Alternate headline: “Lowest form of life on Earth discovered in Florida.” This too is a flip-flop, of course; in fact, it’s a flip-flop twice over. The day he formally declared as an independent, he started offering pro-rated refunds. The day after that, he told MSNBC he’d “probably” give people their money back. Two weeks later, here’s what “probably” means:
A couple hours before Crist officially becomes an NPA voter, campaign spokeswoman Michelle Todd said there will be no refunds. Asked if that amounts to a flip-flop, she said, “We have never made an official statement before. It is now the official statement. They donated to the Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate Campaign and it’s still the Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate Campaign.”
Said the Rubio campaign: “As Charlie Crist continually reinvents himself to do-say-be anything to win an election, he is now going back on his word to Floridians and is decidedly not listening to the people. It seems that Charlie Crist is only willing to listen to the people if they dont want a refund from his campaign.”
This is all perfectly legal from what I understand. Despite the byzantine restrictions on fundraising under McCain-Feingold and other campaign finance laws, there’s no requirement that a party-switcher has to refund your money. Under any other form of contract — I give you X in exchange for your promise to do Y — failure to do Y would constitute breach. As it is, millions of dollars donated by Republicans will now be applied towards electing a guy who might very well end up caucusing with the Democrats if he wins. Unreal.
The silver lining is that, just two weeks in, this tool is already so worried about his money well running dry that he’s willing to endure the horrible publicity he’ll get from this in order to keep the dough he’s got. Which means we’re in for plenty more entertainingly desperate moves if, as expected, his candidacy starts to implode down the stretch. Exit question: Have we now officially reached the point where Meek is the preferred second choice in Florida? Honestly, at this point, if Crist wins, it’ll take a 100-seat pickup in the House to ease my pain.