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The story of Delmar Johnson and the $20k 'Resolute' desk scheme

01699_large The word that Tampa will host the Republican National Convention in 2012 is a perfect newshook for a never-reported embarrassment averted at the last GOP convention in Minnesota.

It involved Delmar Johnson, Charlie Crist, the Disney flick National Treasure and a $20,000 scheme to snare a replica of the White House desk Resolute, according to two trustworthy Republican sources who tell us the following:

Johnson, already running amok with his Republican Party of Florida credit card, wanted to make a splash at RPOF's convention event, National Treasure. The theme: “Charlie Crist is our National Treasure.” Really.

To pull it all off, Johnson wanted to have an Oval Office scene where folks could get their pictures taken at a replica of the desk known as the "Resolute," so named for the desk Queen Victoria gave in 1880 to President Rutherford B, Hayes (recipient of the White House, incidentally, in a disputed Florida election).

But Johnson, who would soon become exectuvie director of the party, wasn’t just thinking of all those donors and Republicans he wanted to impress with the desk. He was also considering his boss, RPOF Chairman Jim Greer. After shipping the desk out to St. Paul, well, it couldn’t just sit there. So the rational solution was to ship it on to Tallahassee.

“It’s a surprise for Jim. Don’t tell anyone,” Johnson, who won’t return calls, reportedly said.

But the expense didn’t go unnoticed. And on a conference call, then-consultant Jim Rimes brought up the $20,000 “miscellaneous” line item during a conference call about the party’s proposed convention budget, which neared $1.5 million.

“Hey, what’s this?” Rimes reportedly said.

Johnson: “That’s a backdrop. A set for a photo op.”

Rimes: “Yeah, that’s too expensive.”

Drat! Dream killed.

The story not only reveals the craftiness of Johnson, who sought to continually please his bosses (check out the oil-painting tale). It shows that Johnson was willing to engage in questionable spending. And there wasn’t much done to reign him in, except in this one case.

“That was the point where they started to be careful,” one staffer said.

Who cares what RPOF said in 2008? Our blog's national treasure is Delmar Johnson. (Note: updated story corrects errors re: Queen Victoria, Johnson's title)

Comments

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Sherman Dorn

Queen Elizabeth isn't *that* old. Maybe you meant Victoria?

CC

You must not love life bc it appears you don't love Delmar.

-- Chuckles

Facts first, Story Second

First of all, Delmar was not the Executive Director in 2008 because he didn't become ED until February of 09. Rimes was the ED during the Convention but didn't do any of the planning because he was busy trying to win the upcoming election.

What ever you say about RPOF under Greer anyone who went to the convention will tell you that the Florida Delegation had the best experience of any state. Every night they had an event except the last night and that was only because the RPOF donated the money that would've been used towards that party to the Red Cross for Hurricane relief. The desk was going to be sponsored anyways like most of the events at the Convention and what do you do with a prop desk you couldn't rent and had to buy? The cost of the Convention on the RPOF was nowhere near 1.5 Million. There were also events in Minneapolis that raised some cash to help pay for it. Not to mention the relationship built with Tim Pawlenty that eventually got him that Victory Dinner last July.

There are a lot of things to criticize about the Greer/Johnson administration but this is not one of them.

Fred

12:42 - Put down the Kool Aid and step away from it. Slowly. Hands where I can see you.

If you truly believe any of the premises of your response, after those crooks Greer. Delmar Johnson, etc. have been debunked, you're just too dumb to blog.

But then, they gave you a good time and that seems to make all the diffrence.

Precious

Not really sure why Rimes didn't go to the convention but he and his assistants were the ones that did the planning and scheduling for the convention. Pretty sure he was just plain fed up by that time with Delmar and Greer. They didn't want him around as he wouldn't kiss Greer's butt like everyone else. When Rimes stepped down from ED that's when the RPOF really went to hell in a hand basket, as they say.

whasup

Greer was the devil and Delmar was his chief troglodyte--ironic in that they both worked sycophantically for Shucking Chuckles, the politician with the Christ complex.

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