TPMmuckraker is digging into the arrest affidavit for former Florida GOP chair Jim Greer and here’s the first good nugget: Greer allegedly tried to strong-arm a professional fundraiser for the state GOP into giving him a percent of her earnings — and when she refused, he cut off her access to his close ally Gov. Charlie Crist.
A veteran professional fundraiser who had worked for Crist’s campaign, Meredith O’Rourke was on a $30,000-per-month contract with the state party. Greer approached her a few months after his election as chair in 2007 and “stated to her that he realized there was a lot of money to be made in political fundraising,” the affidavit alleges. It continues:
“Mr. Greer told her that he could provide big, national clients for her and then together they could make even more money. Ms. O’Rourke told your Affiant that she did not need Mr. Greer’s marketing or business development assistance to build relationship with candidates and campaigns she already knew and that she had already agreed to raise funds exclusively for the Governor and the RPOF [Republican Party of Florida].”
She rebuffed Greer’s “effort to take a percentage of her income.”
At that point, the affidavit alleges, Greer slammed the door shut on O’Rourke’s access to Crist. Her access “to the Governor came to be strictly controlled and restricted,” according to the affidavit.
Greer even allegedly blocked her from meetings with large donors on the grounds that they were “men’s only.”
In 2009, he allegedly compelled her to sign a much reduced contract with the party. Today he was arrested and is facing theft and fraud charges.
Crist, for his part, told reporters today that he does not “feel complicit” in Greer’s alleged crimes.