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June 2010

Charlie Crist's statement to FDLE in Greer case

Gov. Charlie Crist sent a sworn written affidavit to FDLE agents investigating former Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer.

Crist responded with eight points:

1. I personally know Jim Greer, former Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF).

2. Since Mr. Greer's resignation as Chairman of RPOF, I have learned of a company called Victory Strategies, LLC.

3. Prior to Mr. Greene's resignation as Chairman, I had never heard of Victory Strategies, LLC.

Continue reading "Charlie Crist's statement to FDLE in Greer case" »

Negron quits, Villalobos and Gibbons stay

The Daily Business Review is reporting that state Sen. Joe Negron has quit Akerman Senterfitt. It is not clear if Negron quit because the firm is representing BP.

Negron joined Gunster in West Palm Beach, according to the Review.

The Review noted that two other lawmakers remain with Akerman - state Sen. Alex Villalobos and state Rep. Joe Gibbons, a nonlawyer consultant.

They also have some interesting quotes from former Attorney General Bob Butterworth about state Sen. Dan Gelber's decision to leave the firm amid criticisim from state Sen. David Aronberg. The two men are Democratic candidates for attorney general.

Go to the Daily Business Review.

Greer, Crist, Eikenberg topics of taped phone call

In an earlier Crowley Political Report post just below this one, there are excerpts from a taped phone call between Delmar Johnson and Jim Greer.

That post looks mainly at the part of the conversation where Greer wonders who is out to get them and what they can do to stop it.

In between chatting about lawyers, possible investigations and the need to stay close to each other the two men wander off on a variety of topics.

Continue reading "Greer, Crist, Eikenberg topics of taped phone call" »

Excerpts from call taped by Delmar Johnson

"I was hearing all last week that you were throwing me under the bus."

"I'm not doing that at all."

That's the opening of a 56 minute conversation on March 25, between the then ousted chairman of the Florida Republican Party, Jim Greer, and the also ousted executive director Delmar Johnson III.

And Greer repeatedly tells Johnson that the two have to stick together. "All the attorneys say that - you and Delmar need to be talking a lot." and later "All the lawyers told me you and Delmar need to stick together."

At one point, Greer says, "We've got to sit down and get back on track and neither one us have to worry about the other person."

"You never have to worrry about me," Johnson replies.

Continue reading "Excerpts from call taped by Delmar Johnson" »

Delmar Johnson trades "controlled phone calls" for freedom

Delmar Johnson III got a nice deal from prosecutors investigating former Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer and the company he set up with Johnson - Victory Strategies LLC.

According to a report  by the Orlando Sentinel, Johnson, the party's former executive director, got "No prison. No probation. No fine. No criminal record." Johnson does have to pay back $65,000 he was accused of stealing from the Republican Party.

Greer was arrested and charged with six felonies. Greer says he did nothing wrong. Prosecutors say Greer got $125,000 from Victory Strategies - money paid by the RPOF. Greer is fighting the charges.

Buried in the Orlando Sentinel story is this nugget - Johnson agreed to make "controlled telephone calls" for the investigation.

Which leaves us wondering - Did Johnson call anyone besides Greer?


Six-tenth of a Charlie Crist

Crist cartoon A new report from fivethirtyeight analyzing U.S. Senate races suggests that at this point signs are starting to show that Democrats are stablizing in races across the country.

Fivethirtyeight says that it is good news for Democrats who some believed were in a free-fall.

Whereas, as of our last update, or simulations were projecting an average of 54.0 Democratic and 46.0 Republican seats, we now show 55.2 Democrats, 44.2 Republicans, and 0.6 Charlie Crists.

Continue reading "Six-tenth of a Charlie Crist" »

Dan Gelber's BP problem

Fallingcocofin Last night, state Sen. Dan Gelber was in West Palm Beach talking to local Democrats about his campaign for Florida Attorney General.

He tossed the usual red meat to the crowd warning that Florida has been "hijacked by right wing elements" and "right wing zealots."

Gelber said he should be attorney general because he has the "experience and the gumption to get the job done."

Apparently that experience and gumption failed him when his law firm - Akerman Senterfitt - took on BP as a client. Not bad for the firm - there are gazillions to be made - but not good politically.

Continue reading "Dan Gelber's BP problem" »

Newt loves Bill McCollum and Pope John Paul II

Newt Gingrich, who was recently in Poland promoting a documentary about Pope John Paul II, left heavenly things behind long enough today to endorse Bill McCollum for governor.

Not a terribly shocking endorsement. Gingrich and McCollum were in Congress together.

“At a time when the size and scope of government is increasing at an alarming rate, our nation is looking for leaders who will fight for the principles of limited government, fiscal restraint and economic and personal freedom.  Floridians have such a leader in Bill McCollum,” Gingrich said.

Earlier this month, Gingrich, a former Baptist who became a Catholic last year, was in Warsaw promoting the documentary film Nine Days that Changed the World. The film is about a visit Pope John Paul II made to his native Poland in 1979 that helped set the stage for the eventual ouster of the communist government.

Gingrich might want to spend some time reading Gary Fineout's report about McCollum's "rookie mistakes."  It appears that McCollum may need some advise from the former Speaker of the House.

Is the media plotting to elect Alex Sink?

Justiceswing112 Last week a Republican political operative working on a number of Florida campaigns wondered aloud why the "mainstream media" had failed to take a close look at Rick Scott, a GOP candidate for governor.

Answering his own question he concluded that the MSM really wants Democrat Alex Sink to be the next governor and - as part of an MSM conspiracy - the best way to do that is let Scott defeat Attorney General Bill McCollum in the Aug. 24 primary.

After Scott wins the nomination, according to his theory (stated as fact), the MSM will begin unloading negative stories about Scott in September in a final push to elect Sink.

Continue reading "Is the media plotting to elect Alex Sink?" »

Washington Post takes a look at Jeff Greene

JeffGreene Jeff Greene gets a long profile in the Washington Post today. The reported flies in Greene's private jet, hangs out at the Palm Beach mansion and follows him to various condo campaign stops.

In any other year, Florida voters might have written off the frenetic, unpolished candidacy of the 55-year-old billionaire as yet another footnote in the list of fabulously rich businessmen who self-fund a run for higher office in midlife. Voters may still do just that.

But Greene's campaign for the Democratic nomination is looking less quixotic by the day.

It is a fairly typical reporter from-out-of-town story. Read things that have already been written by Florida newspapers, spend a couple of days traveling with the candidate, grab a couple of quotes from interesting locals, write.

Read the full story here.

Marco Rubio meets with DC bloggers

Rubiofin Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio met with bloggers in DC to talk about a host of issues.

There is a video on the next page of Rubio talking about President Obama's health care plan. Not surprisingly Rubio would get rid of most of it but he does support two important aspects of the Obama plan:

I think there are a couple of things that stand on their own that people like, like the pre-existing condition clause, I think there’s widespread support for. The idea that people up to the age of 26 should be allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance plan has widespread support. But beyond that, I think the bill should be scrapped and replaced with much better ideas like allowing individuals to have the same tax benefit as their employer does, so that they can go out and buy insurance from the individual market...

Continue reading "Marco Rubio meets with DC bloggers " »

Charlie Crist and the Demublicans

Gov. Charlie Crist's no-party campaign for the U.S. Senate has brought together a bunch of folks from both political parties who normally would not be seen together at a political function. The invitiation below (click to make larger) has names of both Democrats and Republicans hosting an event for Crist earlier this month. And it's not the only one.

Crist hosts Read more here in the St. Petersburg Times.  Maybe Crist is about to start a new party - Demublicans.

Crowley Political Report artist Pat Crowley offers one look (above) at what a Demublican mascot might look like.

Where are the campaigns with imagination?

Chiles-walkingalone 1970 It really is kind of a sad year for campaign gimmicks. All the Democrats mimic each other. All the Republicans mimic each other.

Even rich guys spending their own money is nothing new.

So far, there is a complete lack of originality among Florida's statewide candidates. Even Bud Chiles' "walk" in parts of the state is pale comparision to his dad - the late Gov. Lawton Chiles - who in 1970 walked from the Panhandle town of Century to Key Largo. Now that's a walk.

And it landed Lawton Chiles in the U.S. Senate. Bud wants to be the new "no party" governor with a more leisurely stroll.

Eight years after Lawton's walk, a young Miami Lakes state senator decided he wanted to be governor. Not a lot of voters knew that Bob Graham was rich or that his family owned extensive property in Florida and other states. They even owned - and still do - the Washington Post. Bob Graham workdays 1979 barber

Graham turned himself into a working stiff by working - and he really did - 100 different jobs. Or as the campaign said "working for governor.'

That's Graham playing  barber. He kept doing work days during two terms as governor and three terms as a U.S. Senator.

And then in 1986, another Democratic candidate for governor decided the best way to win would be to ride a horse throughout the state.

Continue reading "Where are the campaigns with imagination?" »

Jeb Bush calls Obama "childish"

Obama cartoon New York Times reporter Mat Bai had lunch with Jeb Bush last week and came away with some interesting thoughts from the never shy former Florida governor.

Bai's story begins with: For months now, Jeb Bush has been listening as President Obama blasts his older brother’s administration for the battered economy, budget deficits and even the lax oversight of oil wells.

“It’s kind of like a kid coming to school saying, ‘The dog ate my homework,’ ” Mr. Bush, this state’s former governor, said over lunch last week at the Biltmore Hotel. “It’s childish. This is what children do until they mature. They don’t accept responsibility.”

Later in the story Bush compares Obama to Hubert Humphrey:

“By and large, I think the president, instead of being a 21st-century leader, is Hubert Humphrey on steroids,” Mr. Bush said. “I don’t think there’s much newness in spending more money as the solution to every problem.”

Bai also explores Bush's popularity among Republicans and whether Bush may one day run for president.


Alex Sink gets a warning

Asink[1] Sam Oser is always a gentleman and he was very kind to Conchita Cruz.

Oser, the 80-plus, year-old president of the West Palm Beach Century Village Democratic Club, allowed Cruz to speak yesterday, on behalf of her boss CFO Alex Sink, to a gathering of club members.

When Cruz was done, Oser politely thanked her for speaking about Sink. But then Oser, still holding the micophone, gave Cruz a not-so-subtle warning for her to bring back to the Democrat candidate for governor.

"Alex Sink has not been here. Tell Alex for us we don't go down to Delray to see her. We don't go down to Boynton. We expect Alex to be here."

Thousands of Democrats live in Century Village and they all vote. And that not too gentle warning was a hint that they are getting impatient.

Democratic leaders rip Jeff Greene

Donkr Clearly there are a lot of folks in the leadership of the Florida Democratic Party who just resent the hell out of Jeff Greene.

The come-out-of-nowhere Palm Beach billionaire is getting slapped because they believe Greene is dismissive of the Democratic Party.

Greene has struggled with explaining his recent conversion to the party and Florida Democrats can be forgiven for assuming that Greene made the move as part of an opportunistic effort to "buy" a U.S. Senate seat.

Thirty party leaders signed the letter which is on the next page.

Continue reading "Democratic leaders rip Jeff Greene" »

Slugfest between Meek and Greene ends and the winner is

Democratic voters who listened to the debate between Jeff Greene and Kendrick Meek now face an interesting choice.

Greene may have surprised some folks. He proved to be an able debater. Meek, also may have surprised some folks. He too proved to be an able debater.

They clearly don't like each other. The barbs tossed back and forth had a bitter, personal edge.

Who won?

You have to give it to Greene. He wasn't perfect but it was an impressive performance for someone with little experience in debates.  He stayed on message, didn't get flustered, and he was very aggressive.

Those who wondered whether Greene has the chops to run statewide may have gotten the assurance they needed.

And the fact that Meek, for the most part, held his own really adds nothing to his campaign. As the frontrunner who reminded everyone that he has been running for more than 18 months, Meek would be expected to show-up the new kid. Meek didn't do that.