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COLUMN

Happytown

The week where Jim Greer bought some time for the GOP, Charlie Crist became a threat again and Jennifer Carol put an ugly foot in her giggle-mouth. Republicans are awesome.

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Jim Greer

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Charlie Crist


Last week ended with an explosion of senseless noise and cruelty – so much so that it caused the presidential campaign to adopt a "Now's not the time for politics" tone, and President Barack Obama cancelled his July 20 appearance at Rollins College – but the newsdump underbelly remained alive and well. We can't help but imagine that some Republicans may have been glad to see some of the most stinging headlines drowned out by the wails of mourning.

For instance: More foot dragging in the trial against former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer. Ah, timing is everything. On Thursday, an Orlando circuit judge acquiesced to the hems and haws of the bloated man's defense team, who said that there just wasn't enough time to cull through all the "emails, notes, memos and reports that mention Victory Strategies," Greer's former mythical consulting company, by the scheduled July 30 court date, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Get a search button!

Anyway, as with most stories involving this case – and, well, the nature of Greer's megalomaniacal existence and the party's pinky-swears of secrecy – the drive to political distraction is almost as important as the financial misdeeds for which Greer is on trial. You'll remember that Victory Strategies allegedly bilked the party out of $200,000, while the party brass itself allegedly had a thing for charging the fun kind of parties (the ones wrapped in travel and booze) to RPOF credit cards.

We have, indeed, been talking about this forever.

So why the delay? Well, we could go with the stated concern by Greer defense attorney Damon Chase, who only became the lead attorney last month in what must have been a horrific game of musical chairs or draw the straw. Chase portrayed his client to the Times thusly: "Jim has been absolutely adamant, 'Let's get this thing done.' It's certainly a setback … but it's the way things had to be."

More astute observers of, we don't know, things directly happening before your eyes, might be a little more cynically inclined to draw the conclusion that the rescheduled court date of Nov. 12 – a cute six days after the presidential stakes and a good couple of months after the Republican National Convention descends on an underprepared Wild West of Tampa – had a little bit more to do with the last-minute delay.

Greer was, after all, arrested two years ago. Do you think your attorneys would be able to sit on their hands that long? Doubtful.

But, hey, it's not like these are real human beings facing a real law, anyway, right? Surely Sen. Marco Rubio – the former state House speaker – is dancing around his mirrored bathroom to the delightful sounds of Huey Lewis and the News right now. Fore!

Somewhere trapped in the fetid litigation of the RPOF scandal and its bizarre continuance was the recent accusation that party-hopper Charlie Crist – characterized by Greer more than once as becoming an enemy – was a big old homosexual. While news of that old yarn (one we first discussed here last decade) may have blown over into tabloid insignificance, the latest round of concerns about the larger RPOF throwdown have put the party in a defensive posture, one that once again maintains Crist as its whipping boy. Though Crist left the party in 2010 to become an independent as well as a television-desk shill for law firm Morgan & Morgan – which, it should be noted, cut a $10,000 check to Gov. Rick Scott's Let's Get to Work political action committee in the second quarter of this year – Republicans started sounding the alarm when a July 20

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