Jim Greer: I will not cease and desist
For every lengthy letter from one Republican to another over Gov. Crist's U.S. Senate run, there's a lengthy response. Here's what Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer has to say to the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee's cease-and-desist request:
November 5, 2009
Dear Chairman Cox-Roush,
I have reviewed your recent correspondence and appreciate you taking the time to convey your concerns. After reviewing Rule 8 in consultation with our general counsel, I am providing the following response:
First, the RPOF pays certain allocable and non-allocable expenses at the request of the statewide campaigns. With regard to state races, these expenses include: paying rent, phones, internet, copies, etc. With regard to federal races, no party resources are being provided to either federal campaign that are not reimbursed at cost. This practice of providing candidates access to these resources is nothing new, is in complete compliance with all campaign finance laws, and has been done many times over the years, including prior to my chairmanship. In fact, you and others may not be aware, but the current policies for all candidates relating to this matter, including campaigns where there is a Republican primary, are much more stringent than in previous cycles. Let me reiterate that this is a long-standing practice within the RPOF and these resources are available to any statewide campaign.
As it relates to my personal support of Governor Crist and his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, I have made it clear on a regular basis that the party has not formally endorsed the Governor nor has the Crist campaign been provided any resources that they have not paid and that are not available to all other GOP campaigns. Personally, my family and I, along with many loyal Republicans, are supporting our Republican incumbent governor because he is a conservative who has fought for the people of Florida every day of his administration and believes in our party’s principles of less taxes, less government, the 2nd Amendment and his unwavering support of pro-life and traditional marriage. Although the Governor is a candidate for the U.S. Senate, he is still the titular head of the Republican Party of Florida and the person primarily responsible for our party’s financial success and election victories. In addition as he is a Republican Governor and titular head of the party, I, as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, will continue to attend any and all political events to which I am invited by the Governor, our Republican candidates or any local party leaders.
In regards to the Florida Victory 2010 program, Governor Crist, Attorney General McCollum and other statewide Republican candidates support this is a program, which has been used many times over the years. The Finance Chairman’s role for this initiative is no different than in previous cycles, in which all aspects of the program are subject standard oversight procedures and are all at the direction of the Chairman.
In response to your suggestion to terminate any political consultants which the Republican Party has or will use who may be supporting individual candidates, this request is unreasonable as this decision to employ such consultants is made with consideration to their expertise and past success in winning Republican campaigns. Specifically, Mr. Heffley’s relationship with the party is one in which his firm provides many valuable services, and he has been credited with winning countless Republican campaigns. His support of Governor Crist is not, nor would I permit it to be, part of his business relationship with the RPOF. Any support that he provides to individual candidates is not in any way associated with his services to RPOF. I have however reiterated to all RPOF employees that conducting any activities for any candidates which would be deemed inappropriate, would result in disciplinary action including termination, which unfortunately has recently been necessary. RPOF employees like REC members are permitted to work for individual candidates on their own time and not in their official capacity, should they wish to do so.
In conclusion, I hope that this letter has clarified to you and others that neither myself, in my official capacity, nor the RPOF is providing any undue preferential support to one Republican campaign over another. Any campaign that is not currently utilizing resources available may contact our political department for information regarding doing so. I, just like you and many of our grassroots leaders across Florida, am not supporting any Republican campaign in my official capacity, thus there is absolutely no violation of Rule 8, any more than when a county conducts a straw poll, which some believe to be the same as an endorsement and may be in violation of Rule 8. While many in and out of our party seem to be committed to promoting discord, publicly attacking our Republican elected leaders, embarrassing our party and providing ammunition for the Democrats and the media to promote the idea that the Republican Party is on a path of self destruction, I do not believe this is true. Since becoming Chairman, I have been committed to providing greater resources to grassroots volunteers, enhancing communication between the county REC’s and state party and promoting diversity and inclusiveness of all Republicans, so that our party may continue to grow and be victorious on Election Day! I encourage you and all of our Republican leaders to do the same.