising taxes or fees."

It's those last two words that are simply not true. Not for all years, anyway.

To the contrary, Cannon and his legislative peers made headlines in 2009 for jacking up fees for everything from drivers licenses to state park admissions.

We're talking up to $1 billion worth of new fees. Drivers-license costs alone nearly doubled, from $27 to $48. Car-title fees went from $24 to $70.

In short, instead of trimming costs or closing existing special-interest tax loopholes, these guys balanced their budget on the backs of rank-and-file Floridians.

The move was widely decried. So what's Cannon's excuse for making such a claim now?

In an e-mail, he said he was boasting about not raising fees in this year's budget … not last year's.

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