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Crist's Independent Ramifications
April 29, 2010 Content provided by DDC Advocacy
Later today, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, in an admission that he cannot overcome former House Speaker Marco Rubio in the state's GOP Senatorial primary, will announce that he will run as an Independent. Crist's actions do more than simply create a three-way race. When Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter switched from Republican to Democrat in 2009, the conservative Club for Growth won a ruling before the Federal Election Commission that allowed them to contact all of Specter's donors to suggest they ask for a refund of their contribution because the Senator joined the Democratic Party. Many people took such action, and the cumulative effect cost the Specter campaign more than $1 million. Since the FEC authorized the action for Pennsylvania, expect many former Crist donors and supporters to follow the precedent. Another person on the political hot seat is appointed Sen. George LeMieux. Gov. Crist appointed LeMieux, his former chief of staff, to the Senate when Mel Martinez resigned. Since this is the very seat for which Crist himself is running, the Governor needed to put someone in Washington that he knew would unquestionably yield to him. LeMieux is not a candidate for election in 2010, but is making no secret of the fact that he wants to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012. Now LeMieux is faced with either rejecting the very man who gave him the job, or angering the party regulars whose support he will need in 2012. LeMieux, so far, will not comment on Crist's decision to bolt the party but he will soon be forced to make a statement.