As the Republican Party of Florida implodes over new allegations of profligate spending, first revealed at The New Argument in November of 2008, Attorney General Bill McCollum is M.I.A.
Despite evidence that at least three party leaders – Chairman Jim Greer, his deputy Delmar Johnson, and former House Speaker Ray Sansom – abused their RPOF American Express cards, McCollum told reporters today that he does not support the release of party-Amex records.
McCollum doesn’t believe the evidence against RPOF leaders rises to the level of a criminal investigation, a spokesman told the St. Pete Times. Why would he?
As the Miami Herald wrote on Monday, “Attorney General Bill McCollum, the Republican gubernatorial front-runner, has been deeply involved in the controversy, while trying to keep it quiet.”
How could McCollum know if RPOF misdeeds warrant a criminal investigation without ever examining the evidence?
McCollum is walking a tightrope here between his own interests as AG, which is to be for full disclosure, and the interests of the Republican legislature.
Gov. Charlie Crist and Paula Dockery, McCollum’s primary opponent for Governor, have both come out in favor of releasing the Amex records.
Dockery has an obvious interest in making McCollum look bad, so her position is hardly surprising. Crist has come out for disclosure after realizing that he’s not in the shit like the Republican legislature or – we can assume – Marco Rubio.
With party finances in shambles, the hefty contract given to hefty Delmar Johnson has produced much outrage. Why hasn’t there been similar outrage over the contract signed between Greer and George LeMieux?
LeMieux was paid $150,000 by RPOF as a consultant over the 13 months before he was appointed to the U.S. Senate and after he had resigned as Crist’s chief of staff. What exactly did LeMieux do for RPOF again?
Read more about the burgeoning RPOF scandal and Crist’s cronyism here.