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Hillsborough Repubs to RPOF chief Greer: Cease and desist

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer's involvement in Gov. Charlie Crist's U.S. Senate race against Marco Rubio is proving more divisive than ever. The Hillsborough County REC just sent this hard-hitting letter, which a Republican forwarded to us, to Greer telling him to cut it out. Here it is

November 5, 2009

Dear Chairman Greer,

It has become apparent to us that you and by extension the RPOF have failed to recognize the significance of the resolution passed earlier this year by a majority of the County Chairs and members of the State Executive Committee in our state, particularly with respect to following Rule 8 of our Constitution.

As recently as today, we’re being informed that an operative of the RPOF used a false “twitter” account to disparage a duly elected county Chairman.  Add this incident to the recent revelation that a contract employee of the RPOF, and “Senior Political Advisor” to Governor Crist, Mr. Rich Heffley, initially denied, then admitted,  that he was the author of an “anonymous” website set up to attack the record of a US Senate primary Republican candidate. Both of these compound the earlier allegations that your early and vigorous endorsement of Charlie Crist in his candidacy violated Rule 8 and resulted in the aforementioned resolution by a significant majority of the members of the State Executive Committee asking you to cease and desist the violation.

The fact that Charlie Crist’s U.S. Senate campaign has the same building address as the Republican Party of Florida is also of concern to many of our grass-root activists and members who are voicing their complaints about the appearance of coordination. Your repeated public appearances with U.S. Senate Candidate Charlie Crist as he is campaigning for the US Senate seat at  fundraisers, political events, and impromptu REC visits is being perceived by members as an endorsement, again in violation of Rule 8.  In fact, many of our members have voiced their concerns that if their donations to the State party are being used in any measurable manner to support a Federal candidate, it is in violation of Federal Election Commission rules and subject to investigation.

Our members are also fully aware that due to the lack of accountability in expenditures of RPOF resources, the Victory 2010 Committee was created with Speaker Allan Bense as a co-signatory on all checks issued to ensure your compliance with GAAP standards.  We believe, however, that since a significant portion of funding for the RPOF came and will come from the voluntary contributions of our grass-root members, the RPOF should be held to a higher standard than just GAAP standards. In fact, RPOF should be held to the highest standard of fiscal and ethical accountability.

It has been revealed that Mr. Heffley received $250,000 in consulting fees in an off-election year. He has now admitted responsibility of the amateurish attempt to discredit a fellow Republican and qualified Primary candidate.

Given Mr. Heffley's proximity to you and to Governor Charlie Crist, US Senate Candidate and the long list of undisputed facts I mention above, it appears that the RPOF leadership continues to be in violation of the Party’s Rule 8, and choose to ignore the admonishment by a majority of the members of the State Executive Committee for you to comply with Rule 8 and to remain neutral in all Primary races. 

Chairman Greer, your actions have consequences.  The consequences are being felt by us locally by the reduction of donations to the local parties and the growth of third-party associations and groups which are attracting voters that belong to the Republican Party.  In our respective counties many of our members are blaming the local leadership for the appearance of favoritism and endorsements of Primary candidates.  This is fundamentally severing the trust that exists between the local communities and the local leadership of our Party, this being the foundation for turnout on Election Day, and the ultimate goal of our Party.

We can assure you this is not in support or non support of any candidate but about the perception of the Republican Party of Florida as seen by our Florida Republicans.

We are demanding that you and RPOF cease and desist your interference in Republican primaries and discipline any employee or contractor that fails to follow this directive.  If you haven’t already done so, Mr. Heffley’s contract should be immediately terminated and you should demand a full internal and transparent independent investigation into who else might have collaborated with Mr. Heffley.  If other employees of the RPOF are discovered to have been assisting Mr. Heffley, they too should be terminated.  You should publicly give your personal guarantee to all Florida Republicans that you and your leadership team will follow the tenets of our Party’s constitution, particularly as it relates to Rule 8 and will not allow your personal ambition to allow employees or contractors to use wrongful means to slander or disparage any elected member of the State Executive Committee that may disagree with you personally.

Chairman, you have a choice to make.  Are you going to lead the broad and inclusive coalition that makes up our party and its supporters to victory or are you simply going to use your power as Chairman to impose your choice of who should become the Republican nominee for the United States Senate and violate every tenet of our Party?

We, the undersigned, hope it is the former.


 Deborah Cox-Roush

Deborah Cox Roush
Chairman Hillsborough County Republican Party

Agreed upon as written by the following:

AJ Matthews, State Committeeman HCREC
Tina Pike, State Committeewoman HCREC
Randy Maggard, Chairman Pasco County
Bill Bunting, State Committeeman Pasco County
Sid Dinerstein, Chairman of Palm Beach County REC
Tony DiMatteo, State Committeeman of Pinellas County REC

Peggy Simone, State Committeewoman of Manatee County REC
Virginia Bromford, State Committeewoman of Seminole County REC
John Salak, Bay County Chairman REC
Carol Carter, Former State Committeewoman HCREC
Art Wood, Vice Chairman HCREC
Robin Lankford, Secretary HCREC
Ken Lawson, Treasurer HCREC
Josh Burgin, Executive Director HCREC
Teresa Eaton, President Bay County Republican Roundtable
Matt Fleming, President New Tampa Republican Club