Rubio hits Crist on Greer arrest in new web video

posted at 11:36 am on June 3, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

It didn’t take long for Marco Rubio’s campaign to hammer Charlie Crist after the arrest of Jim Greer, the former chair of the Florida GOP, on corruption charges. Crist installed Greer in that position, and in a December 2009 interview, defended Greer from charges that Greer had mismanaged the Republican Party’s money:

Salon also saw bad news for Crist in Greer’s arrest:

Florida authorities say Greer took at least $125,000 in GOP funds for his own personal use, and they charged him with four counts of grand theft, one count of money laundering and one count of running an organized fraud scheme. Officials say Greer set up a company, Victory Strategies, and hired it for the Florida party to raise money — and keep 10 percent of what it brought in. Greer had resigned his post in February, facing questions about the party’s extravagant credit card spending.

But Crist had been a patron of Greer’s, taking advantage of his post as governor to install him as chairman of the state party. Crist pushed hard for Greer in 2007, after Greer had raised money for Crist’s gubernatorial campaign the year before.

Worse, the documents filed in the case by authorities make clear that Crist’s campaign was aware that Greer had the state party bill them $30,000 for polling by Victory Strategies — which the campaign never ordered, and never paid. The party had already paid Greer’s firm for the poll. So the state party’s chief financial officer, Richard Swarttz, “sought repayment on several occasions from the Crist campaign for the [Victory Strategies] poll,” an affidavit filed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement says. The Crist campaign “recall this bill being forwarded to them, but they denied payment for it because they did not know anything about a poll done by the [state party] for the campaign.”

Which means, potentially, Crist’s aides could have stumbled onto evidence of the scheme before authorities did. And that could mean the arrest becomes an issue in the Senate race this fall. Crist’s campaign did not immediately return a call for comment on the affidavit Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Crist tried to make mileage off of a controversy over the use of party credit cards. That story hinged off the release of American Express bills from an anonymous source shortly after Greer left his position as GOP chair in Florida. No one has identified the leaker, but the story intended to hit Rubio at a time when Crist had fallen far off the pace and needed a miracle to recover his standing in the Republican primary. That leak triggered an FBI and IRS investigation that threatened to encompass both candidates.

Instead, the scandal turns out to be Greer’s, and Crist is the man who put him in charge of the money.  Crist didn’t hesitate to hit Rubio on the credit card issue, and turnabout is fair play.


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Comments

Sorry Charlie, but the pollution around you rivals that of BP’s.

rbj on June 3, 2010 at 11:39 AM

“Mismanaged” funds? Hello! He embezzled huge amounts from doners.

That is true corruption. What does Jeb Bush say about this?

AnninCA on June 3, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Glass houses.

logis on June 3, 2010 at 11:40 AM

And, yes, Crist blew it with the credit card attacks. The only thing to be said about that is that it lends credence that he was in the dark about just how much money was missing and why.

AnninCA on June 3, 2010 at 11:40 AM

I am pretty sure that the only person who makes worse decisions based on political outcomes then Gov. Crist is Mr. Obama. Unfortunately Mr. Obama’s poor decisions hurt a lot of people.

Cindy Munford on June 3, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-da
If you’re not greedy, you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do

Asher on June 3, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Karma stew. It’s gonna be meaty.

RobertInLexington on June 3, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Schweet!

…and I got to shake hands and get a pic w/ Rubio a couple days ago in Sarasota! :)

ornery_independent on June 3, 2010 at 11:44 AM

I’m not sure if it’s entirely fair to hit Crist with Greer…but suffice to say it IS fair to consider the governor untrustworthy for sure.

JetBoy on June 3, 2010 at 11:45 AM

waiting for Crist to be inducted into Obama’s administration for exemplary behavior…..

search4truth on June 3, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Wow. I bet Charlie is really red-faced now. Plus he is probably really embarassed by this whole fiasco with Greer, too!!

Dan Pet on June 3, 2010 at 11:47 AM

After the ties to Scott Rothstein who is now in trouble for a 1.2 billion Ponzi scheme Crist is running into nothing but trouble.

CommentGuy on June 3, 2010 at 11:48 AM

I would like to see a republican version of SEIU show up on Charlie’s lawn demanding refunds from their campaign donations.

booter on June 3, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Poor Charlie, it’s about to get even lonelier as an independent.

cartooner on June 3, 2010 at 11:48 AM

ornery_independent on June 3, 2010 at 11:44 AM

i got to meet his stunning wife at CPAC!

MM
MM
MM
oh and yea, i met him too.

blatantblue on June 3, 2010 at 11:49 AM

I’m not sure if it’s entirely fair to hit Crist with Greer…but suffice to say it IS fair to consider the governor untrustworthy for sure.

JetBoy on June 3, 2010 at 11:45 AM

hat!

blatantblue on June 3, 2010 at 11:50 AM

I would like to see a republican version of SEIU show up on Charlie’s lawn demanding refunds from their campaign donations.

booter on June 3, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Bleh…no. Let the Left act like a bunch of water buffaloes.

Asher on June 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM

hat!

blatantblue on June 3, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Lol

Asher on June 3, 2010 at 11:52 AM

i got to meet his stunning wife at CPAC!

MM
MM
MM
oh and yea, i met him too.

blatantblue on June 3, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Does a bit of jealousy make me a bad person?

ornery_independent on June 3, 2010 at 11:52 AM

I’m not sure if it’s entirely fair to hit Crist with Greer…but suffice to say it IS fair to consider the governor untrustworthy for sure.

JetBoy on June 3, 2010 at 11:45 AM

JetBoy JetBoy JetBoy …
Did you not see the debate on Fox News Sunday between Rubio and Crist? Rubio stuck to the issues, and Crist was was a whiny pr!ck who kept going for the personal attacks about the discredited credit card bs. Crist deserves to go down hard on, er, I mean with greer.

ornery_independent on June 3, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Does a bit of jealousy make me a bad person?

ornery_independent on June 3, 2010 at 11:52 AM

noooo
it makes you a smart one!

blatantblue on June 3, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Remember when Crist claimed Rubio spent campaign money on a hair wax at a spa?

John the Libertarian on June 3, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Smart, hit Christ with it now, so that the Democrat can’t hit Rubio with it later.

barnone on June 3, 2010 at 12:01 PM

HOIST by his own petard, it appears. Sorry, Charlie.

iurockhead on June 3, 2010 at 12:03 PM

JetBoy JetBoy JetBoy …
Did you not see the debate on Fox News Sunday between Rubio and Crist? Rubio stuck to the issues, and Crist was was a whiny pr!ck who kept going for the personal attacks about the discredited credit card bs. Crist deserves to go down hard on, er, I mean with greer.

ornery_independent on June 3, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Crist looks like he’s always been on the defensive, but when it comes to Greer, listen to his word choice. Again, I was once a proponent of Crist’s…I know, shocka!…but since he bolted the GOP believe me, I’ve seen the real Charlie Crist.

hat!

blatantblue on June 3, 2010 at 11:50 AM

I paid 24.95 for an edible hat, plus shipping, and never got it! I know, no excuse…but no worries you will see me eat some fedora flautas or something.

JetBoy on June 3, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Its the……..

Barack Obama Effect!!

canopfor on June 3, 2010 at 12:12 PM

I paid 24.95 for an edible hat, plus shipping, and never got it! I know, no excuse…but no worries you will see me eat some fedora flautas or something.

JetBoy on June 3, 2010 at 12:05 PM

JetBoy: Remember,you threatened to get drunk,did you
eat,zee hat,and,forget!!!

And,I’M KIDDING YOU-:)

canopfor on June 3, 2010 at 12:14 PM

I paid 24.95 for an edible hat, plus shipping, and never got it! I know, no excuse…but no worries you will see me eat some fedora flautas or something.

JetBoy on June 3, 2010 at 12:05 PM

If it is the pretty hat cake from yesterday, save me a piece with flowers.

Laura in Maryland on June 3, 2010 at 12:26 PM

The Court Documents
===============================================

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/media/acrobat/2010-06/54072700.pdf

canopfor on June 3, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Poor Charlie, it’s about to get even lonelier as an independent.

cartooner on June 3, 2010 at 11:48 AM

If he knew about and facilitated this, maybe he’ll make a “friend” in jail:

Knock, Knock
Who’s there?
Orange
Orange who?
Orange ya gonna toss some salad?

Laura in Maryland on June 3, 2010 at 12:32 PM

. What does Jeb Bush say about this?

AnninCA on June 3, 2010 at 11:39 AM

“Where’s My cut?”

portlandon on June 3, 2010 at 12:45 PM

I think that the GOP regulars have destroyed their own party by not overseeing the money.

This is basic accounting, folks. No excuse.

We’re not talking about some small outfit that can’t install proper accounting procedures.

AnninCA on June 3, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Orange who?
Orange ya gonna toss some salad?

Laura in Maryland on June 3, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Laura in Maryland: Oh my freaggin ears,haha,you is
BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD–:)

canopfor on June 3, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Crist is the one that should be worried. From an article in April by the St Pete Times

“They had Jim Greer’s travel expense records and wanted me to react to some of the issues surrounding that debacle. … There wasn’t one single question asked about Marco Rubio. There were a lot of questions asked about Jim Greer, (former party executive director) Delmar Johnson, Victory Strategies (the Johnson/Greer company paid by the party) and the (Greer) 527,” said Hoffman…

Definitely they asked about the relationship between the Crist campaign and the party, relative to the co-mingling of funds. … I believe they’re after any federal election law violations, tax avoidance issues, and criminal fraud.”

Nelsa on June 3, 2010 at 1:33 PM

I’d hate to run into him in a public restroom.

artist on June 3, 2010 at 1:37 PM

When you swim in the sewer, don’t be surprised if you smell…

Sorry, Charlie. The party’s over…

Khun Joe on June 3, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Charlie Crist, the Michael Scott of politics.

surrounded on June 3, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Way to go Rubio…….
Kick this RINO back to the tar pits where he belongs.

hawkman on June 3, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Time for Obambi to offer Charlie a job, he’ll need one.

skanter on June 3, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Time for Obambi to offer Charlie a job, he’ll need one.

skanter on June 3, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Oh man, at this point, I’ll send Crist money to stay in!

Saltysam on June 3, 2010 at 3:28 PM