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LeMieux: Jim Greer's not telling the truth about secret contract

Jim Greer's TV tell-all went into its second day last night on WTSP. Again, not much new here save for the former Republican Party of Florida chairman going on record to say what he and his lawyers have said in the past -- that the fraud charges against him were part of a Republican conspiracy to get him because he backed then-Gov. Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio in last year's Senate race.

Greer reiterates his claim that both Crist and his former advisor, current Senate candidate George LeMieux, knew he was involved with party fundraising. Ultimately, Greer former and party executive director Delmar Johnson formed a company called Victory Strategies. Prosecutors alleged Greer kept his involvement secret and funneled party money to himself.

WTSP dug up a news clip of Crist denying the allegations that he was involved in the Victory Strategies deal: "It's sad when people in a desperate situation say desperate things."

We asked LeMieux's spokesman, Brian Seitchik, what the candidate has to say. Here's his statement: "It's sad what's happened to Jim Greer. He clearly took some very wrong turns. What he says is just not true."

In the WTSP piece, Greer reiterates his allegations that the Victory Strategies arrangement saved the party money because RPOF was no longer paying Meredity O'Rourke $30k a month to raise money, plus 10 percent of the take. If he saved the party money, his lawyers say, there's no fraud.

The Republican Party of Florida has ordered everyone involved in the case to keep their mouths shut. But some Republicans not directly connected to the case have been raising concerns about what they say is the one-sided nature of the WTSP piece.

They say party leaders such as Sen. John Thrasher (who succeeded Greer), current House Speaker Dean Cannon and current Senate President Mike Haridopolos clearly knew nothing of the fundraising deal with Victory Strategies, which Greer set up with then executive director Delmar Johnson, who is testifying for the prosecution. Party leaders admit they disliked Greer and they say that's proof they didn't know about the deal -- because they would have blown the whistle a long time ago.

Republicans also say that Greer is muddying the waters over his alleged saving of party money because he misspent a good deal of it as well; and fundraising under him wasn't as robust as it could have been (we'll have to check the numbers, but what makes such an analysis difficult is the fluctuation in fundraising in non-election years, presidential election years, gubernatorial election years and the funds raised in the party's federal account and state account, which has two sub-accounts for state House and Senate races).

Greer's potential trump card: a severance deal that Thrasher, Cannon, Haridopolos and party attorney Jason Gonzalez signed. It absolved Greer of any irregularities. A draft of the contract, seen by Gonzalez at least, mentioned Victory Strategies. 

Obviously, there's more to come, more back-and-forth. And there's the criminal trial, where Delmar Johnson will take the stand. It's not as if Johnson has clean hands in the whole big-spending department... remember the story of the $20,000 desk and the oil-painting fiasco?

In the meantime, as we noted yesterday, this is bad news for LeMieux during campaign season. And if this keeps up, there's a good chance he'll be deposed (a nightmare for a candidate -- just ask Gov. Rick Scott about depositions).

WTSP's story and video are here

Here's the first story of Greer's arrest, his jailhouse calls, and the first report about the depositions of party leaders