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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida GOP pulling a Jim Greer-esque bullying on Charlie Crist?



Is it just us, or does the Florida GOP invoking the loyalty oath to forbid any party officials from supporting Charlie Crist's independent bid seem a bit like Jim Greer's overreaching when he tried to invoke "Rule 11" to muscle out Marco Rubio? And it also seems like it could produce a similar backlash - making Crist look more like a maverick getting bullied by the party establishment. After all, this is the party led by John Thrasher, who gave $500 to Alex Sink's CFO re-election campaign

"The more I think about the Republican Party of Florida’s memo the more angry I get.  How dare anyone at the State Party tell us who we can and cannot support,'' said state Sen. Mike Fasano, a staunch  Crist supporter. "This is a dangerous message the party establishment is sending to Florida Voters. It’s because of this type of bullying and threatening tactics that encouraged so many Floridian’s to distance themselves from the two parties. I was walking precincts and making phone calls as a volunteer for Republican candidates when  leaders of today’s GOP establishment were registered Democrats."

Even former state GOP chairman Tom Slade, a vocal critic of Crist ("He's deader than the day before yesterday," he said of Crist political future),  said it was a bad move. "That's going a step or two too far," Slade said. "Organized political parties can do some stupid stuff from time to time ... That loyalty oath doesn't make any sense to me."

The memo, incidentally, was written by Jason Gonzalez, former general counsel to Jim Greer and Charlie Crist.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:30am]


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