Boozing at the Oviedo bowling center, insane ramblings of a syphilitic mind and other scribbles from the new Jim Greer evidence
Scribbles in my notebook after paging through most of the three discs of discovery in the state's prosecution of former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer. (Intial story about the new evidence here.)
1.) It was exactly one year ago this weekend that Greer negotiated his resignation with the party's general counsel, Jason Gonzales, House Speaker Dean Cannon, Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Greer's eventual successor, John Thrasher.
Documents show that the initial agreement stipulated that any payments from the party to Victory Strategies - the company Greer set up to allegedly skim contributions - were proper. The original agreement also included the promise of $1 million payment to Greer if the party defaulted on its severance package of $11,250 per month for 11 months
Also removed was a plan for party secretary Donna Solze to take over as interim chair, not Thrasher. Sometime between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3, the line for her signature was removed and added in her place were Cannon, Haridopolos and Thrasher. The so-called "Agreement, Mutual General Release And Confidentiality Agreement" was also changed to delete a requirement for an RPOF press release announcing the resignation to include quotes commending Greer on his service to the party.
2.) New text messages help fill some details in Delmar Johnson's turning on Greer. (Note: None of the texts were corrected for punctuation, grammar or spelling.)
March 29: Three months before investigators raided Greer's home, Delmar texted Greer, asking for his community's gate code. Greer gives it to him and one minute later Delmar forwards the info to state investigators. "Meet yall in the Dillards parking lot mall," Johnson tells investigators.
March 31: At 5 p.m., Johnson texted Greer asking, "How does Buzz have all this info and % breakdowns, where is this coming from? How do they know so much? I'm scared and stressed out!"
Minutes later, Johnson texts a state investigator: "I'm ok."
3.) Here's an exchange of text messages on May 22 between Greer and Chuck Drago, Gov. Charlie Crist's deputy chief of staff:
11 p.m. Greer to Drago: "Ok I'm at the oviedo bowling center bowling drinking miller lite telling a guy at the bar "I've danced at the white house" he said who gives a shit and then passed out, things have changed."
11:02 p.m. Drago to Greer: "Man i wish i was with you"
4.) Investigators pulled nearly 200 texts off Greer's phone between Feb. 17 and May 10. Nothing that looks particularly incriminating, but it is a fascinating peek behind the curtain. Some highlights:
• House Speaker Dean Cannon asks Greer to chair the party meeting in which Greer will be replaced, saying, "the guys have a plan to get you in just before it starts, you run the mtg, then leave right after the election."
On Feb. 20, several hours after Thrasher had been elected as the new chair, Greer texts Cannon: "Dean, I hearing all kinds of comments, are any games being players or are we good". Cannon replies: "I think everything is fine. I would ignore the chatter and let everybody calm down after today."
• Lots of messages between Greer and Jay Burmer, including this one from Burmer on March 5: "Call me About your book when you get a chance."
Greer's attorney has said that Greer is supposedly writing a tell-all book, but it's not clear that is what Burmer was talking about. On March 25, Greer sent this message to Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary: "I just got done with book guy."
• Also lots of exchanges between Greer and Dorworth. In the exchange where Greer mentions "book guy," Dorworth is trying to get Greer to meet him at "coronoa cigar bar" with "No chicks, please." When Greer says that his wife wants him to stay home, Dorworth responds with one word referring either to a female pudendum or a cat. Greer writes back that he loves his wife, to which Dorworth again replies with one word: "Overrated."
A couple days later, Dorworth asks Greer to "please beg the governor to sign 1565 tomorrow. Its a legacy bill for him."
Crist vetoed the rulemaking bill the next day, saying it could increase costs to businesses. (Lawmakers last month voted to override the veto, saying the bill saves businesses money.) Greer told Dorworth the veto was nothing personal, saying Crist "likes you a lot." Dorworth responded that, "I like him, too. I didn't comment when the press asked."
5.) The most colorful text message so far is one dripping with sarcasm from Gonzales to Delmar.
The exact context is unclear, but it is the same day (Nov. 5, 2009) that 17 party leaders, including Hillsborough County Chairwoman Deborah Cox Roush, chastised Greer - still the RPOF chair at that time - and accused him of tilting the primary playing field in the U.S. Senate race on behalf of Crist and to the detriment of Marco Rubio.
"I would begin the response letter as follows," Gonzales writes. "Dear Chairman -----, I am writing to alert you that someone has apparently stolen some of the REC stationary. Correspondence recently received by my office includes what appears to be the insane ramblings of a syphillitic mind. Even worse, your signature has apparently been forged to these documents. I will commit all necessary resources of the Party to bring the perpetrator to justice."