This morning, former RPOF Chairman Jim Greer cut a deal with the State and pled guilty to theft and money laundering charges. This move instantly shut down what was suppose to be a political event that could send shockwaves across the state.
Instead, we got a 20 minute court hearing and the sound of state politicians taking a deep sigh of relief from all over the state.
Greer could have aired the dirty laundry of everyone he believe had knowledge of his illegal use of donor money, and put them on blast in front of the state media. We could have had news footage of former Governors, Senators, and Congressman wading past local media with flash bulbs popping and lenses clicking on their way in and out of the Orange County Courthouse.
Instead the mysteries of what really took place with Jim Greer and party leaders in the state will remain just that… a mystery.
So who wins? Who loses? Who should be drinking tonight for two entirely different reasons? Let’s break down our Winners and Losers from the Jim Greer Plea Deal.
Former Governor Charlie Crist: Could you have imagined Charlie testifying at this trial? The former Governor would have had to answer tough questions about his relationship with the man he put in power and supported. Greer seemed to be the most confident when talking about Crist’s role in this entire ordeal.
We’ll never know now.
RPOF Leadership: Greer is still probably going to do some time and the party can begin to put this behind them. The task of picking up the pieces after a rough November would be even more difficult with the party’s former Chairman taking shots at it’s leaders on every afternoon newscast.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio: He wasn’t on the witness list and he made sure whatever looked wrong was made right way back in 2010, but his name would have come up a few times if this trial would have run it’s course. He’s got enough on his plate with Immigration, his rise to GOP Superstar status, and thoughts of running in 2016.
Honorable Mention Florida Democratic Party: They’re number one hope to take back the Governor’s mansion in 2014, will remain unscathed and what might have been a damaging couple of weeks for Charlie Crist will never be.
Florida Governor Rick Scott: No one could have benefited more from watching Crist squirm on the stand, than the man who trails him in early polling for 2014. Not just that, but a dramatic trial would complimented Scott’s recent run to the center and that could have possibly improved his popularity. Now, with this deal getting done and no other big political events on the state level this year, this brings everyone’s attention back to Scott and legislative session in Tallahassee.
Alex Sink, Nan Rich, and the field: If their Gubernatorial aspirations are for real then they would have been cheering for Crist, Greer, and everyone else involved to go down in flames. Now they’ll continue to be the second option for a party looking to keep it’s momentum going next year.
Greer himself: RPOF spike the football not long after he left court and now Greer who felt betrayed by his old friends will have to serve his sentence without any payback.
That’s where we’re at.
Everyone expected more drama, more anger, and most importantly, more information. It’s been almost 3 years, which might as well be ancient history in Florida politics but with all the important names implicated in this scandal, we’ll always be asking “What really happened?”