Jim Greer and Jeff Kottkamp: illegal activity by George LeMieux? Don't see it
Marc Caputo caught up with Jeff Kottkamp and Jim Greer today for response to Connie Mack IV's call for a federal investigation into whether George LeMieux pressured then-Gov. Charlie Crist for a U.S. Senate appointment. From Caputo's report:
"No, I don’t believe he committed a crime. I don’t believe he committed one," Greer said. "If a guy comes in and says hey I want an appointment remind him of all the things I’ve done for him – some he’d like to forget, some he’d remember – is that a crime? I don’t know...
"George had very strong points –all the things he had done for the governor. He felt confident if he got an interview with the governor, he was confident he’d get the appointment. He got the interview. And he got the appointment."
Here's Kottkamp when asked if he believed anything illegal happened: “I doubt it. I doubt it…. I don’t know what they talked about.”
When the Tampa Bay Times asked the Mack campaign about what evidence it had, there wasn't much steak amid all the sizzle. "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.
Obviously, the story, first reported by the Tampa Tribune, bears reporting out. And we need to talk to Crist, who has been mum. But considering he baselessy accused Greer of extortion last week, it's tough to believe he wouldn't level the charge against his one-time chief of staff and Senate appointee, LeMieux, who turned on Crist when the governor left the GOP.
Regardless, this ain't Watergate. It ain't a third-rate burglarly. But it is more of the same from the Mack campaign, which thrives off OUTRAGE!
This is the same campaign that went bonkers when the Tampa Bay Times Buzz posted a jokey headline on a blog titled ‘Mack Campaign: Why We Will Squash LeMieux Like a Bug.’ Then Mack's dad, Senator-turned-lobbyist Connie Mack III got all bent out of shape when The Herald doubled up with the Times to document the concerns Republicans had with Mack's campaign. After our report, incidentally, state CFO Jeff Atwater flirted with a run. And former Congressman Dave Weldon decided to actually run for the seat.
Boy, were we off base, eh?