April 22nd, 2010
11:53 AM ET
5 years ago

'Party Loyalty Oath' would prevent Republicans from backing Crist

The Republican Party of Florida has told its members that they will be forbidden from supporting Gov. Charlie Crist if he decides to run as an independent.
The Republican Party of Florida has told its members that they will be forbidden from supporting Gov. Charlie Crist if he decides to run as an independent.

(CNN) – The Republican Party of Florida has told its members that they will be forbidden from supporting Gov. Charlie Crist if he decides to run as an independent.

In an internal memorandum issued Thursday and provided to CNN, RPOF General Counsel Jason Gonzalez concluded that the "Party Loyalty Oath," Rule 9 of the party's bylaws, would forbid executive committee members from providing "active, public or financial support" to any candidate other than the one with "Republican" next to his or her name on the ballot.

That would rule out Crist, who, if he abandons the GOP primary, would run with no party affiliation - an "NPA" candidate. Crist's GOP primary opponent, former House speaker Marco Rubio, is consolidating Republican support as Crist, trailing badly in the primary, plots his next move.

"Any member who fails to formally revoke his or her public support and request the return of any contributions made to a candidate running against the candidate of the Republican Party would be in violation of the RPOF Rules and would be subject to removal from party office and membership on Republican executive committees," Gonzalez wrote in the memo to RPOF Executive Director Ronnie Whitaker.

Whitaker distributed the memo on Thursday after executive committee members reached out to him with questions about a potential independent bid by Crist. He said he had asked Gonzalez to provide guidance on Rule 9 after their inquiries.

The Loyalty Oath applies to the 30 appointed members of the State Republican Executive Committee on down to members of the state's 67 County Executive Committees and precinct committee members - a substantial chunk of party activists in the state.

The ruling also applies to Florida's Republican members of Congress and Sen. George LeMieux, along with Florida's members on the Republican National Committee and six GOP statewide officeholders - all of whom are included on the State Republican Executive Committee.

"The requirement of party loyalty is appropriate given the leadership roles within the party performed by executive committee members," wrote Gonzalez, formerly general counsel to the governor's office.


Filed under: Charlie Crist • Florida • Marco Rubio
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Dave

    So we have the GOP that whines about lost freedoms and how their ideals are trampled on. They complain about how they see their country going downhill and appearing powerless. They talk about "patriotism" and "country first" and hold loud demonstrations where epithets are tossed at minorities and homosexuals.

    Then… They make you take an oath and tell you who can and can’t vote for…

    Funny, but this has a lot in common with a political party dominant in Germany during the 30s and 40s...

    April 22, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Equality for all

    It is so sad and unfortunate to see what the Republican party has become. Even though I consider myself a proud liberal, I believe it is best for there to be at least 2 parties that have something to offer the American public. There was a time when there were leaders in both parties that one could admire, even if you disagreed on positions and policies. But the Republican party of late has become something more aligned with the "purists" of 1930's Germany, and it's frightening to see. I have many friends and relatives who used to call themselves "Republican" but can no longer identify with the current direction of their party. These once staunch Republicans now call themselves "Independent."

    April 22, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. Sgt. USMC

    All because of a picture with the President. How sad.

    April 22, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. Captain Crunch

    Achtung, mein herr!. No democracy here – you will support whom we tell you to support – and you will vote for whom we tell you to vote for.

    Remind me NEVER to visit or move to FL!

    April 22, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    Next, the GOP will require all of their "true" followers to wear brown shirts. Goebbels, Eichman, Goering and crew are cheering from thier graves. This neo-GOP is doing more harm to America, and to the memory of how we stood for freedom in the world since WWII, than any outside enemy will ever be able to do.

    April 22, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. ken

    so much for the freedom to vote for who you want. the gestapo has spoken

    April 22, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. FLIP THE SCRIPT on REPUBLICANS

    Let the Best man win ... what are the Republicans afraid of?

    They talk a good game regarding belief in a MERITOCRACY but when presented with the opportunity to live by their rhetoric .... they come up short.

    April 22, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. rs

    And the death spiral to the right continues. If the Republicans want to win the support of voters, they will do that with ideas and deeds, not "pledges".

    April 22, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Ryan

    The GOP are insects with a hive mentality. Big surprise.

    April 22, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. Independent One

    Pledge alligence to a party....HOW SAD

    April 22, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. Sanity

    The National Socialists had a similar loyalty oath to A. Hitler. I do not see much of a difference between the two.

    April 22, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. Sam the Butcher

    Wow that is disturbing. Not loyal to you know the constituents that vote a senator in, but loyal to party. Sounds a bit like the Taliban to me.

    April 22, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    That is seriously scary. What happened to the Constitution there? Freedom of speech, association,? I suppose it only matters when you're free to make a ton of money and buy guns. Otherwise, get in line.

    April 22, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Justin

    republican party of florida = nazi party of florida. seig heil!

    April 22, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. American Patriot - a "real" tea partier

    Loyalty oath to the PARTY???

    That smacks of treason! They're supposed to be loyal to AMERICA, not some political party on its way to meet the porcelain goddess.

    What is it with these Republicans? Can they not decide if they want to be fascists or communists? Looks like they're trying to do a blend of those to parties when it comes to their own setup.

    April 22, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. Mr. Moderate

    I find it amusing how they continue to worship Ronald Reagan when they have turned their back on everything he stood for. He would have been thrown out of the party as it stands today. He actually was personal friends with many Democrats (the horror!) although fierce political rivals.

    I can almost hear him weeping for his party.

    April 22, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Jfs

    Take it from this Moderate Republican...come on in to the Democratic hot tub Charlie...........The water is wonderful and there are all kinds of us enjoying our new found home . There's plenty of us who have made the move to keep you company.

    April 22, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. WHAT???????????

    Run Gov Crist Run !! You WILL be elected. Once you rid yourself of that Republican tag, you are a shoe in for Senator.

    April 22, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. Slappy White

    Saaaay...aren't you the same people who've been screaming non-stop about losing your freedom ever since getting your butts kicked in 2008?

    April 22, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. Dick

    So much for Freedom of Speech in the Republican Party. I was wondering how they got all 41 Republican senators to sign up to oppose the finance reform bill.

    April 22, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. Slappy White

    No wonder a bird-brain like Jeb Bush manged to be Governor down there.

    April 22, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6