"Sammy The Bull" Gravano was a sociopathic murderer, extortionist and all around evil S.O.B. who was the right hand man of Gambino Crime Boss, John "The Dapper Don" Gotti. However, once the F.B.I. made an airtight case against Gravano for his actions as a Gambino enforcer and "Underboss" and after Gravano listened to secret recordings of John Gotti's paranoid threats against him, Gravano turned stoolie and testified against his former Boss. One would think that admitting on stand about being a cold-blooded murderer would sort of "taint" your reputation and make you a very poor witness, but it didn't. Because of Gravano's documented close association with Gotti, the jury believed him. The result: John Gotti was sent to the Super-Max prison in Marion, Illinois, where he spent the remainder of his life in a concrete cell until he died of throat cancer in a prison hospital in 2002.
Which brings us to Jim Greer. Jim Greer was hand-picked by Charlie Crist and made RPOF Chairman in 2007. By 2009, the RPOF was in a civil war over how Greer was conducting party finances. Long story short: In January 2010, Jim Greer was ousted..but not after a bitter struggle which had then "Republican" Governor Charlie Crist backing his boy, Jim Greer, to the bitter end. But (if Greer is to be believed) in one last desperate attempt to seal the record shut and end this PR catastrophe, the RPOF signed an agreement with Greer "that stated all expenses, including fundraising, incurred by Greer were "proper and authorized and otherwise ratified'' by the party". Fast forward a few months and Jim Greer is indicted and everyone denies knowing anything ..except Greer associate-turned informer Delmar Johnson.
Here is a PDF of Greer's countersuit complaint against the RPOF that says it demonstrates he got a "Get Out of Jail Free" agreement with the RPOF. Here is a link to a story about the lawsuit and note: the RPOF doesn't flat out deny negotiating the agreement, they just fall back on "legalease" that all parties concerned didn't sign at once and is therefore null and void. This may be valid legal argument, but on a higher ethical level, it stinks. Senator Thrasher obviously signed something (see page 18 of the complaint) ; The question is what, when and why?
If this document was actually signed, it begs the question: Who in the RPOF knew of and approved of this agreement BEFORE..I repeat...BEFORE a forensic investigation of RPOF finances was even started? This is a question that needs to be answered BEFORE Republicans hold their Primary on August 24th. Why? Because as a result of the investigations into RPOF finances, serious questions are being asked how Jim Greer was able to misuse all these party funds without senior RPOF and Senior elected officials (including Charlie Crist and Bill McCollum) not being aware of what was going on. To anyone in the senior RPOF and legislature, it must have been obvious.
For example: Now I might be a naive, unsophisticated Neanderthal of human being, but when the party holds (at the behest of Governor Crist!!!!!) an "All Boys" conference in the Bahamas, then someone, somewhere should have heard alarm bells going off and said "You know, why not hold the conference in Tallahassee, or if you really want Spa Services, you can go spend our precious RPOF money in Destin, FLORIDA..at least keep it in the state...". Crist doesn't deny that the conference occurred, he just denies he knew anything about Hookers being there! Once again, the fact that the RPOF was misusing party funds travelling to the Bahamas is not disputed, just that Charlie was not aware of prostitutes running around. Who the hell was driving this train wreck?
The State investigator has granted full immunity to Greer's associate, Delmar Johnson, in order to get him to flip on Greer. In mob terms, they flipped a junior associate to get the "Underboss" . A real prosecution would involve getting the "Underboss" to agree to a lighter sentence to flip on the "Don". In this case the "Don" is Charlie Crist. However, in January 2010, the "Don" was still the REPUBLICAN Governor of Florida and theREPUBLICAN of choice for Senate by many of Senior RPOF and elected Republican elite (including Senator Thrasher and AG Bill McCollum). Hence, the above documented "Get out of Jail Free Card" agreement in which the RPOF absolved Greer of all mistakes was probably discussed and put on paper . Bottom Line: Thrasher signed something, it is now a question of what he signed.
With the declaration of war by The Republican Party of Florida against RepublicanCandidate for Governor Rick Scott, then it is time for those who are tired of the Florida GOP backroom deals and drift away from sound fiscal policy decisions (Can anyone say "High Speed Rail?) to once again stand up to the RPOF and Florida GOP and ask them: who are you for?
As far as I can tell, the pushback against Charlie Crist has consisted of removal of his picture from the RPOF website, a practically moribund website denouncing him and a few emails and letters of disappointment from party elders. That is it. The RPOF should be in a full court assault on Charlie Crist. Every RPOF official should be calling for Crist's investigation and indictment. This vain, self-absorbed narcissist of a man has inflicted a grievous wound on the Republican party and compounded this insult by betrayal. Where is the anger, where is the outrage, where is the political payback? For crying out loud, we have elected Republicans endorsing Crist without fear of any retribution or cost to their political careers. How is this possible?
Two words: George LeMieux. Appointed to the U.S. Senate to act as a placeholder by Governor Crist, George LeMieux is as much a creation and a confidant of Charlie Crist as was Jim Greer. Like Greer, he was a member of Crist's inner circle and is probably enmeshed in this tawdry tale of money and power up to his eyeballs. Greer is on the record saying that the alleged illegal PAC Greer and Johnson were funneling money to was originally LeMieux's idea. That means that if the RPOF goes hammer and tong after Charlie Crist, it also means destroying now United States Senator George LeMieux (R-FL), who could (would?) turn on his party in a heartbeat if his liberty were at stake. No one in the RPOF wants that..hence the political kid gloves treatment by the RPOF of "Turncoat-Charlie" and it goes a long way to explain the extraordinary denouement of Rick Scott by RPOF Chairman John Thrasher.
Rick Scott, for all his flaws, owes the RPOF and the entrenched GOP party in Tallahasseenothing. If elected Governor, he will have the means and the power to blow apart the inside baseball politics of Tallahassee. The kind of politics that allows State Senators vote themselves a fortune without fear of investigation and/or prosecution.
When it became possible McCollum may be summoned to testify in "RPOF-Gate", it is now painfully apparent that the RPOF went into full "CYA" mode. Unfortunately, this opens up a whole other can of worms. It is now entirely legitimate for Republicans to ask of their party:
- Was there ANY collusion, directly or indirectly, between the McCollum Campaign, Senator Thrasher and the RPOF that led to this statement by Senator Thrasher?
- Who in the RPOF and Florida GOP knew and approved of Senator's Thrasher's official RPOF reprimand to Rick Scott?
- Why is the RPOF going after Rick Scott, a committed Republican, instead of Charlie Crist?
- Will Senator Thrasher Resign as RPOF chairman if Rick Scott wins on August 24th?
- Is there any evidence linking Bill McCollum to Jim Greer alleged illegal activities and if so, should not voters be aware of this before August 24th?
Finally, the 64 dollar question is this: Why is the state just going after Jim Greer and not his boss, Charlie Crist? Why was Jim Greer not granted immunity or a special deal to reveal what Charlie knew and when did he know it? I mean, If the Feds can give "Sammy the Bull" a deal in order to get Gotti, why aren't Florida investigators doing the same with Greer to get Crist?
So my fellow members of the RPOF, don't get mad at me for asking these questions. I didn't start this mess nor will I stand silently by and hence be an enabler of such behavior. Limiting prosecution of RPOF sins to Jim Greer is like settling for Freddo Corleone when you could have gotten Michael.