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George LeMieux is a man of formidable talents and intellect. He is acknowledged, by friend and foe alike, as an excellent lawyer, public speaker and debater. That said, if he is nominated as the Republican Candidate for the Florida U.S. Senate seat in 2012 you can bet your bottom dollar Senator Bill Nelson WILL win re-election.
Why? Four words: “L’affaire Greer” and “Charlie Crist”. George LeMieux is in up to his neck in one of the most tawdry and destructive political scandals to hit the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) in recent memory and was, for lack of a better word, the doppelgänger of that most notorious of political turncoats, Charlie Crist.
First, let’s talk the “Charlie Crist” problem. Can anyone forget the picture taken on 11 February 2009 of Charlie Crist embracing President Obama and his subsequent endorsement of the Porkulus bill? It was the beginning of one the most spectacular political suicides in American history. Charlie Crist lost all of his Republican base, literally, in a matter of minutes on that day. Grassroots and local Republican leaders were screaming bloody murder over this betrayal. From George Lemieux, not one word of criticism. He was Charlie’s man.
Just how much he was Charlie’s man became apparent when Mel Martinez resigned his Senate Seat in August 2009. I was still active in my local county party and during a meeting during that timeframe, our county chairman announced that Charlie Crist had called her and asked her to canvas the local Republican Executive Committee for suggestions as to who should replace Martinez. A lot of names were mentioned in the meeting, but I assure you, not once did George LeMieux’s name come up. When Crist then announced that LeMieux was to replace Martinez in the U.S. Senate, it quickly became apparent that Charlie’s phoning all the Florida County Republican Chairman for advice was so much crap. Crist’s “Political Coffin” got a lot more nails driven into it that day, and not with hammers, but with nail guns. George LeMieux was openly acknowledged as a Crist “Crony” by practically everyone and he was expected to be a loyal place holder until Charlie won in 2010. And LeMieux WAS loyal all the way up to the day that Crist abandoned the GOP in 2010 when it became apparent he couldn’t beat Marco Rubio in the GOP primary.
Bottom Line” from this: It is a very plausible argument that George LeMieux is a man whose values are based not on principle, but on personal aggrandizement. And before you argue with me otherwise, consider his actions during the RPOF/Greer money scandal.
The Republican Party of Florida elites are about to be raked over the coals next year when former RPOF Chairman Jim Greer goes on trial. Here is some background on the issue from a post I wrote back in 2010: Who do You Believe: “Sammy the Bull” Gravano or Jim Greer?…Answer: Both
Note that Jim Greer has explicitly stated Lemieux was intimately involved in the possible criminal misuse of party funds. Indeed, Greer claims that LeMieux was the guy that came up with the scheme to allow Jim Greer and Delmar Johnson to set up their political consulting firm in order to siphon off RPOF funds and get around campaign finance law in order to support Crist’s run for the U.S. Senate. George LeMieux insists he was a simple private citizen at the time, but that is simply so much BS.
Fact: George LeMieux (who recommended Greer for the RPOF Chair) was getting TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH in “consultation fees” from the RPOF starting in 2008. (Not a bad payday for a part time job during one of the most difficult economic downturns since 1929). Make no mistake, Jim Greer and Charlie Crist approved and made possible this lucrative arrangement for LeMieux.
Both LeMieux and Crist use the same words when addressing the charges by Greer. Here is a link to how LeMieux addresses Greer’s charges. And here is a link to how Crist denied Greer’s accusations. Both men use eerily similar language. If someone was accusing me of major crimes, I’d be much more emphatic than just saying “It’s sad…”.
Emmett Kelly is “sad”. What Jim Greer is doing is accusing both Crist and LeMieux of committing full blown felonies that can send both men to the “Big House” if proven in court.
So, let’s summarize: George LeMieux picked Jim Greer to be RPOF chairman; It is alleged that George LeMieux was the guy who came up with the idea for Greer to set up a scheme to siphon funds from the RPOF; George LeMieux was getting paid more for a part time job at the RPOF than a U.S. Navy Captain is paid FULL TIME to command a Cruiser or Aircraft Carrier.
Now, I ask anyone reading this: Does anyone REALLY believe that George LeMieux was totally out of the RPOF loop while Jim Greer was in charge and had NO IDEA about the actions of Jim Greer that resulted in Greer being indicted for six felonies ?
If a person is of the opinion that George LeMieux was armpit deep in the RPOF quagmire and is still going to vote for him, I say that person is implicitly endorsing the corrupt, “good ole boy” politics that Florida is famous for.
If one feels that George LeMieux had absolutely no knowledge of Greer’s GOP shenanigans (while at the same time getting paid TEN GRAND A MONTH to advise the RPOF) and is worthy of one’s vote, then I say that one is voting for a man who must be a complete simpleton.
Now I readily admit being a “simpleton” does not disqualify a citizen from being a U.S. Senator (indeed, from some of the current crop, it seems to be a requirement…I’m talking to you Barbara Boxer). However, in these trying times, I would hope one would vote for someone who has some sense of personal honor, would work to do the right thing for the people and be somewhat smarter than Barbara Boxer.
Jim Greer is now fighting for his freedom. He faces prison and complete personal ruin. He has been cast adrift by the RPOF elite, but if the newspaper reports are true (and if conservative news sites are to be believed), Jim Greer is going to go down fighting.
And I will be honest with you, I hope he does. Jim Greer DID NOT act alone and there is hard evidence that points towards Charlie Crist and George LeMieux as being intimately involved. Rest assured Greer will be provided an ample megaphone from the local MSM press when this scandal/trial comes to a head on 2012, just in time for the election.
It stuns me that many of the Republican Establishment are backing LeMieux. It is as if all sins are forgiven for the hell Charlie Crist, George LeMieux and Jim Greer put our party through and it’s time to support for a candidate that the “good ole boys” of the RPOF can depend on.
Remember, if LeMieux gets called in to testify at Greer’s trail, then it will be very hard for him to explain all the inevitable “I don’t recall” answers he may have to give so he doesn’t place himself into real legal jeopardy. Bottom Line: Bill Nelson will hammer LeMieux bloody over “L’affaire Greer” and rightly so. Floridians do not hesitate to split their vote between parties during general elections and Bill Nelson will benefit from this fact.
When “L’affaire Greer” takes center stage in 2012, It will be a no-win situation for LeMieux. He can only claim that he was completely clueless as to the inner workings of the RPOF, while at the same time he was getting a TEN GRAND a month stipend from the RPOF coffers while all this was happening. Couple this with the “Prima Facia” fact of his close, intimate relationship with both Jim Greer and Charlie Crist and what you have is a situation that simply doesn’t pass the smell test.
I have voted Republican since 1980 (I voted for Carter in my first Election, but in my defense I was a sophomore in college and had sobered up by 1980). I never missed voting in an election during my time in the Navy nor in the time since I got out. I have voted for the likes of Ronald Reagan, Jesse Helms(!!), Charlie Crist (He was the Republican nominee for Governor) and Marco Rubio. I’m one of the guys Republicans could always count on to show up at the polls and vote the party line.
If George LeMieux is the GOP Candidate for the Florida U.S. Senate race in 2012, that will change. I will not vote for Bill Nelson but nor shall I vote for George LeMieux.
You see, I know that George LeMieux is not a stupid man. However, in my opinion, he is a profoundly sleazy, if not corrupt, political hack. If he wins the GOP Nomination, I assure you, Bill Nelson’s political machine will make sure a large majority of registered voters between Pensacola and Key West have the same opinion as well.