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. sensible Cape Coral FL

    Any Republican intellligent enough to THINK for himself/herself will be sent to bed without supper. So there! That'll learn 'em.

    April 22, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Just me

    I am suprised any democrat would respond in a negative fashion! Your party is just as big on party loyalty oaths as well. Don't believe me? Just explain the hatred for moderate Democrats!

    April 22, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Just me

    Lacross Carter April 22nd, 2010 12:02 pm ET

    Party loyalty is dumb, but not as dumb as race loyalty. Have a nice day!
    ---------–
    Sweet and oh so true!

    April 22, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. annie s

    And just think, this may be party returned to power in the USA. Of course, Republicans have had people fooled for years.. the party of smaller government that wants to be able to tell women what they can do with their own bodies and who wants to tell people who they can legally marry...the party of "fiscal responsibility" whose fiscal policies led us to the brink of a great depression...the party that claims they are better able to keep us safe whose way of accomplishing that is more wars, more billions spent on wars and more lives lost in wars...the party that claims a Christian superiority, but whose members commit adultery, lie, cheat and steal. Yep, the grand ole party!

    April 22, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. BobH

    They are "forbidden" from voting for Crist? What is this, grade school? How are they going to be punished if they "disobey?"

    April 22, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. SC Ex-Pub

    I am not surprised that the re-pubs "loyalty oath" only goess one way. They dump Crist and crawl all over each other to get to the tee-baggers prize (Rubio) and dare re-pubs to support Crist.
    Do we really want this crowd in charge of our country? There are NO lasting values in them; it is whatever is hot for now!

    April 22, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. foyelady

    These are the jokers calling Pres. Obama a Marxist?!?

    April 22, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    Hold two fingers up and pledge your loyalty to Adolf.....I mean Steele, Palin and the rest.

    April 22, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. Lori in St Pete

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

    "Would you have let GM fail and put tens of thousands out of work?"

    The short answer Waterloo, is yes they would have. The real reason the "moneyed class" is so angry at President Obama and the Dems is that they've gotten in the way of the right's plan to reduce us to a two-class caste system – those with all the money, and the rest of us. President Obama's election prevented the the working class being relegated to serfdom. Had the also rans been installed in the WH, those of us lucky enough to still have jobs would be making 25 cents an hour working 16-hour days with no benefits/overtime, and we'd have to withstand the physical/verbal abuse of "our betters" who would ceaselessly remind us that if we don't want those 25-cent an hour jobs, there are millions of others out there who would be more than happy to take our place.

    April 22, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. Bob (Illinois)

    A "Party Loyalty Oath"? Really? Are these clowns for real?

    And just think that this 'oath' come to us from the inclusive Republican Party!

    April 22, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. The Unsub

    This is supposed to be America.....home of the free! I vote for anybody regardless of party. If they make sense they got it. Period.

    April 22, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. Pete East

    From the rules of the California Democratic Party "Central Commitee":

    "Any official unit of the California Democratic Party or any County CentralCommittee which renders an independent, unauthorized endorsement of a candidatefor partisan public office shall forfeit its right to representation on This Committee and the privileges and benefits which may be attached thereto for a period of 12 months from the time it renders such an endorsement, or the remainder of the term of the current State Central Committee, whichever is longer."

    Love you Lib hypocrits....

    April 22, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. bar m chopper

    And so the trifecta is complete: the Masons, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Republican Party. Is this a great country, or what?

    April 22, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    WOW – now THIS sounds like Hitler – Party over Country !!

    Just WOW! And they try to tell people to hate and fear the democrats?

    WOW. Hitler lives and is well in the REPUBLICAN PARTY.

    April 22, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Papasan in Az

    GOP + OATH = NAZIS

    April 22, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. Lori

    Let them vote for Rubio. Up against Crist and a Democrat, he's a distant third anyways.

    April 22, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. Conservative Democrat

    Imagine that. FORBIDDEN. Sounds alot like Nazi Germany.

    April 22, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Allison

    jonathan
    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.

    No one is begging you to stay in Florida, I'm sure that most who know you would be thrilled for you to leave. By your ignorant comments, I can tell that you have to be younger than 35. With age, generally comes wisdom, which you are seriously lacking.

    April 22, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    Forbid!?!?!? Oaths!?!?!?!?
    Nobody forbids me to do anything I know is right. How dare these cretins forbid anyone to do anything.
    People need to grow some and see the repugs for what they are. A bunch of junkyard bullies!

    April 22, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. Doug,lib jersey

    Crist is in bed with the anti-christ, you cannot support such evil and call yourself a republican. Republicans stand for the best of America, you can't be buddy buddy with the leader of the worst this nation has to offer.

    April 22, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. MAngeline

    My guess is that the Democrats demand loyalty also. I have an acquaintance here in MA who got involved in DEM politics working for Obama. She mentioned that she is expected to work for other Democrats also. That was a huge turnoff for me as I consider myself an Independent who worked for Obama, not a Democrat. I also voted for Scott Brown, a vote I may yet regret. I want to be free to vote for whomever I choose with no one telling me how to cast my ballot.

    April 22, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. D. Bunker

    More proof that the Goosestepping Old Psychopath party is a cult and not a serious political party. When are the honest and moral Republicans going to take their party back and start serving average Americans instead of their corporate masters and neocons?

    April 22, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Brink

    Historically a "Party Loyalty Oath" has been a very bad thing. I guess that the GOP does not respect history which is why they will soon go the way of the Whig Party.

    April 22, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. TCM

    Charile Crist sold out true Americans when he embraced Obama; symbolic of turning his back on the country. That's why Rubio is kicking his behind and will win. Despite the rhetoric about the oath, the premise of the article is Crist is "obama-like," material....lie, steal, cheat his way to the top...throwing the common man under the bus to achieve power in Washington. You nimrod liberals simply cannot comprehend what you're reading.....I guess sucking too long on the Obama teet implodes the brain, huh?

    April 22, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  25. Wisconsonite

    "Forbidden"???!!!! And you Neo-cons have the nerve to call Democrats socialists??!!!! Wow. Hey, that's ok though . . . . the GOP is hurting themselves more and more and more every single day and as an ardent Democrat that makes me smile :-)

    April 22, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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