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. Thomas

    I pledge allegiance to the Party.....

    April 22, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. anagram_kid

    Another example of why we need to do away with plitical parties altogether and elect the individual that will make the best possible decisions for their constituents and the country.

    April 22, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Recreator

    I guess the Republicans want Charlie Crist to retire / get lost in the swamps.

    April 22, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. proud dem in nc

    I thought this was America!!!!! I thought we could support ANY candidate of our choice. Party Oath???? Republican party=Zeig Heil!!!!

    April 22, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. An American

    Being Florida, it sounds like the state Republican party is applying Cuban style politics. Me, I think I'll stay in the old U.S. of A. thank you very much.

    April 22, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Beth

    Big Deal. Crist doesn't need the money anyway!!

    April 22, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Johnathan April 22nd, 2010 12:07 pm ET

    Way to speak up Jonathan!!

    Maybe if more people spoke up like you we'd obliterate the fog of ignorance tha is so prevalent in these backasswards states.

    April 22, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Felonious Monk

    Party First, country second, and f*^$ god. I believe that is the new GOP mantra.

    April 22, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. anagram_kid

    After the loyalty oath there will be the beating with the paddle, swallowing live goldfish while blind folded, and then a super fun mixer with the gal’s from sigma chi!

    April 22, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. key

    This kind of idealism is very troubling it can to lead to uncivil rest. Which is unconstitutional in my opinion.

    April 22, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. JC

    I pledge allegance to the falg and the United States of America, no stinking party, a party loyalty oath, you can scrap my membership, I vote as I please and support who I want and will not be tied to no party loyalty oath. This is the United States of America is it not?

    April 22, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. sheppard

    Them repubs – partisan to the end. Why even take into consideration what might be best for your state? Just continue to march-step there – hopefully over a cliff, then perhaps the 'grand ole party' will come to its senses and get some true leadership in place.

    April 22, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Desmond in Canada

    That's a real democratic move by the Repugs!

    April 22, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Interested in Ottawa

    So... Cheney says "..Congress is already overflowing with politicians who need pollsters to tell them what to think... It certainly doesn't need another one... America needs leaders with the strength of conviction". so... we want politicians who won't be swayed and have the courage to stick to their convictions... as long as it doesn't run afoul of the GOP script? Not sure the spirit of Cheney's message and this directive from the Florida GOP can really coexist....

    April 22, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Jeff (Salt Lake City, UT)

    Seriously, a party loyalty oath? I'm done with Republicans until they can get their act(s) together. This is the party that wants less government, less interference with personal choices, especially when it comes to guns and money.

    Now we have a party loyalty oath that says you must sacrifice individual beliefs in favor of what the party says.

    Why is it that they can't see problems here, or the blatant hypocrisy in their own views. "We want less government." "Don't take away my 2nd Amendment rights." "Don't tax me!" But it's ok to have government dictate who can and can't get married or who can and can't have an abortion.

    Charlie Crist is what the Republicans need. Someone who is conservative, particularly fiscally, but has the moral compass to do what is better for the people he represents, not just the big dumb elephant in the room.

    April 22, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Jim in San Mateo

    The new pledge of allegiance:

    "I pledge allegiance to the Republican Party of the United States of America and to the all-about-me conservative ideology for which it stands, one party, working for God, with no taxes and the right to discriminate for all those who agree with us."

    April 22, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. Fed Up

    There's the problem with all of politics – party loyalty! Get rid of it. The person who is the best candidate should be supported, not the idiots that are in government now. Vote 'em in. Vote 'em out.

    April 22, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. Brandon V. in DFW

    Party loyalty oath, wow what ever happened to voting for and supporting the best candidate for the job.

    My question is or what? If I'm already elected by the people and for the people what is the party going to do to me if I support a candidate other than a republican.

    The GOP is insane.

    April 22, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. Papasan in Az

    Ok GOP Nazis lets line up and sign on the dotted line!

    April 22, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. Brian

    Hahaha. "Party loyalty oath?" I can't believe any hardworking Americans would get in line behind this old rich boys' club!

    April 22, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. FRANK, LAS VEGAS

    Loyalty Oath in FL and in AZ it's, Show me Your Papers. Sounds exactly, not close but exactly like Nazi Germany. The GOP has been taken over by it's most un-American wing. Crist should run as an independent as should many others in the Nazi GOP.

    Remember, in NOvember, Vote NO to the Party of NO.

    April 22, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. 52 yr. old white Houston oil man

    Christ would have 10 times the power in the senate if he was an independant. Look at Lieberman.

    April 22, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. David

    Party loyalty oath? Kinda sounds like Nazi Germany in the 1930's. The Republicans in Florida are certainly true to their fascist brothers and sisters.

    April 22, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. Shana

    Heil GOP! Holy cow, Floridians. Dump the party affiliation and regain your free will. (Isn't the GOP supposed to be the party of individualism and freedom-yellin' and such? Could they BE bigger hypocrites?)

    April 22, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. wwf

    The GOP eating their own again. Must be part of the new religious revival heading up to the next Revolution.

    April 22, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6