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Greer needs money for lawyers, asks Crist for money back

Crist Hugs Greer - Low Res UPDATED: Jim Greer, the indicted former chairman of the state Republican Party, is asking Gov. Charlie Crist to refund $9,600 in campaign contributions made to Crist's U.S. Senate campaign. "As you know circumstances have caused me to need money to defend myself and take care of my family," Greer wrote in a letter to the campaign. "I know sending the money back is hard, but with what has happened it may be politically beneficial for you to do." (Download the letter here.)

The letter goes on to hammer the Republican Party of Florida leaders who helped oust Greer. "The current RPOF leadership, including (gubernatorial candidate Bill) McCollum, (Party Chairman John) Thrasher and many of the state committee members are simply liars, racists, and extremists ... the current bunch that are running the show will stop at nothing to cover for their own misdeeds," it reads.

Expect the letter to become ammunition against Crist, who picked Greer as party chairman. This line in particular: "Charlie over the last three years, I did all that I was asked to do by you and others. Your goals were my goals." And Greer makes it clear he still supports Crist.

A spokesman for the Crist campaign at first disputed its authenticity: "No reason to believe it is" real. Crist's campaign has refused to refund previous contributions.

But later Monday, the Crist campaign changed its tune for Greer. "We received the letter and are in the process of refunding the contributions," said Danny Kanner, a spokesman.

(Photo not taken by the Times/Herald)