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COLUMN

Happytown: Ethical quandaries

Republican Party of Florida continues to implode and hell freezes over as League of Women Voters praises Republican leadership in Tallhassee

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Since we're all bathing in the warm, greasy afterglow of moistened potato flakes and the spittle of family dinner-table acrimony, it only seems natural that the flatulent embrace of Thanksgiving would carry over – along with the requisite hangover – into a full week of political apologies and corrections. That thing we said before dinner? Didn't mean it. We love you, man.

Well, if you consider the kind of backstabbing we've become accustomed to within the ranks of the slightly scratched and dented Republican Party of Florida to be a sort of twisted camaraderie, then the current round of just desserts is going to come off that much richer. Over the weekend, the Palm Beach Post ran with an exclusive bit of bad-mouthing over recriminations stemming from the Republican need to address that pesky alleged voter fraud that nobody seems able to prove. In truth, the story wasn't that much of a get seeing as elephants in rooms are hard to avoid, but there's still something charming about former and present party insiders sharpening knives to stab at the obvious.

The focus, of course, was the governor-fed insistence that HB 1355 – the 2011 law that cut back early voting days from 14 to eight and punished voter-registration efforts – was necessary to streamline the voting process and ensure honesty in the sacred electoral institution. Some immediately called bullshit, and now those first responders have taken to public ranting about the issue, noting that things aren't always as they are presented.

First up, former RPOF chair – and current squealing deposition pig – Jim Greer, who, despite allegedly filtering cash to himself and others through his own vanity consultant group Victory Strategies, can still be considered a trusted source on matters involving an untrustworthy party.

"The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates," Greer told the Post, adding, "They never came in to see me and tell me we had a [voter] fraud issue. It's all a marketing ploy."

Greer told the Post that there is some "prejudice and racism" in the Republican Party of Florida and that "the real prevailing thought is that they don't think minorities will ever vote Republican." Seriously.

Coming up from behind, former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist backed up the assertion, telling the Post that he'd been approached about the voting crackdown during his gubernatorial stint, and though the race card wasn't specifically played, "it looked to me like that was what was being suggested. And I didn't want them to go there at all." In other words: uh-uh, girl.

What does it all mean? Nothing really. Current Republican flacks deny the assertions, noting that their high-profile sources are less than credible (though unnamed current operatives indicated to the newspaper that this spade was indeed a spade). Still, the truth is pretty much out there.

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