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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Group will mobilize to demand that Charlie Crist refund donations



If Charlie Crist does indeed drop out of the Republican U.S. Senate primary, he can keep the donations he has received to date and is not obligated to return any refund requests. But that's not going to stop people from demanding refunds anyway.

"We are already planning to take those steps if and when Gov. Crist bolts,'' said Mike Connolly, spokesman for Club for Growth, which helped donors to Arlen Specter get about $1 million in donations refunded after the Pennsylvania senator switched parties. The Florida GOP also is telling all Republican officials -- everybody from precinct captains to members of Congress -- that they will be expected to request refunds if Crist runs against the Republican nominee.

"I don't see morally how he can keep the money,'' Connolly said, noting that the Club for Growth likely would send Crist donors form letters for requesting refunds. "If these people gave their money to him based on a certain rationale for the campaign and if that rationale changes and he bolts, that's a betrayal."

Crist the other day was vague on the topic, suggesting he'd spent much of the $10 million he has raised to date (if true, he's in even more trouble than we realized).

"Anybody has the right and the opportunity to ask,'' Crist said, when asked about refunding donations. "I think we spent it though."


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:31am]


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