Embattled former state Republican Party chairman Jim Greer continues to level some fairly ominous accusations at the organization he once ran, even as he awaits trial on theft and fraud charges.
Looking back on a hastily called conference call with reporters three years ago, when he announced his decision to step down as chairman, Greer said then he was resigning to heal the acrimony among party members who saw him as “too moderate.”
He pointed to tea party activists and some grassroots Republicans as the reason, saying they would “burn the house down and try to destroy the Republican Party” if he stayed on, according to Fox News.
“While some are more interested in tearing and shredding the fabric of the Republican Party to pieces, I will not be a participant in this destructive behavior,” he said on that 2010 call.
What a difference three years make.
A lot has happened in that time, including a wiretap, an arrest, a lawsuit to collect $130,000 Greer was promised in a written agreement before he resigned and what Greer and his attorney call the party’s attempt to pay him “hush money” — a charge party leaders adamantly deny.
Now, in a Miami New Times interview this week, Greer is promising to make the Republicans who abandoned him in all the turmoil pay.
“It’s going to be a Shakespearean play where everyone dies in the end,” he told New Times. “It won’t be good for anybody. People need to know what goes on behind the curtain in the Republican Party, and before the Republicans tried to destroy me, they should have thought about what the consequences were going to be.”
Greer’s interview comes seven months after he testified in a deposition, denouncing some party officials as liars and “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” and claiming the party had a racist element, according to a July article in the Tampa Bay Times.
Even Greer’s wife got in on the act. The Miami Herald reported that Lisa Greer posted a Facebook comment just before the November election, saying in part, “Lawyers keep asking me to not speak out until the time is right, not to name names, but I can’t wait much longer to tell the secrets of those who could help us, but don’t.’’
At the core of all the drama are allegations that Greer redirected money, spent party funds recklessly and kept what New Times called “a trove of party secrets.” Once then-Gov. Charlie Crist’s top aide, Greer told New Times that Republicans now fear him because “no one is quite sure which ones [secrets] he’ll spill.”
Who among the Republicans risks becoming collateral damage in the fallout?
With Crist all but certain to reenter the political arena as a Democratic candidate for governor, Greer finds himself in a unique situation.
He swears he had Crist’s blessing to act as he did and believes Crist didn’t protect him. Yet his angst seems to be directed more at the Republican Party, which he calls dysfunctional.
Greer’s trial is set for Feb. 11 in Orlando Circuit Court, and based on the Miami New Times interview, he seems to be in a mood to confess. It remains to be seen if any souls are redeemed in the process.
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