Florida Republican Leaves Party in Protest

Not even a sea breeze can disturb the governor’s mane.

No one except George LeMieux seemed happy when Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) appointed LeMieux to fill the Senate seat previously occupied (in the literal sense only) by Sen. Mel Martinez. Charlie picked his long-time friend and former campaign manager to wait out the end of Martinez’s term until Crist can win the 2010 election for that office. As I stated when the selection was revealed, the Democratic response would be predictable. It was.

I figured the real fireworks would be on the Republican side, but even I am surprised at the latest announcement. You can almost smell the spent gunpowder from Lake County, where Ed Havill, the Republican property appraiser (in Florida, this is a constitutional officer’s position), is withdrawing from his party in disgust.

Havill: ‘Within five minutes of the governor’s announcement, I removed my voter registration from the Republican Party’

George LeMieux’s appointment by Gov. Charlie Crist to the U.S. Senate was the final straw that broke this Republican officeholder’s back.

Within five minutes of the governor’s announcement, I removed my voter registration from the Republican Party. I am no longer affiliated with any political party.

…By choosing his 2006 political campaign manager, George LeMieux, the governor decisively demonstrated two things:

He is only interested in what’s best for Charlie Crist, and he has utter contempt for what’s best for Floridians.

Havill also cites recent revelations about another Crist appointment, Jim Greer, the linguistically-challenged and bombastic head of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF).

We told you about the problems of former state House Speaker Ray Sansom (R-Destin), who was forced to step down from the speaker’s position when he was indicted on charges of using of the office for personal gain. Sansom accepted a newly-created job for which he appeared to be the sole applicant at a community college to which he steered state funds to build an aircraft hangar for a private developer and Sansom supporter. If you followed all that, wait, it gets worse.

The investigation into Sansom’s activities revealed his source of funding for everything from the very big (trips to Europe and jet fuel) to the very small ($6.15 at Target) and everything in between (Sansom’s taste in dining runs to chain restaurants — Tropical Smoothie, TGI Fridays, Hard Rock, Starbucks) was a credit card issued and paid by the RPOF. An astounding $173,000 tab was charged by Sansom and paid by Republican donors, including a $739 plane ticket for one of his daughters to fly from New York to Birmingham. He also spent $11,000 at Best Buy, $1,900 of it in one day (but since it was in January, and likely for after-Christmas sale items, Sansom had the donors’ backs).

Havill doesn’t think Republican supporters intended their money be used this way.

Havill: ‘All we’ll have with “Sen. Crist” is an empty suit with every hair in place and a nice tan, but nothing, absolutely nothing more, just as we’ve had with him as our governor’

After his election in 2006, Crist engineered the installation of another of his buddies, Oviedo City Councilman Jim Greer, as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. The recent State Republican Party credit-card fiasco is only the latest problem caused by Greer’s administration.

Havill is also unhappy at an initiative Charlie championed to cut property taxes. In reality, the move gutted education budgets, left taxpayers no better off, and created the use of endless individual fees for services like fire protection and storm-water drainage.

Crist’s one term as governor will be remembered for a couple of things: an elaborate show of courtship and marriage to a woman who could help him dispell rumors he is gay, a failed play to be Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008, and the world’s longest campaign for U.S. Senate. Havill is over it.

Floridians have had zero leadership in the governor’s office for the past three years, and if they don’t wake up and vote for anyone but Crist next year, we’ll have a continuation of his lack of concern for Florida in the U.S. Senate.

All we’ll have with “Sen. Crist” is an empty suit with every hair in place and a nice tan, but nothing, absolutely nothing more, just as we’ve had with him as our governor.

One comment

  • D. Jaggers
    September 3, 2009 - 1:17 am | Permalink

    Dear Pensito Review,
    Thank you for exposing a corrupt politician. The way corruption works is one or a few better themselves at the expense of many. It is dishonesty motivated by selfishness. If good is doing good to others, then evil is doing bad to others. And, ’tis true, we are what we do. If what you say above is fact, and all one needs is to check those facts, then Charlie Crist is an evil man. Charlie Crist is a whited sepulcher. Outside is a glistening, pure white, inside there is nothing but pitch black and rot. Florida doesn’t need less government. Florida needs less Charlie Crist.
    D. Jaggers

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