Charlie Crist Supporter Arrested for Election Fraud

Robert Waechter

In late June of 2010 a fundraiser was held for Charlie Crist. Crist had decided he would run as an Independent for the US Senate seat currently held by Marco Rubio. At that fundraiser was former Republican Party of Sarasota Chair Robert “Bob” Waechter.

Waechter was one of the “movers and shakers” of the Republican Party at the time. There was an outcry from party members that Waechter was there in violation of his sworn oath as a member of the Republican Executive Committee to only support party candidates. He broke his oath and resigned from the executive committee but not from the party.

Fast forward to recent events and we find Waechter running for the position of Treasurer of the Republican Party of Sarasota on Monday, December 10, 2012. Waechter was defeated by Roy Wells in his bid to re-enter the party executive board structure. So we have Waechter, a supporter of Crist, working his way back into the party favored and power network.

Waechter would have remained a power player if not for one thing – his attempt at election fraud.

On Friday, December 14, 2012, just days after his failed bid to become the party treasurer, he was according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, “[C]harged with a felony after authorities say he stole the identity of a political rival and made campaign donations in her name to a Democratic candidate for Congress to embarrass her.”

Here is the irony. This is not the first felony that Waechter has been charged with.

In 1979 Waechter was accused of felony burglary. This felony charge, of which he was never convicted, came to light when he was running for the Chair of the Republican Party of Sarasota. His plea to the members of the Executive Committee was this was a one-time mistake, which he would not repeat. So much for promises made by Waechter.

Some have accused Republicans of becoming more and more like Democrats. Conservative voters have begun to wonder who really represents them. The Republican Party of Sarasota has touted itself as a conservative organization; but it is leaders like Waechter who call into question the core values of the party structure. A structure that keeps embracing the Waechters over and over again.

The Republican Party of Sarasota’s website states, “The mission of the Republican Party of Sarasota County is to serve as the umbrella organization for all GOP activities leading to the election of qualified, loyal Republicans, through education, communication and the motivation of the electorate.”

Perhaps the Republican Party of Florida needs to define what a “qualified, loyal” member is first?