As if Florida politics weren't already a mess, allegations are surfacing that former Republican Governor Charlie Crist has problems with alcohol, engaged in affairs with at least two men, and then paid to keep the story secret. The Huffington Post picks up on reporting by local station WTSP. Crist has responded, denying the allegations. The allegations apparently arose from an ongoing criminal case against Florida Republican Party Chair Jim Greer. From the WTSP story:
These allegations come in the form of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Investigative Report in the Republican Party Chair Jim Greer saga.More below the Orange Omnilepticon
Jim Greer is facing criminal charges and is set to go to trial on July 30 for allegedly paying himself to raise money for the Republican Party of Florida. Greer maintains that former Governor Charlie Crist approved the deal.
Now, discovery documents released point to allegations that as Governor, Crist paid two men to leave the state to hide his homosexuality and that he was a drunk and a liar.
The allegations come from Damon Chase, Jim Greer's attorney. Chase told John Morgan of Morgan and Morgan where Charlie Crist works, that if had to depose the former Governor, Crist would be embarrassed by the following issues:
And here are the embarrassing charges from the report:
- Charlie Crist is a homosexual and had homosexual relationships with at least two men who were paid to leave the state to avoid embarrassing then Governor Crist.Crist's response is simple and direct.
- Charlie Crist attempted to kiss Greer at a hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
- Governor Crist had drunken escapades and his security detail had to cover for him.
- Charlie Crist attempted to run over people while he was intoxicated and operating a golf cart.
Morgan responded saying that even if Crist was a homosexual, it had nothing to do with the case, and the allegations were just were just an attempt to embarrass Crist.
In addition, Morgan said if the former Governor were a homosexual he would have to be a 'sick s.o.b. to try to kiss Porky the Pig' which was a reference to Greer.
Morgan also said the allegations were similar to a cheap lawyer trick, asking when did you stop beating your wife or asking when was the last time he had sexual intercourse although he used a more crude term "with your neighbor's sheep".
Charlie Crist contacted WTSP/Tampa Bay's 10 News reporter Mike Deeson late Friday evening and said that the statements from Jim Greer are "a bunch of delusional lies."(One of the more interesting elements in this story is the picture used over the story at the above link: "Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, right, and his new bride Carole struggle to hear questions from the media as protestors chant after their wedding in 2008 in St. Petersburg.")
Crist added that Greer's attorney wanted him to change his affidavit about his knowledge of Greer's compensation for fundraising. Crist was adamant that he wasn't going to do it and only going to tell the truth.
Crist said the tactics amount to either witness tampering or extortion.
The original WTSP report notes that the investigation of Greer is proving problematic for Florida Republicans.
Greer is supposed to go to trial July 30 but many believe the Republican Party doesn't want [the trial] to happen because there could be many more embarrassing allegations mostly about lying and excessive spending by party leaders including house speaker Dean Cannon, Senate president Mike Haridopolos, State Senator John Thrasher, former Senator George LeMieux and U.S. Senate Marco Rubio.emphasis added
Certainly, this context makes it easier to understand where current Florida Governor Rick Scott is coming from, why the Florida GOP likes him, and why he's working so hard to disenfranchise Democratic voters.
It should, of course, be said that none of the above has (yet) been proven. The pattern of behavior apparently common to all of these individuals may prove to be nothing but hearsay and coincidence, happening repeatedly over many years. Still...
The late science fiction author H. Beam Piper once wrote an extended story Lone Star Planet about the unique legal customs of the planet of New Texas with regards to practicing politicians. It is rather extreme method of ensuring civic probity on the part of politicians - it was voted best SF Libertarian novel by one report.
"...As I understand it, the laws of New Texas do not extend their ordinary protection to persons engaged in the practice of politics. An act of personal injury against a politician is considered criminal only to the extent that the politician injured has not, by his public acts, deserved the degree of severity with which he has been injured, and the Court of Political Justice is established for the purpose of determining whether or not there has been such an excess of severity in the treatment meted out by the accused to the injured or deceased politician. This gives rise, of course, to some interesting practices; for instance, what is at law a trial of the accused is, in substance, a trial of his victim. But in any case tried in this court, the accused must be a person who has injured or killed a man who is definable as a practicing politician under the government of New Texas."emphasis added
Although no such laws are currently in force in Florida, given the allegations now coming out, and the questions Florida voters might have about just what the hell their elected officials are doing, one can see why Florida politicians were so eager to enact Stand Your Ground laws. They may need them if the voters ever tire of waiting for the wheels of justice to stop spinning.