In it, but not of it. TPM DC
December 21, 2009
State Committee Members,
I feel compelled to respond to the recent criticisms from some members of the state executive committee and calls for my resignation or removal.
First and foremost, to remove any doubt about my intentions, I will absolutely not resign my position.
At the December 2009 RPOF board meeting, I received a vote of confidence from 25 of the 27 board members in attendance. I enjoy the support of Florida's Republican Governor, United States Senator, legislative leadership, several congressmen, dozens of state legislators and thousands of Florida's grassroots leaders and donors. What I do not enjoy is the support of all of the Republican primary campaigns for the United States Senate. While this is unfortunate, I will not let the efforts of one campaign deter me from the mission I accepted in February 2009, when over 75 precept of state executive committee voted to re-elect me as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.
What has transpired in the last week has been nothing short of slander and libel by a group of people bent on the destruction of the Republican Party. A coordinated campaign of misinformation, complete with late night phone calls and e-mails filled with rumors and innuendo, all in attempt to create the appearance of chaos at a time when the party is laser-focused on defeating Democrats.
The suggestion that the RPOF was in an inferior position to the Florida Democratic Party is insane. We have 76 of 120 state representatives, 26 of 40 state senators, the Governor's Mansion, a United States Senate seat, three of four Cabinet positions, 15 of 25 congressmen and a healthy representation at the county and city leadership levels. We have outraised our Democrat counterparts in all but one quarter in the last three years.
In 2008, in a general election that was miserable for Republicans across the US, we did not lose a single incumbent in the Florida House and Florida Senate. We did this despite the Obama Campaign outspending McCain 7 to 1 in Florida. Let me repeat - there has been NO erosion in the house, senate or cabinet. This is not a party on the verge of irrelevancy.
It has also been suggested that the RPOF is on the verge of bankruptcy. In fact, if all outstanding bills were paid today we would have a substantial surplus as we prepare for the 2010 election cycle.
My decision to cut up my credit card, along with the cards of all nonessential staff, was done to demonstrate that we were serious about reining in embarrassing stories of European vacations and expensive hotel stays. To be clear, I was not responsible for either. As Chairman, I take full responsibility for all expenditures, and have taken steps to ensure that we will never deal with stories like that again. We have also cut operating expenses and have streamlined our processes to facilitate future reductions.
Yes, in hindsight some mistakes were made, but I have always made the best decision with the information that I had available, but we have now put in the proper spending controls and are working with all campaigns to ensure that we are ready to fight our real foe, the Democrats. We have good candidates, and are moving forward with an aggressive and financially sound election plan that will ensure continued Republican successes in 2010.
Now, if I may, I'd like to talk about these recent calls for my resignation. They all have one thing in common, and it is not geography, ideology or good intention. It is treason that for the sake of personal ambition that members of this party are airing dirty laundry and even budget and strategy plans publicly to serve their selfish interests.
Read what Democrat Steve Schale observed about what is happening to the Grand Old Party and what it meant when Democrats behaved similarly:
"Between 1996 and 2000, the Florida Democratic Party had something like four chairs. During the same period, the House Democrats ousted their leader designate, Willie Logan. The result: utter disaster. Between 1998 and 2000 alone, the Democrats lost virtually every statewide office, including the Presidency, a couple of state senate seats and 12-14 state house seats. And it wasn't like the national mood was horrible then for Democrats. In 1998, Democrats won virtually every southern Governor and picked up seats in Congress both cycles.
But not here. That era alone took my party from relevant minority to the dark ages---a place we are just now still climbing out of."
I will not resign and leave early. Not for my sake, but for the institution of the party.
I have made no secret of my support with Governor Charlie Crist. Even casual observers know that I hold this office in large part because of his support. Yes, I do intend to vote for him in the primary next year. My rights to support people who would best serve Florida were not forfeited the day I was elected. Having said this, the RPOF will remain neutral until the voters select a nominee next August.
What I will not do is be influenced by the "once a day" announcement of a new call for my resignation. I was elected to a two-year term and I will fill that term. As evidenced by the 25-2 vote of confidence at the December board meeting, my opponents form a very bitter minority that chooses to spend its time fighting with other Republicans while the Democrats smile.
I call upon Allen Cox, Allison DeFoor, Peter Feaman, Bob Starr, Deborah Cox-Roush, Tony Dimatteo and the other stakeholders in this primary to end this ridiculous interparty bickering. I believe 2010 could be a special year for Republicans in Florida and nationwide, but only if we keep focus on who the opposition is: the socialist, big government democrats that won't stop until they've run this great country into the ground.
I will meet personally with any Republican donor, whether they've given $5 or $250,000, to explain how our new staffing, operational and spending processes will make sure their hard earned money is spent wisely.
Finally, I would offer a gentle but firm warning. Several of my opponents have told me that they will continue this attack on my character until I acquiesce to their demands. I would tell them that a person's reputation is precious, and that I will use every resource in my command to actively protect mine. Hateful lies intended to hurt my family are certainly not part of Reagan's 11th commandment, I will not stoop to their disgraceful level instead I will stay focused on winning elections.
I hope the hardworking supporters, donors and elected officials of the Republican Party of Florida know how honored I am to serve them and how proud I am to have their support.
James A. Greer