Greer’s attorney says Crist personally signed off on cash diversion

posted at 11:36 am on June 7, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Charlie Crist claimed not to know anything about the deal that allowed his handpicked state GOP chair, Jim Greer, to take 10% off the top of Republican spending.  Greer’s attorney accused Crist of lying and said that the Governor “personally approved” the fundraising arrangement.  The idea came from the man that Crist appointed as the placeholder for the Senate seat Crist now seeks, according to Greer’s attorney:

Gov. Charlie Crist personally signed off on his former Republican Party chairman’s confidential fundraising role with the state party, according to Jim Greer’s attorney, whose allegation contradicts the governor’s statement that he “didn’t know anything” about the deal now part of a criminal investigation.

State investigators say Greer and the party’s former executive director, Delmar W. Johnson III, secretly set up a shell company called Victory Strategies to divert party money and enrich themselves. Greer was charged Wednesday with fraud and money laundering.

But Greer’s attorney, Damon Chase, said Saturday that the deal giving them a 10 percent cut of party donations was legal. What’s more, Chase said Crist’s former right-hand man, now U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, first proposed the idea that they earn a fundraising commission to save the party money and replace the $30,000-a-month contract with fundraiser Meredith O’Rourke.

“You guys work hard. You deserve it,” Chase said Greer was told by the governor as they played pool in February 2009 at a Palm Beach golf tournament.

Greer’s attorney could well be repeating lies and/or spin told by Greer, of course.  Greer needs to find some kind of lifeline out of a moderately-long stay in Club Fed if these charges remain in place through a trial.  Chase wants to argue that the arrangements were legal,  and the best way to do that is to connect as many people to them as possible.  If the Governor signed off on the deal, then Greer couldn’t have believed it to be illegal, which only works to mitigate rather than exculpate if the deal in fact broke the law.  It helps the defense argue that there was no intent to break the law, even if it did in fact get broken, and that could have an impact on sentencing.

None of that helps Crist if this turns out to be true, though.  Even if the deal turns out to be entirely legal, it looks like a way to launder money back to Crist’s supporters in the GOP establishment.  Crist picked Greer for the role, and in return Greer threw elbows within the state GOP for Crist, while making himself a tidy amount of money in fundraising commissions.  There just isn’t any good way to spin a party chair taking 10% off the top of a fundraising responsibility he would have in any case.

It puts Crist into a tighter vise as well.  He will have to respond by calling Greer a liar, but it was Crist himself who put Greer in that position.  Even if Greer and Chase are lying, it reminds voters that Crist has a serious problem with judgment, and that comes on top of his decision to abandon the GOP for no other reason than because Marco Rubio was more popular than Crist.


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Sorry, Charlie. Time to update the old resume.

jdflorida on June 7, 2010 at 11:39 AM

And the plot thickens…

sandee on June 7, 2010 at 11:40 AM

The more I hear about Crist sucking up to unions and vetoing perfectly good legislation, and now the possibility that he knew about this scenario with Greer, the more I have to wonder if Crist will announce that he is a Democrat.

VibrioCocci on June 7, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Kathleen Parker thinks that both Greer and Crist are telling the truth, but that Crist is being treated unfairly

DrAllecon on June 7, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Send that fool to the Pokey.

abobo on June 7, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Didn’t Toonces just throw the Democrat candidate under the bus, and throw his support back to Crist?

Heh

MNHawk on June 7, 2010 at 11:42 AM

We do know that Crist said he would stay a Republican, and has since broken that pledge. Seems to me he’s the liar.

rbj on June 7, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Even if Greer and Chase are lying, it reminds voters that Crist has a serious problem with judgment, and that comes on top of his decision to abandon the GOP for no other reason than because Marco Rubio was more popular than Crist.

Next Crist campaign ad:

“Greer used money to pay off Rubio’s credit card!”

heh

ted c on June 7, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Don’t worry. Crist will issue a statement condemning Greer for keeping money that isn’t rightfully his……errrr, wait a sec. That might be a tad hypocritical.

Doughboy on June 7, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. ~George Jean Nathan

portlandon on June 7, 2010 at 11:48 AM

the more I have to wonder if Crist will announce that he is a Democrat.

VibrioCocci on June 7, 2010 at 11:40 AM

I’d give it even money. There was the story earlier this morning that Meek’s candidacy isn’t gaining ground in the polls. I could see Obama (or Rahm) gently easing Meek out of the race just in time for Crist to announce yet another change, from indy to out and out Democrat.

jwolf on June 7, 2010 at 11:48 AM

abobo on June 7, 2010 at 11:41 AM

You’re right Crist should go to the pokey.

chemman on June 7, 2010 at 11:49 AM

I sincerely hope that Crist gets buried in the election, but to be honest the man would fit right in with the rest of the criminal douchebags in congress.

Bishop on June 7, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Charlie Crist in the final stages of producing “EPIC FAIL” in theaters in November 2010!

tim c on June 7, 2010 at 11:52 AM

With the right Democrat advisors in place, Crist can turn this negative into a positive.

myrenovations on June 7, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Ooooops !

stenwin77 on June 7, 2010 at 11:56 AM

I am very hard pressed to explain exactly why Choo-Choo Charlie Crist is even wasting his time continuing this insane campaign of his, and the only explanation I can come up with that makes any sense is that the man is either completely deluding himself or is corrupt beyond comprehension.

On the other hand, he could be just plain nuts.

pilamaye on June 7, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Maybe I saw Marco Rubio on Fox and Friends at 6am this morning after he read this (talking about the BP spill) but I kept saying under my breath “quit smiling Marco quit smiling Marco”. Fortunately he turned serious.

Marcus on June 7, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Crist is a perfect fit for our leadership: corrupt and self serving.

rickyricardo on June 7, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Crist is the poster boy for transparently corrupt career “public service”.

Weathervane principles in search of a breeze.

ontherocks on June 7, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Crist is a perfect fit for our leadership: corrupt and self serving.

rickyricardo on June 7, 2010 at 12:03 PM

“Don’t Change A Winning Team”

the_nile on June 7, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Ooooops !

stenwin77 on June 7, 2010 at 11:56 AM

a big ooopsie

cmsinaz on June 7, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Charlie Christ needs a flaming barbed wire enema…

Has JetBoy eaten his hat yet?

JohnBG on June 7, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Charlie Crist is just too classy to pull a stunt like this.

……..JetBoy

Knucklehead on June 7, 2010 at 12:12 PM

the more I have to wonder if Crist will announce that he is a Democrat.

VibrioCocci on June 7, 2010 at 11:40 AM
I’d give it even money. There was the story earlier this morning that Meek’s candidacy isn’t gaining ground in the polls. I could see Obama (or Rahm) gently easing Meek out of the race just in time for Crist to announce yet another change, from indy to out and out Democrat.

jwolf on June 7, 2010 at 11:48 AM

I don’t think he can officially change on the ballot, as the primary is over. He could announce that if elected, he’ll caucus with the Dems.

Wethal on June 7, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Many people claim that businessmen are corrupt. I posit that the most corrupt entities in the US are the democrat and republican parties.

Vashta.Nerada on June 7, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Isn’t that fun?

SlaveDog on June 7, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Watch for Cha-Cha Charlie to do the Crisis Dance. He sees opportunity in using the oil spill “crisis” to make himself look like the “good guy”, the one who can save Florida from further tragedy. He’s already pushing for a Constitutional Amendment to permanently ban offshore drilling in Florida. This disaster provides a perfect distraction from his actual record.

ornery_independent on June 7, 2010 at 12:19 PM

“I’ve got to get another hat.”

–Bullwinkle J. Moose

Emperor Norton on June 7, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Hoisted with his own petard.

Ted Torgerson on June 7, 2010 at 12:23 PM

With apologies to the person known to me only as “JetBoy”, who is it that would continue to support Charlie Crist? What now represents his base?

Jaibones on June 7, 2010 at 12:23 PM

It helps the defense argue that there was no intent to break the law, even if it did in fact get broken and that could have an impact on sentencing.

“Intent” means intent to commit the illegal act; not intent to specifically violate a satute.

Imagining that a governor saying it’s OK magically makes it legal would be equivalent to an “ignorance of the law” defense. And that is NEVER admissible, even during bifurcated sentencing hearings.

logis on June 7, 2010 at 12:25 PM

He approved the fund-raising arrangement for the people of Florida.

SlaveDog on June 7, 2010 at 12:35 PM

The more I hear about Crist sucking up to unions and vetoing perfectly good legislation, and now the possibility that he knew about this scenario with Greer, the more I have to wonder if Crist will announce that he is a Democrat.

VibrioCocci on June 7, 2010 at 11:40 AM

He seems to have the right moral compass to be one.

Aviator on June 7, 2010 at 12:47 PM

I can’t believe this idiot actually started the credit card debate.

Did he not know this scam was about to crash?

AnninCA on June 7, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Crist is as dispicable as they come, isn’t he?

This man has been making back room deals with Dems, and we’re supposed to give him benefit of the doubt? I know innocent til proven guilty, but I’m thoroughly convinced, as Governor, and appointer of Greer, he knew everything from beginning to end!

capejasmine on June 7, 2010 at 1:04 PM

I LOVE the smell of napalm in the morning!

tree hugging sister on June 7, 2010 at 1:10 PM

This is a definite “Oh sh*t” moment if ever there was one.

TQM38a on June 7, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Charlie Crist is just too classy to pull a stunt like this.

……..JetBoy

Knucklehead on June 7, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Not long ago, I might have said that.

Cripes, again…I was SOOOO WRONG about Crist. Believe me, it hurts. Anyhoo, back to my “Boehner 2012″ shtick. At least HE wouldn’t let me down. ?

JetBoy on June 7, 2010 at 1:19 PM

What I find interesting is the fact that the political reporters for the Herald and St. Pete Times lapped up the Florida GOP “establishment’s” attempt at pinning this scandal on Rubio, a couple of months ago.

SWLiP on June 7, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Once again confirming the glaring fact“There is no such thing as a ‘moderate republican!”

Given a few more years Crist would follow in the footsteps of those scumbag “moderates” Arlin Specter and Jim Jeffords.

kregg on June 7, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Once again confirming the glaring fact“There is no such thing as a ‘moderate republican’!”

Given a few more years Crist would follow in the footsteps of those scumbag “moderates” Arlin Specter and Jim Jeffords.

kregg on June 7, 2010 at 1:59 PM

VibrioCocci on June 7, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

Shay on June 7, 2010 at 2:16 PM

…and Christ didn’t want to return campaign contributions after bolting the Republican Party – my, my, my

talking stick on June 7, 2010 at 2:42 PM

…and Crist didn’t want to return campaign contributions after bolting the Republican Party – my, my, my

talking stick on June 7, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Crist needs to devote the rest of his career to furthering the cause of fake tan research.

viking01 on June 7, 2010 at 2:59 PM

I’d give it even money. There was the story earlier this morning that Meek’s candidacy isn’t gaining ground in the polls. I could see Obama (or Rahm) gently easing Meek out of the race just in time for Crist to announce yet another change, from indy to out and out Democrat.

jwolf on June 7, 2010 at 11:48 AM

I think that SecNav position just found its new occupant….

VelvetElvis on June 7, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Hey guys!

I’ve submitted a new word to Webster’s and the Oxford Dictionary. What do you think?

Crist

Crist\n

1. A mucous like slime that dries to a crumbly powder, usually forming between the buttocks cheeks of union lobbyists and democrat politicians.

2. A smarmy smile effected by disingenuous public figures who try to garner unwarranted sympathy, support or cash contributions.

Crist\v

1. To sell one’s soul and personal credibility in order to further one’s political career. “Boy! Arlen Specter has really Cristed himself!

FINGERS CROSSED!! (:

blueknight99 on June 7, 2010 at 3:34 PM

…the more I have to wonder if Crist will announce that he is a Democrat.

Swim toward the darkness, Charlie!

drunyan8315 on June 7, 2010 at 4:09 PM

The only thing left that could be more outrageous in this political environment would be Crist claiming to have slept with Nikki Haley too.

volsense on June 7, 2010 at 4:35 PM