Sometimes there is not much to say...

Beyond the title and the link:

Ex-Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer indicted on charges of grand theft, money laundering

I mean, the only way it could it get any worse than the title implies is if the Florida GOP party could not figure out what Greer was doing on their own:

Greer had resigned under pressure in January after revelations about extravagant credit card spending. Only after he agreed to leave did party officials learn the details about a shell company he had set up, Victory Strategies LLC, which had a secret contract with the party: It would raise funds for the party and keep 10 percent of every major gift.

Party officials have said they did not know until after Greer's resignation that he owned 60 percent of the company.

At an Orlando new conference today, Statewide Prosecutor William Shepherd said Greer used Victory Strategies to steal and launder the money, pocketing a total of $125,161.50. Greer's hand-picked executive director and partner in Victory Strategies, Delmar Johnson, collected another $65,093, according to an affidavit that accompanied a search warrant sought by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Umm... Yeah. A "secret contract"??? So the party is saying that they didn't have a clue what their chairman was doing with their money? No oversight of their money at all? No treasurer?

No anybody else approving contracts in the hundred grand +++ payment range ?

Either they are corrupt, too, or completely incompetent as a party.

And Buyer Beware: Donate to the Florida GOP at your own peril...

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And the Florida GOP always worth paying attention to their crimes.

I checked my files but I find no recent direct connection by Greer or Johnson to Mike Connell, Tom Slade, Roy Cales, DCI Group, etc., beyond the Florida GOP affiliation itself.

That is, except for John McCain's candidacy where Greer and Johnson were both actively involved on McCain's FL organization.

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson

in a rec'ed diary at dKos:

Yesterday’s arrest of a former Florida GOP chairman charged with stealing $125,000 from his party’s coffers should revive interest in an unfinished story here in Maryland.  The Florida GOP chairman was indicted for paying party funds to a bogus company that allegedly didn’t do any work.

If that doesn’t sound familiar, you may have missed a report last year from WBAL-TV’s Jayne Miller uncovering $417,000 in payments from campaign accounts controlled by Bob Ehrlich and Michael Steele to Allied Berton LLC, an inactive company owned by Washington lawyer Sandy Roberts, a friend and confidant of  Michael Steele who never claimed to be in any kind of campaign services business.  Mr. Roberts’s website depicted his firm as a commodities trader, and no other campaign ever reported any payments to Allied Berton.

Jayne Miller reported that in the final weeks of their last campaign, Mr. Ehrlich and Mr. Steele paid $417,000 from their donors’ contributions to the mysterious Allied Berton LLC in 28 transactions from four different state and federal campaign accounts they controlled:

Bob Ehrlich for Maryland $229,000
Steele for Maryland (FEC) $64,000
Kristen Cox for Maryland $73,000
Maryland Republican Party (FEC) $50,000

Unfinished business
At the time Jayne Miller broke this story, Bob Ehrlich was not running for re-election, and the national media was just discovering the Michael Steele that Marylanders know and love, so the story never attracted the attention it deserved.  That permitted Mr. Ehrlich and Mr. Steele to effectively stonewall, refusing to provide invoices, receipts, or any information explaining why they paid $417,000 of their donors’ money to an inactive company owned by a friend of Mr. Steele holding itself out to be a commodities trader, not any sort of campaign services business.  

State and federal election laws prohibit campaigns committees from making payments to third parties to conceal the true recipients or purpose of expenditures, but as far as we know, the state prosecutor appointed by Mr. Ehrlich ignored evidence pointing to Mr. Ehrlich even when it was right under his nose.

Now that Mr. Ehrlich is running for re-election, he and Mr. Steele owe their donors and the public an explanation of their $417,000 in payments to Allied Berton, backed up with invoices and receipts.  I don’t think this matter will lead to anything like yesterday’s arrest in Florida, which alleges the former GOP chairman secretly owned the firm receiving the payments, but the denizens of the state house pit should take a lesson from their Florida colleagues, who discovered the suspicious payments last February and pursued the story until the Florida GOP chairman resigned, prosecutors investigated, and a grand jury indicted.

- Steve Lebowitz, Annapolis

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