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Crist gift in elections bill

The comprehensive elections bill that contains money for optical scan voting machines and moves up Florida's presidential primary also has another little surprise: A provision that gives the governor more control over the executive committee of their own political party.

Deep within an amendment sponsored by Sen. Lee Constantine on HB 537 is a clause that says that the governor gets to appoint 10 registered voters to serve on the state executive committee of his own party. This move comes just a few months after Jim Greer was selected as new chairman of the Republican Party of Florida by a slim 102-89 vote of the executive committee. Gov. Charlie Crist tapped Greer to replace Carole Jean Jordan but there were many members of the executive committee who were opposed to the choice.