The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Florida Democrats Try to Connect Crist and Republicans to Greer Arrest

Today’s news that former Florida GOP chair Jim Greer was under arrest provided state Democrats with new glue in their ongoing effort to stick his spending

Henry Hamer
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jun 02, 2010

Today’s news that former Florida GOP chair Jim Greer was under arrest provided state Democrats with new glue in their ongoing effort to stick his spending misuse allegations to leading Republican candidates and independent Senate hopeful Charlie Crist.

Greer faces six charges — four counts of felony grand theft and one each of organized scheme to defraud and money laundering — in connection with an investigation into allegations he had created a fake company to siphon off party revenue. Greer, who became party chair in 2007, resigned under duress in early January following unrelated reports of lavish spending and poor fundraising.

Following Greer’s resignation, party officials learned about his creation of Victory Strategies LLC. The company had a secret contract with the party under which it would help the party with fundraising and would keep 10 percent of every major gift. State Prosecutor William Shepherd accused Greer, who owned 60 percent of Victory Strategies, of stealing and laundering that money. He kept $125,161.50 of it for himself.

Damon Chase, Greer’s attorney, told reporters Wednesday that Greer had done nothing illegal. If convicted, he could face more than 75 years in prison.

The Florida Democratic Party quickly pounced on the news, with party chair Karen Thurman issuing a press statement in which she excoriated Crist and others for their connections to Greer.

While Greer was Gov. Charlie Crist’s handpicked Republican Chairman, Bill McCollum was Jim Greer’s handpicked gubernatorial candidate. A fact Bill McCollum was happy to tout at the time, but now is trying to conveniently forget.

Now with disgraced Republican Speaker Ray Sansom under indictment, Former Republican Party Chair Jim Greer under arrest, and most of the Republican leadership in Florida, including Crist and Speaker Marco Rubio, under criminal investigation, Floridians are forced to watch the car wreck that has become the Republican Party of Florida and wonder which GOP party boss or elected official will be taken off in handcuffs next.

Crist may be particularly susceptible to criticism of his Greer ties — he was the one who appointed Greer as GOP head. He also vehemently defended Greer as other party leaders attempted to force him out.

During a press conference today on the Gulf Coast oil spill, Crist said he was “disappointed” by Greer’s arrest but that he did not “feel complicit” in what happened. He also said he did not believe news of the arrest would affect his Senate bid.

“As I said earlier, it’s disappointing, it’s surprising,” he said. “Sometimes you’re disappointed by people.”

State Sen. John Thrasher, who succeeded Greer as party chair, told reporters he feels Crist should take some of the blame for the scandal.

“I don’t think you can walk away from the fact that this guy was at one time your best buddy in politics, that you relied on day-in and day-out, and now say that because he’s been indicted ‘I never had anything to do with it,’” he said. “I don’t think you can walk away from it.”

Thrasher’s comments are the latest round in a battle royale that has raged since Crist announced he would opt out of a contentious primary race against Rubio in favor of an independent bid for the state’s open Senate seat.

Henry Hamer | I'm currently working for Google's Chrome team in Munich, Germany, as a developer advocate. I was a member of the team responsible for the online presence of, one of Germany's largest daily newspapers, from January 2010 to November 2011. I used to work for Yahoo! on their similarly massive European news pages before joining Sueddeutsche. I've concentrated my efforts on the internet, which has turned out to be a fantastic decision.


Giffords shooting leads nation to introspection and political finger wagging

In the wake of the shooting in Arizona this weekend that critically injured Rep.

EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management

At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from

E-Verify Mandate Begins Today

The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm

EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules

The EPA seal (Pic via The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.

EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann  has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.

EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’

In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work

EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria

The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards

EPA Analysis Says Climate Bill’s Cost for Households Would Be ‘Modest’

All the attention on the energy front today is going to the BP spill, but the Environmental Protection Agency quietly released its long-anticipated analysis of

EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy |