Archive for jim greer

Former Florida GOP chairman now sells La-Z-Boy recliners

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la z boy recliner vintageAllow me to introduce you to Jim Greer. He became the Florida GOP party head in January 2007, former governor (and recent convert to the Democratic party) Charlie Crist's personal pick.

He was one of the former Florida GOP leaders who said that voter suppression was the reason for a new election law.

He was also accused of stealing a couple of hundred thousand dollars from the Republican party using a phony campaign fundraising operation. Then the Palm Beach Post reported that he was suing them back, saying GOP leaders knew what he was doing and voiced no objection.

But oops, the Tampa Bay Times reported that, despite his protesty indignation, Greer had been sentenced to 18 months in state prison plus one year of probation after he pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and one count of money laundering.

There. Now that you know Greer better, let's see how the former GOP official has been spending his time lately. Via the Orlando Sentinel, we discover what Republican felons do post-sentencing. Talk about a career change:

Jim Greer, the disgraced former chairman of the Florida GOP, is now selling La-Z-Boy recliners for $8 an hour plus commission at an Orlando-area furniture store as part of a prison work release program. [...]

But instead of behind bars, he's now assigned to an Orlando work release facility on Mercy Drive. It has no bars and no prison-like security, although, it is fenced.

Would you buy a chair from this schmo?

And as Not-Quite-Inmate GOP Guy pockets $8 an hour plus commission (minimum wage in the state is $7.79), millions of Americans are out of work, are unable to receive unemployment benefits or a decent living wage (thanks to Greer's fellow Republican pals in Congress), and are struggling just to barely get by, get fed, and get through a day.

but wait there's more smaller

Prior to his snazzy new recliner-hawking stint, Greer pulled weeds and picked up trash for six hours a day. That and the La-Z-Boy gig should spiff his political resumé right up.

Greer's lawyer, Damon Chase, said, "He's in a really good place in life, and his family is doing great."

Too bad the same can't be said for all those law-abiding types whose families depend on them for food, shelter, clothing, warmth, and security.

Greer hasn't quite turned over the proverbial new leaf yet, though. He managed to break the rules while incarcerated for breaking the rules. See, he had a $20 bill in his possession, which is a big no-no; he wasn't supposed to have anything bigger than a $5 bill on him. Hey, no problem. They counseled him a little, and he's a new man, enjoying his "good place in life."

Maybe he could talk a few of his Republican lawmaker BFFs into making life easier for the rest of us.

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Former Fla Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer sentenced to 18 months in state prison

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jim greer elvis

Jim Greer was one of the former Florida GOP leaders who said that voter suppression was the reason for new election law.

Greer was also accused of stealing a couple of hundred thou from the Republican party using a phony campaign fundraising operation. The Palm Beach Post reported that he was suing them right back, saying GOP leaders knew what he was doing and voiced no objection.

Now the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Greer has been sentenced to 18 months in state prison plus one year of probation.

It turns out that in February, he pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and one count of money laundering:

[H]e had created a company called Victory Strategies to siphon to himself and an associate some $200,000 of party donations.

"You're now a convicted felon, sir," Circuit Judge Marc Lubet told Greer Wednesday, adding that he had "egregiously violated a position of trust."

owee

Per the Times, Greer became the party head in January 2007, former governor Charlie Crist's personal pick. Yes, that former governor Charlie Crist, the one who may run again, but this time as a Democrat. In fact, Crist tried hard to convince us he really is a real Democrat. Not that I wouldn't support him if he ended up being the Democratic candidate, but my heart sure wouldn't be in it.

But I digress.

I particularly liked these sentences describing Greer's past:

He was a regular at strip clubs and bars. Both his weddings were lavish. He ...quickly worked to make friends with people he identified as politically valuable... [H]is gatherings typically had some of the area's best snacks and booze. He often dressed as Elvis and belted out songs by the King... He wanted people to call him Chairman. He wanted to drink bourbon only from bottles with personalized labels.

Jim, you sound like a real attractive guy:

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Former Florida GOP leaders: Voter suppression was reason for new election law

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Welcome to Flori-duh.

In a previous post, Eleventh-hour GOP voter suppression could swing Ohio. And in Florida, more long lines: “Let us vote! Let us vote!”, there was this from Florida:

This is America, not a third-world country,” said Myrna Peralta, who waited in line with her 4-year-old grandson for nearly two hours before being turned away. “They should have been prepared.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott did everything he could to remove people from the rolls by purging voters. That lovely gesture resulted in several lawsuits against his administration. Early voting days were also cut, from fourteen to eight, which severely reduced voter registration by organizations like the League of Women Voters. One guess who was disproportionately affected. Hint: Minority voters.

In fact, former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer came right out and said that Florida Republicans tried to suppress the black vote. He called his fellow GOPers “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies."

Greer has been accused of stealing a couple of hundred thou from the Republican party using a phony campaign fundraising operation. But the Palm Beach Post is reporting that he is suing them right back, saying GOP leaders knew what he was doing and voiced no objection, plus this:

A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.

Republican leaders said in proposing the law that it was meant to save money and fight voter fraud. But a former GOP chairman and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both of whom have been ousted from the party, now say that fraud concerns were advanced only as subterfuge for the law’s main purpose: GOP victory.

Then-Governor Charlie Crist had extended early voting hours by executive order because of the long lines during the 2008 presidential election. He says he told GOP consultants and staffers that he would veto any proposed legislative changes that would reduce early voting.

That was then.

“The people that worked in Tallahassee felt that early voting was bad, ” Crist said. “And I heard about it after I signed the executive order expanding it. I heard from Republicans around the state who were bold enough to share it with me that, ‘You just gave the election to Barack Obama.’

And then Rick Scott got his grubby hands on Florida, and we saw how that turned out. Of course now he's batting his angelic eyes and asking Secretary of State Ken Detzner to check into all those nasty November election issues. Imagine that.

Here's more from Greer:

There is absolutely nothing with their absolute obsession with retaining power that they wouldn’t do — changing the election laws to reduce early voting, to keep organizations like the League of Women Voters from registering people, going after the Supreme Court justices."

But there's also something Floridians can do: Vote the bums out.

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VIDEO ADDED: Former Fla. Republican Party chairman: Florida Republicans tried to suppress black vote

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Regular readers know how often I fume about voter suppression, especially in light of the appalling Voter I.D. laws (scroll) popping up all over the country:

Again, new voter registration laws could hurt President Obama. And as I have said over and over again, in many, many posts, the people suffering the worst consequences of the Voter I.D. laws are most often low income voters, the elderly, the ill who can’t leave home, young voters, minorities, and of course, anyone without transportation (or to put it another way, lean Democratic). And to those who say, “Well, there are always absentee ballots,” some states are now requiring Voter I.D. to qualify for those, too.

Access (transportation) to Voter I.D. centers is one reason so many people are unable to get a new picture I.D. Another is that it costs money, including paying for a copy of a birth certificate or other documents one might need to acquire a new I.D. Hence, Attorney General Holder’s reference to a poll tax.

Remember: Voter fraud is rarer than getting struck by lightning. If Republicans are so concerned about it, despite evidence to the contrary, then take steps to provide identification at no expense, physical or monetary.

To repeat, the poor can’t afford to choose between food and other necessities for their families and paying twenty-plus dollars for a picture I.D. (and as much as $200); but if they choose food, they are prevented from voting. Texas’ Voter I.D. law is tantamount to a poll tax that would result in exactly that scenario, so A.G. Holder was spot on.

Here is Pennsylvania’s legal stipulation that there is no voter fraud.

Here are all our posts on voter suppression. This is a huge issue that needs more attention.

Via the International Business Times:

Florida Republicans conspired to dampen voter turnout among African Americans, according to a former top party official currently battling criminal fraud charges. [...]

Former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer has filed a lawsuit against his former colleagues, saying he was improperly denied a $130,000 severance package after being forced out his leadership position. In a deposition recorded in late May, Greer described a party that had fallen into disarray and become divided between competing factions. [...]

In addition to saying the Florida Republican had come under the sway of "whack-a-do, right-wing crazies," he claimed that party leaders met and discussed ways to suppress the black vote.

Now Jim Greer is not exactly Mr. Perfect, but calling them "whack-a-do, right-wing crazies" does have a ring of truth to it, and he said that under oath in a deposition.

His exact words about voter suppression: "They talked about not letting blacks vote" and that party officials believed that "minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party."

I think we can safely say that minority outreach isn't a priority for the GOP.

Meantime, a federal judge won’t block the Florida voter purge, so you can see why Greer's testimony is meaningful.

And now, because it’s election season and we’ll be extra busy, we GottaAsk. We do so reluctantly and would love to reach our goal so we can stop asking already!

Please note: You can chip in to help TPC using the widget below via PayPal or major credit cards.

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Former GOP leader apologizes to Obama, calls Republicans 'racist'

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Wow, a sane (but crooked) Republican!!

Miami, Florida (CNN) - The ex-chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, Jim Greer, is now apologizing for stoking fears about President Obama's address to school children last year.

Greer, now under indictment on fraud and money-laundering charges after being drummed out of the state party, also accused "many within the GOP" of having "racist views."

In September 2009, conservatives raised questions about the motives of president's back-to-school speech, which was beamed into many of the nation's classrooms. Greer was among them, charging that "taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology."

(snip)

Greer is now apologizing for those comments.

"In the year since I issued a prepared statement regarding President Obama speaking to the nation's school children, I have learned a great deal about the party I so deeply loved and served," Greer said in a statement Tuesday to CNN and other media outlets.

"Unfortunately, I found that many within the GOP have racist views and I apologize to the President for my opposition to his speech last year and my efforts to placate the extremists who dominate our Party today. My children and I look forward to the President's speech."

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