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Fla. GOP implicates Crist in finance scandal

By Matt DeLong

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Florida Republican Party claims its internal audit found that Gov. Charlie Crist ran up possibly "hundreds of thousands of dollars" worth of inappropriate charges in connection with the state party's spending scandal.

The review, which the party did not make public but may release later, was initiated earlier this year after former state GOP Chairman Jim Greer was forced from office, in part by accusations of extravagant spending. Thrasher, who took Greer's place, discussed the report's findings after a three-hour, closed-door meeting with the party's executive board at Disney's Boardwalk Resort.
He said auditors found that Crist, Greer and Delmar Johnson, the party's former executive director, may have inappropriately spent money on travel, consultants, meetings and other items not related to party business.
Thrasher provided no firm numbers but said Greer could owe "hundreds of thousands" of dollars and that Crist was in "that ballpark." Thrasher said party officials would spend the next 10 days considering a lawsuit against Crist, Greer and Johnson.

Greer, who stepped down from his post in January, was indicted in June on six felony counts that included "organized scheme to defraud, money laundering, and four counts of grand theft."

The Sentinel reports that Crist, now running for Senate as an Independent, did not have a party credit card, but the Thrasher "purchases that benefited Crist or his campaign may have been placed on Greer's and Johnson's cards."

Several federal law enforcement agencies launched an investigation into the Florida GOP's expenditures, including former House speaker Marco Rubio's credit card use, in April.

The Crist campaign denies the allegations, according to the Sentinel. There has been no love lost between the governor and the state GOP since Crist left the party in April after it became clear that Rubio would probably win the Senate primary. Recent polling suggests a tight race heading into the home stretch.

By Matt DeLong  |  September 13, 2010; 1:26 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Never liked Crist. Not only is he flaky, and goes whichever way the wind blows.. but also an opportunist, in it only for himself.
Rubio seems very sharp, very upfront about what he stands for, a very solid candidate.
Go Rubio!

Posted by: ohioan | September 15, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a Christ supporter but read what they are saying "Gov. Charlie Crist ran up possibly "..."purchases that benefited Crist or his campaign may have been placed on Greer's and Johnson's cards". "Possibly" and "May have" from his former GOP party that has no love loss and would like to see his campaign in the trash, so now they are concocting allegations. What is wrong with the GOP do they feel so threatened that they have to make up accusations? More demagoguery from GOP.

Posted by: darma2u | September 14, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

What's up with this? Florida GOP money was spent to benefit Crist's campaign? OK. What was it SUPPOSED to be spent for, if not for GOP candidates (which he was, at the time)? Now if they spent the money on private fishing trips and hookers, I can see the reason for fussing (presumably, the fella indicted is at least suspected of something like that, but it appears Crist didn't have or spend this money). What am I missing here?

Posted by: Iconoblaster | September 14, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

What do you suppose the chances of this innuendo leaking out would have been if Crist were running on the party ticket?

HAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Posted by: MichaelOwen04 | September 14, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Wonder if Rubio has an American Birth Certificate?

Posted by: edgewatervince | September 14, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"...Looks like Marco Rubio and his pals are hitting the panic button!.."
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Yeah, right...an being up 8.5% always leads to panic...

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2010/senate/fl/florida_senate_rubio_vs_meek_vs_crist-1456.html

Posted by: sosueme1 | September 14, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Get this turn-coat Crist and let Marco Rubio win. He is a much better and a more trustworthy candidate for the US Senate in my opinion.

Posted by: Tommypie | September 13, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Get this turn-coat Crist and let Marco Rubio win. He is a much better and a more trustworthy candidate for the US Senate in my opinion.

Posted by: Tommypie | September 13, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Marco Rubio and his pals are hitting the panic button! The charges against Governor Crist are obviously a well-timed, cooked-up smear to try to derail Crist's recent ascendancy in the polls. Rubio is a proven crook, but has the party taken steps to prosecute him? Hopefully, this scheme will backfire and Crist will give Rubio a well-deserved, crushing defeat in November.

Posted by: Tennessee2 | September 13, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Corrupt recognizes corrupt.

GOP should point fingers about "corruption". Frankly, the GOP party is corporate America's brothel. The essence of immoral and corrupt enterprise.

Posted by: KaneMan | September 13, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is turning on Crist, but this will backfire when it turns out Rubio is corrupt up his yahoo. So very telling of Thrasher who has no love for the average Floridian and has very deep pockets himself. In this case it's so obvious that "It takes one to know one." May they all wallow in the mud they've created.

Posted by: valerie14 | September 13, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

at one time, a few years ago, Crist was the golden child of the Repubs, mentioned as a potential prez or VP candidate... until he switched parties; and now this...
irrespective of whether the actual dollar amounts are released in the near timeframe, or the types of actual expenses, the damage is done to Crist, and with that, any chance that the golden child will replace Biden as the nations #2. crist should have just sat tight in the governor's mansion, not played too close to obama (that was a real big mistake, Charlie), and done his national homework... probably by this time next year, depending on his prior life work, Charlie will be back at the teacher's lectern, playing the consultant, or being a courtroom attorney...since WW2, only 3 florida politicians have been discussed or mentioned for a national ticket role: GOP Governor Claude Kirk, elected in the Republican wave in 1966; Senator Bob (Electric Chair) Graham+++; and Crist...
+++Graham still has a tag of EC Bob for his role as governor in signing warrants for the FL electric chair at Florida State Prison Starke, sending 8 men to Old Sparky in 1984 alone...some 20 or so total in his 8 years as governor..

Posted by: RoguesPalace | September 13, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Go Rubio
Down with that turncoat Crist.

Posted by: joanz3 | September 13, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Is this the best evidence the GOP can create? If they want to go whole-hog, maybe they should try and hire JK Rawling to create some real juicy stuff - you know, SORCERY! WITCH-CRAFT, PLAGUES and BIBLICAL CALAMITY!

The main question I would ask the GOP is: When did you first learn of this, how long did you sit on it, and why wait until Crist became an independent to release it?

My other question is, why have you not released the corroborating data, or are you waiting to see if you can hire a named fiction author to finish the story?

Posted by: chamateddy | September 13, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

This is typical why the GOP and Bush/Cheney brought this country to its knees. Corruption, Corruption. This is orchestrated by the Republican Party to try and destroy Charlie Crist because he isn't a radical or extremist. God help us. If Americans vote Republican, we are screwed again. Wake up Americans!!

Posted by: pkbishop1 | September 13, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The Florida GOP won't reveal its evidence.

Stalin and Hitler loved secret evidence.

Posted by: Garak | September 13, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse


Rubio is leading Crist by 14 points in a Florida poll taken last week, and that is before this Charlie Crist scandal.

Posted by: screwjob21 | September 13, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Crist voicing strong support for LGBT issues.

http://bit.ly/c0C9D7

Posted by: saintpetersblog | September 13, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Rubio is already ahead of Crist, and this doesn't help Crist's chances. GOOD.

Posted by: moebius22 | September 13, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Kinda sounds like a Crist smear. "possibly inappropriate charges", "may have spent", and (Crist) "may have charged". And they may release the report later. Doesn't sound very convincing to me. Then releasing the report may just smear the whole FL GOP.

Posted by: chucko2 | September 13, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Only the most extreme rightwing ideologues would even consider voting for a Republican.

Posted by: thebobbob | September 13, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

So isn't this a high risk strategy for the Florida Republicans? Given that there are strong indications that Rubio is also implicated in misuse of state Republican Party funds, why on earth of Florida Republicans trying to use this to bring Crist down? How much attention do they want focused on the way Rubio misused the Party's credit card, his use of government funds for campaigning, his foreclosed home in Tallahassee, and directing funds to political cronies?

If they aren't careful, they'll end up handing the election to Kendrick Meek.

Posted by: terje1 | September 13, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

So isn't this a high risk strategy for the Florida Republicans? Given that there are strong indications that Rubio is also implicated in misuse of state Republican Party funds, why on earth of Florida Republicans trying to use this to bring Crist down? How much attention do they want focused on the way Rubio misused the Party's credit card, his use of government funds for campaigning, his foreclosed home in Tallahassee, and directing funds to political cronies?

If they aren't careful, they'll end up handing the election to Kendrick Meek.

Posted by: terje1 | September 13, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Comment board is flakey today...

Posted by: ceebee2 | September 13, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@angriestdogintheworld1-

And what does that have to do with an article about Florida politics?

Posted by: ceebee2 | September 13, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@angriestdogintheworld1-

And what does that have to do with an article about Florida politics?

Posted by: ceebee2 | September 13, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

@angriestdogintheworld1-

And what does that have to do with an article about Florida politics?

Posted by: ceebee2 | September 13, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, this hasn't happened in about 2000 years: conservatives trying to crucify Crist.

Posted by: gce1356 | September 13, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is a real class act. What would they be saying if Crist had been their nominee?

Posted by: rcc_2000 | September 13, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Five facts about Joe Miller:

1) Miller has said that he would phase out both Social Security and Medicare, cut Medicaid, and completely eliminate the Department of Education.

2) He said he doesn't believe that unemployment benefits are "constitutionally authorized," and wouldn't extend this assistance to Alaskans struggling to find work in a still-recovering economy -- even though the only people eligible for unemployment are those who have already had it deducted from their paychecks.

3) He recently told Fox News that Republican lawmakers need to have the "courage to shut down the government" in order to eliminate the programs that he wants gone.

4) His campaign posted a message on Twitter, crudely attacking Senator Lisa Murkowski, asking "What's the difference b/n selling out your party's values and the oldest profession?"

5) According to the Anchorage Daily News, "Miller said the Second Amendment exists to protect the right of people to be a threat to their government."

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld1 | September 13, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

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