Not sure how many of you have kept up with the trials and tribulations of former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer, but boy howdy! The Jim Greer Show is turning into one bomb after another.
First, some background: Jim Greer served as chairman of the Florida GOP from 2006 until 2010. Greer stepped down as party chair on Jan. 5, 2010 and on June 2, 2010, he was arrested and charged with six felonies: organized scheme to defraud, money laundering, and four counts of grand theft. The charges all center on Greer’s company, Victory Strategies LLC. Although Greer maintains that Crist and other GOP power brokers were well-aware that Greer was using Victory Strategies to raise funds for the state GOP, these folks now maintain that they had no idea about all of this, and that they were shocked — shocked, I tell you — that Greer was using a private company to raise funds for the GOP and then paying himself out of those funds.
The problem, though, is that when Greer left the chairman’s seat in January, a severance agreement signed by current state Sen. John Thrasher (who replaced Greer as party chair), then-state Sen. President Mike Haridopolos, and then-state House Speaker Dean Cannon stated that all of Greer’s fundraising activities were right and proper. Incredibly, Cannon has since maintained that he has no idea how his signature got on the agreement, and Thrasher has said publicly that there was no real agreement before having to backtrack during a sworn deposition. Haridopolos similarly maintained there was no agreement, then said he had signed no agreement, and finally said that, yes, he had signed it, but he didn’t read what he was signing.
Greer has been hung out to dry by the conservative wing of the Republican Party, and his former allies, such as former Gov. Charlie Crist, have distanced themselves as well. In a Danation post several weeks ago, I interviewed Greer lawyer Damon Chase, who maintained that Crist “has a bizarre interpretation of legal terms. Probably why he failed the bar twice” in reference to Crist’s admittedly wrongheaded allegation that Chase engaged in witness tampering.
Greer is, in other words, a man with few friends, at least politically. And so, he’s burning down the house. In 630 pages of sworn deposition, Greer has described how the conservative wing of the party, led by Thrasher, Haridopolos, and Cannon, forced him out because he represented the moderate wing led by then-Gov. Charlie Crist. That isn’t exactly the whole story. After the GOP state credit card scandal blew up in late 2009, in which party figures were found to be charging exorbitant amounts on GOP credit cards for personal items, dozens of party bigwigs and donors called for Greer to resign. One of the worst card abusers was Greer himself, though the problem was rampant and even included current Sen. Marco Rubio, who, as state House Speaker, used his GOP-issued card for groceries, booze, and repairs to a family car, among other purchases.
So, the GOP had other reasons to want Greer gone, besides the simple political machinations between the GOP’s conservative and now-practically-extinct moderate wings. But in the aforementioned deposition, Greer has apparently determined that if he’s going down, he’s taking his enemies down with him. Fun quotes:
“There was a feeling within the party that the tea party was just a bunch of whack-a-dos.”
The GOP’s budget committee consisted of “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies.”
But more important than that, and what could have larger implications for this year’s elections, is Greer’s statements on voter ID laws, which go hand-in-hand with current Gov. Rick Scott’s voter purges. In the deposition, Greer specifically states that “the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting.”
Boom! Further, he adds, that party officials maintained “minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party.”
With Gov. Moon Lizard attempting to suppress voters through purges, with even Scott’s enemies in the GOP (Thrasher, Cannon, and Haridopolos all backed Bill McCollum over Scott in the Republican gubernatorial primary.) specifically trying to suppress the black vote through voter ID laws, how long until the Department of Justice comes a-knocking?