Former FL GOP chair says ‘right-wing crazies’ want to suppress black vote
Former Florida Republican Party Chair Jim Greer testified in a lawsuit filed against his former party that “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” wanted to suppress the black vote through Voter ID and tactics like current state Gov. Rick Scott’s efforts to purge voter rolls, according to reporting in the the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday.
“I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,” he testified in the 630-page affidavit that spans two days of deposition about a fundraising meeting with party general counsel Jason Gonzalez, political consultant Jim Rimes and Eric Eikenberg, Crist’s chief of staff. Rimes denies the discussion concerned voter suppression to the Times, and Eikenberg did nto return the paper’s phone calls.
Greer claimed that the 2010 criminal fraud charges filed against him and other Republicans were part of internal party power scheming designed to push out him and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, among others.
Crist now classifies himself as a moderate, and criticized Gov. Rick Scott’s “shameless” tactics that suppress voting rights, including requiring photo IDs, preventing felons from voting and purging voter rolls “unconscionable” on Wednesday.
Greer also testified that the party’s budget committee was made up of “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” who wanted to push Crist and Greer out over political disagreements. including outrage over Crist’s appointment of an African-American judge and anger at Crist hugging President Barack Obama in 2009. “My phone lit up with people wanting me to censure the governor,” Greer testified, according to the Times. “Legislative leaders were using their party credit cards like drunken sailors and they made it clear to me I was not to interfere with their spending.”
Greer resigned after pressure from the party in late 2009, signing a severance agreement that outlined a $130,000 payment. Party officials later denied making the agreement and refused to honor it.
“They took everything I worked for my whole life,” he said, admitting that his family is now on food stamps. “Any good thing I did at the Republican Party has been destroyed by these people. I want my life back. I want them to say they are sorry for what they did to me.”
Watch an interview with Greer, uploaded to YouTube on January 23.