April 22nd, 2010
11:53 AM ET
4 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. BJs65

    ...A "party loyalty oath". Wow. Well folks, right there is one of the BIGGEST problems we have with the GOP. They must march in lock-step to the PARTY – they have forgotten who they really work for – US!

    Enough of this bullcrap!

    April 22, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. dee takemoto

    At last the Republican party shows itself for what it is...the COMMUNIST
    party...requiring a loyalty oath and forbidding it's members from voting for or supporting someone who they may want to support. What happens if someone 's constituency wants that person? Does this mean that we, the voters no longer are represented by our senator or congressman but rather by a party platform?
    Isn't this what the COMMUNIST PARTY does?

    April 22, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Anthony In Miami

    And we wonder what is really wrong with politics in the US.

    April 22, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. Dano

    Does anyone else find it disturbing that Republicans have to sign a "Party Loyalty Oath"? This explains why they keep voting NO on everything President Obama and the Democrats propose. Maybe the GOP should consider having its members sign a loyalty oath to America instead!

    April 22, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Sounds like the Republicans are officially turning into a fascist organization by requiring an absurd oath of loyalty.

    April 22, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Jon from VA

    An endoresment from Cheney would be like the kiss of death.

    April 22, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Keith in Austin

    May the best man win! Nouf said.

    April 22, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Bush/Cheney politics all over again.

    April 22, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. cm

    Cheney needs a make over this is one dumb looking guy.

    April 22, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. The Other Michael in Houston

    No way, the Republican Jihidist are telling people who they can and cannot support. Who would have thunk!

    April 22, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. Lacross Carter

    Party loyalty is dumb, but not as dumb as race loyalty. Have a nice day!

    April 22, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. If We Can Defeat Him On Healthcare, It Will Be His Waterloo

    In an unrelated note (because really, who cares which of these two corrupt republics loses to Meeks in November) . . .

    GM has repaid ALL of the TARP money FIVE YEARS ahead of schedule.

    Chew on that Tea Baggers. Prime example of the Government helping ordinary Americans. Would you have let GM fail and put tens of thousands out of work?

    April 22, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    The GOP is beginning to look like the Dems, again.

    The "political machine" is destroying democracy in this country.

    April 22, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Keeth in California

    This is why the GOP is in the minority: blind loyalty to party instead of independent thought.

    April 22, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. Dyan, Minnesota

    So if an executive committee member or precint committe member does provide "active, public or financial support" to someone other than a Republican, then what? They get drummed out of the party???

    April 22, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. geecee

    Of course not, you can't think independently if you are a Republican, you have to get in lockstep (or is it goosestep) behind the Republican Tea Bag candidate, whoever it might be, and however damaging and stupid the candidate might be, too! That's the Republican way.

    April 22, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Indy

    This news is about as good as it gets for Crist, the further he can get from Republicans the more support he will get. Republicans have been the worst thing to happen to the US in decades and Crist will find humans will serve him better then the aliens from the right.

    April 22, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. alan

    What a fine example of putting country first.

    April 22, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Johnathan

    As I live in Florida, I can tell you that politically, save for 2008 Presidential election, next to texas and arizona, this is the most redneck backassward of states in the union. If you think deep south is about Georgia or Alabama... think again. From the panhandle (redneck riviera) to just north of West Palm Beach, ignorance is the order of the day as far as politics is concerned. That means most of Florida is prime republican territory. I can't blame the state GOP wanting to cut teachers out, because education of the population is not helpful to their cause, at all.

    My boss, looking for exposure for his business, told us proudly in a meeting, he had met with Gov candidate McCullom? (R) and i stood up and said "You mean the clown who'se patronizing the tea freaks by suing the govt over healthcare, SERIOUSLY?"

    He didn't say much after I got a solid round of applause... and I'm still working.

    April 22, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. Wow well expect the same

    so what ever happen to letting the people vote. I hate it when big names have to put in their input to sell a candidate. who cares what the big wigs say about certain candidates look up information on a candidate yourselves and make your own educated decision not what these GOP leaders say so they can have another "yes man," thats no democracy.

    April 22, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Ken in NC

    WOW. Party Loyalty Oath? The Republican Party is beginning to look more like a bunch of Zombies programmed to follow one leader regardless to where that leader leads them.

    I think that while I am not a Crist supporter, this man is about to make a good move leaving this bunch of party hardys.

    April 22, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. shucks

    The republican party now sounds like it is a CULT instead of political party.l

    April 22, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Arun

    I thought republicans were against people telling them what to do!!

    April 22, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. Northwest

    Join the blue Crist you are on the wrong side of the track /Reb ugs telling people if they dont vote their way they are out of the party they were elected to represent the people of this country not the tea junkies what a bunch hallow topped crooks they are on their way down the river and off the continent they don't know how to swim upstream.

    April 22, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    Cool. Hitler required a Party Loyalty Oath as well. Look where THAT got us . . .

    Curious to see what the other GOP Party Loyality Oath Rules are and who has been willing to actually sign the oath. . .

    April 22, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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