Charlie Crist left the Republican Party in hopes of drawing enough votes from Democrats, independents and misguided Republicans to put him over the top in Florida’s Senate race. Mostly, though, he hoped to be the de facto Democratic candidate once the party gave up on little-known Kendrick Meek. And early on, there were signs the Democrats might do just that.
Yesterday, however, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ripped Crist for allegedly misusing Florida Republican Party funds:
Charlie Crist is facing increasing heat over a new audit of the Republican Party of Florida, which showed that Crist’s handpicked party chair Jim Greer spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of party fund’s inappropriately. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Crist and Greer spent Republican party dollars jet setting to such far off destinations as New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. Crist even spent party money to fly to his wife’s island home.
The current chair of the Republican Party of Florida, John Thrasher, has said that Crist “had to know this [inappropriate lavish spending] was going on,” and that the party will release the audit today. The Republican Party of Florida may go to court to get the money that was spent inappropriately back.
So it appears the Democrats will sink or swim with Meek, who isn’t doing much worse than Crist in the polls these days. What is going on here, I think, is that Marco Rubio is pulling decisively away from Crist and the Democrats no longer think selling out their own nominee to back Crist is a good bet. If they are going to lose, they might as well lose with a real Democrat. So Crist’s political career would appear to be over.