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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hyperventilating Mack campaign wants feds to investigate George LeMieux

The Connie Mack campaign is requesting that the U.S. Justice Department launch an investigation into George LeMieux following a Tampa Tribune story about former state party chairman Jim Greer saying LeMieux pressured Charlie Crist to appoint him to the U.S. Senate. It's a pretty flimsy stunt, since the article said nothing about possible "extortion or bribery," as Mack's legal counsel suggests. Perhaps the feds should investigate LeMieux over the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa as well.

"That is why nothing short of a full investigation is required. Only George LeMieux can answer these questions," Mack spokesman David James responded when asked the basis for that allegation.

Here's the letter:

Re:      Public Reports Regarding George LeMieux’s Appointment to U.S. Senate Seat

Dear Mr. Smith, Ms. Marsh, and Mr. Ferrer:
 
I am writing to urge the Justice Department initiate an immediate investigation into publically-reported allegations about former United States Senator George Lemieux’s alleged conduct in seeking and ultimately securing an appointment to the United States Senate from then-Florida Governor Charlie Crist in 2009.     

On May 19, 2012, the Tampa Tribune published an article detailing allegations about George LeMieux’s conduct in seeking appointment to the open U.S. Senate seat in Florida in 2009.  In the article, former state Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer stated that Governor Crist initially decided to appoint then-Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp to the open Senate seat.  But according to Greer, George LeMieux convinced Crist to reverse that decision, using “a strategy that included direct pressure on Crist.”  Greer also told the Tampa Bay Tribune: “There’s a lot more to this story that someday may be told, but I’m not ready yet to tell it.”

In the Tampa Bay Tribune article, Lieutenant Governor Kottkamp confirmed key parts of Greer’s account, including confirming that Governor Crist’s staff initially advised him that he would receive the appointment.  Governor Crist changed his mind, according to Lieutenant Governor Kottkamp, after “George LeMieux really went to work on the governor – he really pressed hard.”

Greer’s and Kottkamp’s statements themselves raise troubling concerns about the type of “direct pressure” LeMieux exerted on Governor Crist to secure his appointment to the U.S. Senate.  In addition to the Tampa Bay Tribune article, there are allegations that George LeMieux may have threatened to disclose harmful information about Governor Crist, and that LeMieux may have promised to support Governor Crist’s potential candidacy for the same U.S. Senate seat in exchange for his appointment.

If true, these allegations raise serious questions about whether George LeMieux and Charlie Crist violated Federal and Florida anti-corruption laws by allegedly securing and making an appointment to the United States Senate possibly through extortion or bribery, and because of the nature of the underlying allegations, questions also arise as to whether there is an ongoing conspiracy between George LeMieux and Charlie Crist.

Allegations of this nature undermine the integrity of the public’s confidence in their government.  Only through a prompt and thorough investigation by law enforcement officials can the public know beyond a shadow of doubt what George LeMieux and Charlie Crist may or may not have done in this matter and I urge the Justice Department to pursue the truth without delay.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and please do not hesitate to contact me at 305-456-2389 with any questions.

Sincerely,


Craig Engle
Legal Counsel

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LeMieux spokeswoman Anna Nix replied:

"Running the worst campaign in America and under investigation for wrongfully claiming homestead exemption, Connie Mack the Fourth is now making outrageous allegations concerning George LeMieux’s appointment to the United States Senate. These allegations are ridiculous and categorically false. George put no pressure on the Governor for the appointment and was honored to be interviewed and selected for the position. Nothing was asked of George and no promises were made, other than to serve the people well. The source of Mack’s allegations is the discredited former Chairman of the State Republican Party who is facing criminal trial in the coming weeks. That source should be considered, as well as Mack’s motives."

[Last modified: Monday, May 21, 2012 6:19pm]

    

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