“Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida now seeking his old seat as a Democrat, has received the worst type of attention at the start of his campaign: a jilted former fundraiser testifying under oath that judicial nominations were up for sale on Mr. Crist’s watch,” reports Kellen Howell from the Washington Times.
Charlie Crist is the former Republican, turned Independent and now Democrat candidate for Governor, again.
According to Howell, “Rothstein testified that as a fundraiser he had a ‘quid pro quo’ relationship in which he was able to encourage Mr. Crist, then the Florida governor, to name judges to the bench in Broward County who would rule favorably for his law firm [Morgan & Morgan].” Morgan & Morgan is the driving force behind the constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. Crist is a lawyer in the Morgan & Morgan Tampa office.
“For certain contributions, people were appointed to the bench ,” Rothstein said in testimony reported by local news media. “I was able to convince him to do a lot of things. He knew how that game was played. I expected him to do certain things in exchange for large contributions.” Buying and selling seats on the bench in Florida may require Morgan & Morgan to defend one of their own?
Crist has always found ways to surround himself with those who break the law. Jim Greer is the crest fallen former Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.
Tom Tillison in his February 2013 column “Charlie Crist looks the liar in Jim Greer trial” reports:
With past and present GOP leaders preparing to testify in former state Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer’s fraud and money laundering trial, it’s possible the political fallout could overshadow the trial itself.
A deposition by lobbyist Brian Ballard could offer a sampling of what’s in store.
According to details reported Thursday in the Orlando Sentinel, Ballard contradicted former Gov. Charlie Crist’s sworn statement that he did not know Greer would be paid extra to raise funds for the Republican Party.
When asked by Greer’s attorney if Crist was “aware of and approved of an arrangement for fund-raising wherein Greer … would be compensated,” Ballard responded, “That was my understanding.”
Ballard’s statement has been corroborated by the testimony of a second witness, yet when confronted with the contradictions during his March deposition, Crist replied, “I don’t believe that’s truthful.”
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In another potentially damaging disclosure, Crist admitted “it’s possible” that he told Greer “to leak Marco Rubio’s American Express bill to the then-St. Petersburg Times,” according to the Sentinel.
Charlie Crist’s signature is all over this scandal of money for judges. This may be not only the end of Crist’s campaign for Governor but also the end of his political career.
UPDATE: The Republican Party of Florida just released this ad titled “Charlie Crist: The Other Hug”: