Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 2, 2010

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION, FLORIDA EDITION.... Florida Republicans have been burdened with a series of corruption scandals in recent years, and today's revelations won't help the state party's bruised image.

Jim Greer, tapped by Gov. Charlie Crist to run the Republican Party of Florida, was charged today with six felony counts, in what appears to be a massive fraud/money laundering operation.

The indictment ... lays out an expansive financial effort. According to prosecutors, Mr. Greer set up a consulting firm called Victory Strategies, then pushed through a contract with the firm that assigned it 10 percent of all major donations to the Republican Party. The firm received $199,254.50 in 2009, according to prosecutors, 60 percent of which went to Mr. Greer, with the rest paid to his partner, Delmar Johnson, who is cooperating with authorities.

Victory Strategies, prosecutors said, also received about $60,000 from vendors who were directed to pay the firm by Mr. Greer, often with emails that did not say what the money was for, only that it should be paid "per the chairman."

And despite these windfalls -- in a hint at Mr. Greer's motives -- bank records show that Mr. Greer was short of cash. He had overdrawn at least one of his bank accounts by an average of more than $10,000 a month through most of last year, according to the affidavit of arrest.

Asked where the money went, William Shepherd, the state prosecutor said Mr. Greer "just used the money for his own personal lifestyle."

This certainly doesn't help Charlie Crist, who put Greer in a position of authority, but it may also hurt Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio, who used credit cards from Greer's state party for a variety of personal expenses.

Nevertheless, Greer seemed to work out quite a scheme for himself. It's not exactly news that will help inspire confidence in the state GOP. It doesn't help RNC Chairman Michael Steele, either -- Steele was anxious to have the accused felon lead the national party's influential Rules Committee.


Steve Benen 3:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (14)

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remember, this is the clown who was appalled when obama had the temerity to speak to school children.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on June 2, 2010 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK


Look, I like money and 'stuff' as much as the next person, but how in the world can there be such an epidemic of people in positions of responsibility who either a) think this is ok or b) think they can get away with it? It just seems to me that we are coming to the logical culmination of the era that started in 1980, with Reagan's philosophy of 'He who dies with the most toys, wins.'

Posted by: dcsusie on June 2, 2010 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

This guy is just another clown, but keep your eyes on Karl Rove and the money he is raising which isn't classified as "Republican Party" money. He is the one we need to fear.

Posted by: MuddyLee on June 2, 2010 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Damn! Just who the hell does this Greer fellow think he is?

Goldman Sachs?

Posted by: neill on June 2, 2010 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

What? gambling in a Casino? I am shocked!

Someone with the know-how ought to do the footage of that scene in Casablanca and mouth-over that sentence with:

"What? Corruption in the Republican party? I am shocked!"


Posted by: stevio on June 2, 2010 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

I'm bracing for the inevitable firestorm of news coverage, investigative reporting, and editorials about the greed and corruption on display here.

Oh wait, they're Republicans, so never mind.

Look! Al and Tipper are divorcing!

Posted by: terraformer on June 2, 2010 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

We have more and more examples, from Boehner and Palin on downward, that the result of the GOP's decades-long political strategy of telling the rubes whatever they want to hear in order to get into power and shovel money to yourself and your pals is that, when they don't have access to government power, they use the same technique in the only place they do have power, the GOP itself.

Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of guys.

Posted by: Redshift on June 2, 2010 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Talking about rethug crooks, wonder when Ensign will be taken to court?

Posted by: jJS on June 2, 2010 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a solution to that particular conundrum:

Start with writing about the issue. Lay out the progressive position, and why it works. Lay out the conservative position and why it doesnt work; Why it is harmful to Americans & our future. How it has failed in the past.

THEN you write about what Palin has said previously. And then, finally, you write about her latest loony antics.

Don't bury the lead. The lead is that we are right and they are wrong. As long as the lead is what Palin said or did she will continue driving the news...

Posted by: Danny on June 2, 2010 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

""Just used the money for his own personal lifestyle." This is the kind and gentle way of saying he blew it all on hookers and blow. Probably.

Posted by: Curmudgeon on June 2, 2010 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

While the Republican Party has had control of the state government in Florida for quite a while now, it is a potential swing state.

It is just possible with the truly remarkable amounts of corruption coming to light there (comparable to what we have been seeing in New Jersey, and much more widespread than in Illinois), that we might see the Democrats win the governorship and majorities in the state legislature. Not to mention the Senate Race in which both Crist and Rubio have fairly close ties to these emerging/ongoing scandals.

Posted by: tanstaafl on June 2, 2010 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

If MoveOn wanted to make an impact on this year's elections, their best bet would probably be to make the case that the Republican party as a whole has been much more corrupt in the last decade than we have seen from either party in the previous 50 years or more.

- Abramoff and the dozens of Republican congresspeople or their staffs that he ensnared in his web.
- Blatant solicitation of bribes by Duke Cunningham leading to several years in jail for him and ensnaring 2 CEOs, another congressman, Dusty Foggo from the Pentagon and probably would have lead to people in both the CIA and the Bush/Cheney White House if the firing of the San Diego U.S. Attorney hadn't largely de-railed that investigation.
- sloppy bookkeeping and inappropriate expenses at the RNC.
- literally dozens of other cases large and small at both the national and state level.

While corruption is endemic to politics and ensnares both Democrats and Republicans and for that matter politicians and political parties of all stripes around the world, the breadth and depth of the scandals surrounding the Republicans in the last few years is unusual and did come about after less than 15 years of them gaining majorities in the U.S. Congress.

Posted by: tanstaafl on June 2, 2010 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand the fuss.
No taxpayer money was involved -- so who cares?
Here's a small hint to the people and corporations who might be inclined to donate $ to Publicans:
When somebody tells you that...
...(a) they believe government cannot, by definition, work efficiently or effectively, and is inherently corrupt;
...(b) money and "freedom" [from responsibility for anything] are the only things that matter;
...(c) in their eyes, only a liar, fool, and/or power-mad, elitist, know-it-all busybody would pretend to do anything in service to the public at large (except to serve in the military -- though that's of course for the help to do); and that...
...(d) they themselves are only in it for the money...
...you should probably believe them.
This in turn suggests that you should not profess surprise or indignation when it turns out they're robbing you blind, too.

Posted by: smartalek on June 3, 2010 at 5:14 AM | PERMALINK

Not just Florida, but our entire government needs an overhaul. I just don't get why people won't vote out incumbents.

Posted by: Terry on August 24, 2010 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK



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