Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

More from the anti-Jim Greer revolutionary front



From Monroe County: As your elected Republican Party state committeeman and  committeewoman, it is our primary obligation to keep our REC precinct members informed of and aware of the needs, plans, activities and circumstances affecting the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF).  In view of that obligation, we have much at this time to report and explain.


Perhaps you are aware of the media reports regarding RPOF chairman Jim Greer and the speculation of his future status. In the past few weeks several prominent longtime Republicans have called for Mr. Greer’s resignation. These include the very respected former chairman of the
Republican Party of Florida Tom Slade and the equally respected Ambassador
Al Hoffman. Ambassador Hoffman served as ambassador to Portugal under President George W. Bush and  served several terms as financial chair of the Republican National Committee.  Mr. Greer’s response to  these two gentlemen was quite disrespectful. Others calling for Mr. Greer’s
resignation include Mr. Jon Shebel (former chief of staff to Governor Jeb Bush),  former Senate Minority Leader Ken Plante, and former RPOF vice chairman (and  former Monroe County judge and sheriff) Allison DeFoor.

For much of the past few months there have been ongoing discussions within
the RPOF regarding Mr. Greer’s attempt to invoke a seldom used rule for
RPOF to endorse Gov. Crist as its officially supported candidate  for the
US Senate.  Thanks to the  efforts of our National Committeewoman Sharon
Day, Mr. Greer was not allowed to use the rule and the party did not
endorse a candidate. Concurrent with this action, some members within the
RPOF began to question various American Express credit card charges and
the way various financial matters were or were not addressed. For example,
within the last two years  the RPOF went from having a surplus and a
mortgage-free headquarters in Tallahassee to an alleged $4,000,000
deficit.  It is rumored that there is now a  mortgage on the headquarters –
not entirely the most desirable set of circumstances in an election year
with campaigns for US Senate, governor, attorney general, chief financial
officer, secretary of agriculture and consumer services, Florida House of
Representatives and Florida Senate, and all  twenty-seven US House of
Representative candidates at stake. To date Mr. Greer continues to fail to
provide substantive explanations for his prolific and lavish spending
practices.  The treasurer and  assistant treasurer have stated that there
has been no misuse of funds; however, neither gentleman has called for the
release of documentation of proof. Yes, these are difficult economic
times,  and we recognize that, but the full burden of debt does not rest
with the lack of contributors.  Recently  under Mr. Greer’s leadership
the director of field operations for RPOF was  terminated after it was
determined that he used a “Twitter” account to defame  the chairman of the
Brevard County Republican Party.  A consultant to the Republican Party was
found to have developed a website to disparage and damage Marco Rubio (US
Senate candidate running against Gov. Crist).  While Mr. Greer may have
had  nothing to do with these instances, they do not reflect well on his

As a result of these incidents and the financial questions, a called
meeting of the Executive Board was held November 19 at
Howie-in-the-Hills. Your state committeeman and state committeewoman
attended the meeting. At this meeting many members requested  that Mr.
Greer resign for the good of the party.  He did not resign. Very little,
if anything, was accomplished at this meeting.

Following this nonproductive meeting a document was circulated to
persuade Mr. Greer to resign or to have a special meeting held concurrent
with  the annual meeting to discuss rescinding Mr. Greer’s 2009 election as
chairman. This document obtained  the signatures of approximately fifty
State Executive Committee members and two members of the US House of
Representatives (thirty signatures were  required).  Your state
committeeman and state committeewoman signed the document. We do not take
this commitment lightly.  In 2007 the Florida legislature passed
legislation giving the chairman of the party the sole authority to remove
or suspend any of us (yes, this includes local REC precinct members and
club members!) for violation of our Party Loyalty Oath or for engaging in
activities that could injure the name or status of the party (Florida
Statute  103.161).  Once removed  from office by the chairman a member
cannot return to the local or state  Executive Committee for “no less than
four years from the effective date of the  removal”! ... and the chairman (
not a vote of the local REC) shall appoint an individual to serve the
remainder of the term.

Mr. Greer’s response to this document was to call an emergency  phone
conference December 16.  During the call Mr. Greer accused Vice Chairman
Allen Cox of leaking confidential financial documents to the media. Mr.
Greer then took the action to remove Vice Chairman Cox from the Budget
Committee, which he has chaired for the past seven years. Mr. Cox and the
media source both have stated that Mr. Cox did not share the documents
with the media.  We do believe Mr. Cox is an honorable man and that he
has the fiduciary duty to report any suspected financial mismanagement.
During the  phone conference a couple of supporters of Mr. Greer delivered
threats of removal and future legal action against the signatories. This
is highly inappropriate and offensive conduct from members of a party
which espouses individual liberties and the right to free speech among its
main principles. We will not yield to these threats, and we urge each of
you to support us in this endeavor to address and correct these problems
before the full and intensive portion of the 2010 campaign season  begins.

Thank you for your time and attention to this. We appreciate your support
of your local  REC and the Republican Party in general. Together we can
ensure we remain strong and promote successful candidates.


Best GOP regards,

Greg Goebel, Monroe County State Committeeman
Debby Goodman, Monroe County State Committeewoman


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:11pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours