Indicted Former Chair of the Republican Party of Florida Pleads Guilty

Greer’s mug shot
Big news out of Florida today:

Ousted former Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer Monday abruptly ended what was expected to be a painful unpeeling of state party secrets by entering a surprise guilty plea to five criminal charges.

Greer, 50, of Oviedo, was facing a possible 75 years in prison for fraud, money laundering and theft. Now he faces a possible maximum sentence of 35 years.

If Circuit Judge Marc Lubet hands down a recommended sentence, spelled out by state guidelines, he’ll give Greer 3 1/2 years in prison.

The deal Greer cut did not include an agreement on his sentence, a likely mix of prison time and probation. That’s to be decided at a March 27 hearing.

He’ll remain free until then…

A lot of top Republicans in Florida politics are breathing sighs of release tonight:



In the year since I issued a prepared statement regarding President Obama speaking to the Nation’s school children, I have learned a great deal about the party I so deeply loved and served. Unfortunately, I found that many within the GOP have racist views and I apologize to the President for my opposition to his speech last year and my efforts to placate the extremists who dominate our Party today.

Former Republican Party of Florida Chair Jim Greer, who led a nationwide campaign last year to prevent the the president from “indoctrinating” youths by asking them to work hard and stay in school. Greer was later indicted for grand theft, money laundering, and fraud, and faces up to 75 years in prison.

Separated at Birth: Florida Republican Party Chair Jim Greer and Springfield Chief of Police Clancy Wiggum

Wiggum and Greer: the resemblance is more than skin deep.
Wiggum and Greer: the resemblance is more than skin deep.

We noticed the resemblance between The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns and former Vice President Dick Cheney a long time ago. But it wasn’t until Jim Greer, the chair of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), started the interview circuit that we figured out where we’d seen him before. The porcine Mr. Greer used a ridiculous — and now largely disavowed by other Republicans — claim that the president is trying to indoctrinate school children into a socialist regime by urging them to study and stay in school as a way of deflecting criticism of his use of donor money here in Florida.

The porcine Mr. Greer reminds us of someone

In using the “I know I am but what about you” defense, Greer reminded us of Springfield’s chief of police, Clancy Wiggum, who never seems to be responsible for any of the town’s egregious law enforcement debacles. Wiggum once broadcast this warning, which was about as helpful as most of the things Jim Greer says: “This is Papa Bear. Put out an APB for a male suspect, driving a…car of some sort, heading in the direction of, uh, you know, that place that sells chili. Suspect is hatless. Repeat, hatless.”

Other gems from Wiggum:

  • Oh, sure. We’d all love some real friends, Marge. But what are the odds of that happening?
  • I hope this has taught you kids a lesson: kids never learn.
  • Can’t you people take the law into your own hands? I mean, we can’t be policing the entire city!

Greer’s tortured missives are as logically challenged as Wiggum’s. This is the actual first tenet of “GOP Principles” on the RPOF’s web site:

I Believe… The proper function of government is to do for the people those things that have to be done but cannot be done, or cannot be done as well, by individuals, and that the most effective government is government closest to the people.

The Wiggumisms continue in the same document:

I Believe… In equal right, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, age, sex or national origin.

After all, who needs more than one right anyway? I mean you can only use one at a time. But the best Republican/Wiggumian belief, in 2009, has to be this one:

I Believe… The free enterprise and the encouragement of individual initiative and incentive have given this nation an economic system second to none.

Case closed.