Florida GOP leader Jim Greer Out

The embattled head of Florida’s Republican Party, Jim Greer, has announced that he will resign in February.  The press release reads:

RPOF Communications – January 05, 2010

Tallahassee – Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer today announced that he will step down as Chairman effective February 20, 2010. Documents pertaining to Chairman Greer’s announcement are below. Additional information regarding an election for his replacement will be released when available. The RPOF Annual Meeting scheduled for this Saturday, January, 9, 2010 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando will proceed as scheduled. Information on attaining press credentials for this event will be sent in a subsequent media advisory.

Greer has long been under fire for his mishandling of the GOP in Florida and for quickly announcing that the RPOF would be backing Gov. Charlie Crist in his race for the Senate seat.  The outcry from Floridians was deafening.  Crist’s main competitor for the Senate seat is well liked Marco Rubio and Rubio is currently outpolling Crist.  The GOP of any state has no right to come out before a primary and back any candidate.  Greer has also mismanaged party money.

There is still an issue with the RPOF, though.  Greer’s replacement is rumored to be current FL State Sen. John Thrasher.  His previous job was as the HIGHEST paid lobbyist in Florida. He cleared $2.7 million a year as a hired gun for the usual bunch of special interests that need favorable legislation. Mr. Thrasher made sure that Florida taxpayers coughed up not $1 million per mile for CSX owned tracks. Nope, Thrasher got $10 million per mile for the rail barons. That’s the highest per mile cost for similar projects. SunRail is not very popular in Florida.

The Miami Herald reported during Thrasher’s run for his current State Senate seat:

The airwaves across Jacksonville are resounding with ads, most of them for or against Thrasher. One TV ad was paid for by Conservative Citizens for Justice, whose president, Tom Edwards, is the immediate past president of the Florida Justice Association, the lobbying arm of the trial bar. The group’s ad notes that Thrasher was twice criticized — reprimanded once and fined once — by the Commission on Ethics for violating lobbying restrictions.

A second group, Stop Tax Waste Inc., is flogging Thrasher in direct-mail fliers for spending $5.8 million to remodel the House chamber when he was speaker. President T.J. Harrington said his goal is to show voters that Thrasher is not the fiscal conservative he claims to be.

And Post On Politics reported in October of 2009:

Senate President Jeff Atwater tapped former House Speaker John Thrasher, the most recent addition to the Florida Senate, to head up the Ethics and Elections Committee.

Thrasher is no stranger to ethics violations. He admitted to breaking state ethics rules twice, once when he was a House member and again after he returned to lobbying.

The first violation took place in 1993 when Thrasher appeared before the state medical board as a paid representative of the Florida Medical Association. State law bans sitting lawmakers from lobbying.

In 2001, after he left the legislature and returned to lobbying, Thrasher was hit with another ethics violation.

The Jacksonville Republican lobbied lawmakers on behalf of his client the University of Miami without waiting for the two-year waiting period to elapse before former lawmakers can legally lobby current lawmakers.

Thrasher admitted he had violated the ethics laws and was chastised for the first violation and fined $500 for the second.

If this if the Republican Party’s answer, than the recently formed Tea Party political party is beginning to look more and more appealing.  When is the GOP going to start listening to We The People?  This is not a return to conservative principles.  This is replacing one corrupt politician with another.


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