Almost feeling sorry for Jim Greer

The fact that Jim Greer pleaded guilty Monday to grand theft and money laundering (a fraud charge was dropped), has the Republican Party of Florida and many current and former elected Republicans, as well as former Gov. Charlie Crist (who is now a Democrat) breathing a sigh of relief.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The fact that Jim Greer pleaded guilty Monday to grand theft and money laundering (a fraud charge was dropped), has the Republican Party of Florida and many current and former elected Republicans, as well as former Gov. Charlie Crist (who is now a Democrat) breathing a sigh of relief.

Whether those officials had anything to worry about or not, we may never know. But they are doubtlessly happy that Greer’s trial — which was bound to have a circus-like atmosphere — will not take place. Had the trial occurred, Greer — the former party chairman whose oversized frame competed with his oversized ego — had promised lots of dirt on a who’s who of Florida politics, including Crist, former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, former Republican Party of Florida Chairman John Thrasher, former Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, former Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Will Weatherford.

ED GREER
Photo: Jim Greer cuts up his RPOF Amex. card.

The subject matter during the trial was certain to include Greer’s claims that party leaders were aware of Continue reading “Almost feeling sorry for Jim Greer”

When the mischief is already done

Enter Dave Weldon.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Up until May 18, Florida Republicans were basically facing a choice between just two candidates for the party’s nomination to the U.S. Senate to challenge Bill Nelson in November.

Although Cornelius McGillicuddy IV (aka: Connie Mack) lacks accomplishment, he has been the presumptive front-runner in the race, while George LeMieux has worked tirelessly to get Republican voters to forget that he used to be Charlie Crist’s right-hand man.

After watching the field of previous candidates fail to make traction, Mack got in relatively late. But given that his father was a member of Congress from Florida for 18 years, he has been able to take advantage of daddy’s hard work and reputation to rise to the top.

But all that rises to the top isn’t necessarily the cream of the crop. Mack was born with a Continue reading “When the mischief is already done”

A 5th-grader for U.S. Senate?

Lacking a talented bench, Florida Republicans have nothing but a Charlie Crist re-tread, a blessed to be born with a good name dipstick, and a wing-nut, now that the ultimate political opportunist, Florida’s CFO Jeff Atwater decided not to get into the race.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published April 24, 2012

There is competition for the television show “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” It is not on TV but it is entertainment nonetheless. It’s called the Florida Republican U.S. Senate primary.

Lacking a talented bench, Florida Republicans have nothing but a Charlie Crist re-tread, a blessed to be born with a good name dipstick, and a wing-nut, now that the ultimate political opportunist, Florida’s CFO Jeff Atwater decided not to get into the race.

First there is George LeMieux. LeMieux was the puppet master of the Crist regime. He also gave Republicans Continue reading “A 5th-grader for U.S. Senate?”

Republican Party Kool-Aid? No thanks

The fact is I don’t hate the Republican Party. But I don’t love it either. For me, the party is merely the means to an end. When the party or its candidates don’t support the end, they don’t get my support.

By Chris Ingram

Special Correspondent, Tampa Tribune

Last week Hillsborough GOP Chairwoman Deborah Cox-Roush asked me, “Why do you hate the Republican Party?” I wasn’t the slightest bit surprised or offended by the question as I’ve been asked this before.

The fact is I don’t hate the Republican Party. But I don’t love it either. For me, the party is merely the means to an end. When the party or its candidates don’t support the end, they don’t get my support.

As far as my Republican bona-fides go, I’ve been bleeding Republican red since I was a kid. At 10 years old, I made a hand-made sign boasting “Reagan for President” that I tacked to my bedroom door.

As an adult I’ve worked for the election of scores of Republican candidates. I’ve stuffed envelopes, walked neighborhoods, managed campaigns, attended conventions, and contributed money. I’ve been a registered Republican my whole life.

But I quit drinking the GOP’s Kool-Aid years ago.

I refuse to support Republican candidates when Continue reading “Republican Party Kool-Aid? No thanks”

Sheriff Gee for U.S. Senate

Humility. Statesmanship. Maturity. A vision for the future. Those are attributes of leadership that so many in Washington lack. These are the characteristics possessed by Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee.

By Chris Ingram

Special Correspondent, The Tampa Tribune

Published May 7, 2011

Only half joking, I’ve been suggesting Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd should run for the U.S. Senate. I remain convinced the current group of candidates lack the qualifications, communication skills or ideas to make an ounce of difference in the “greatest deliberative body.” Judd would stir things up.

Despite my public pleas for Judd to enter the race, he hasn’t made any noticeable effort to run. He apparently likes being sheriff; it has been a good gig for him. Do a YouTube search on the sheriff and more than 100 videos pop up. The guy likes attention. In fact, it has been said the most dangerous place in Polk County is the space between Grady Judd and a TV camera. Continue reading “Sheriff Gee for U.S. Senate”

An uninspiring Senate flock

The current front-runner is state Senate President Mike Haridopolos, the favorite of the party establishment who gave us Charlie Crist and Jim Greer and prefer the status quo. If you, too, like the way things are, and if you think the politicians currently in office are outstanding public servants with the best interests of your children at heart, Mike is your man.

BY CHRIS INGRAM

Special Correspondent

Published: March 14, 2011, The Tampa Tribune

The Republican Party never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

The current field of GOP candidates who aspire to run against U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson represent another missed opportunity. They are all uninspiring political ladder climbers who lack a vision for anyone’s future but their own.

So who are these men who seek to represent us? Continue reading “An uninspiring Senate flock”

The mess that is the Fla. G.O.P.

I.V.: Given his low poll numbers and discontent of him within the GOP, what should Charlie do?

Ingram: The best thing Charlie Crist can do at this point is drop out and try to rehabilitate his image. It can be done. But running as anything other than a Republican permanently ruins his chances to run for the White House or vice-presidency – especially if he loses. But Charlie is a political animal and while he has good instincts most of the time, he won’t drop out because he’s too stubborn and has started believing his own press releases, and isn’t listening to anyone.

Creative Loafing asks Chris Ingram a few questions

CL: Given his low poll numbers and discontent of him within the GOP, what should Charlie Crist do?

Ingram: The best thing Charlie Crist can do at this point is drop out and try to rehabilitate his image. It can be done. But running as anything other than a Republican permanently ruins his chances to run for the White House or vice-presidency – especially if he loses. But Charlie is a political animal and while he has good instincts most of the time, he won’t drop out because he’s too stubborn and has started believing his own press releases, and isn’t listening to anyone.

CL: He’s been abandoned by a lot of people including his life-long mentor, former U.S. Senator Connie Mack. What was up with that?

Ingram: Connie Mack is a politician. He calculated that Charlie can’t win so he used Crist’s veto of SB6 as a convenient excuse to stop supporting him. Mack is shallow and lacks a spine and integrity like most politicians. If he had any real principles and convictions he would have dumped Charlie the day he hugged Obama. But at that point Charlie was about 30 points up in the polls. Continue reading “The mess that is the Fla. G.O.P.”