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Lobbyist Brian Ballard becomes pivot between Florida GOP and Greer

Brian BallardLobbyist Brian Ballard has unwittingly become a pivotal figure in the state's fraud and money laundering case against former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer.

Ballard, a fundraiser and confidant to former Gov. Charlie Crist, was brought into the criminal case by Greer's lawyers to recount a telephone call he had with the governor in January 2009.

In testimony at a Nov. 17 deposition, Ballard said the governor approved of plans to bring GOP fundraising "in house'' and pay extra money to Greer and Delmar Johnson, the party's executive director.

But Ballard said he knew nothing of Victory Strategies, the private corporation Greer and Johnson established to receive a percentage of money they raised. Ballard said he first heard about the company when he read about it in newspapers. (story here)

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