April 22nd, 2010
11:53 AM ET
8 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. Teena

    Party Loyalty Oath? Unbelievable!
    But then again most sane people never thought the sociopathic party of Nazi's who required a loyalty oath would ever come to power and almost destroy the world. History is repeating itself.

    April 22, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Austin

    HAHAHA! The GOP continues to destroy itself from the inside! Keep up the good work, boys!!

    Should I bother mentioning to them how anyone with a brain cell should disregard anyone who demands a 'loyalty oath' from them, for any purpose, at any point in their life? Naaaah...

    April 22, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    FORBIDDEN?!?!? Let me hear again any member of the Republican party. especially form Florida from saying Obama is a Marxist, socialist or dictator. This isn't just hypocritical, it's illegal!
    The country I live in has a Constitution that gaurantees every person the right to vote his or her choice.
    This is unbelievable!

    April 22, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Allen from Illinois

    Here they go again!

    The GOP is excellent at telling the middle class they are going to screw us, convincing us they we will be better for it...and then getting the people who are being screwed to advocate getting screwed!

    Ah, it's great to be an American

    April 22, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. Carrie

    Forbidden? What are they, teenagers?

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

    Folks, try this one, google "party loyalty oaths" and see what comes up.

    April 22, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    This makes sense to the Neo conservatives, but to the American people this is absurd. The GOP better rid the Neo Conservatives from control of this party or it will just fade away like the Whig party of long ago.

    April 22, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Laverne

    Simon said............

    April 22, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. chris tx

    "If you're not with me, then you're against me!" – Darth Vader/GOP

    April 22, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. I Do Not Like Sarah

    This is so typical for republicans ... always scare people into doing something - Ronald Reagan is probably rolling over in his grave when he looks at the GOP today ... I am a democrat but have to believe that the GOP are going down the wrong road by embracing fear, hate, and prejudice (and the Tea Party folks want to go back to the good old days ... complete with burning crosses and wonderful sheet-based hoods you can wear on your head)

    April 22, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Deborah/KansasCity

    This is the kind of "freedom" the GOP intends for the rest of us, if they ever, "take their country back" from us and our democratically elected government.

    April 22, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. Heather from Beautiful Seattle

    I guess independent thought is not allowed for members of the Florida Republican party. They apparently are commanded to only vote for Rubio a proud member of the party of no. Apparently they will be chastise if they vote for a conservative who is willing to work with the other party and actually get things done. And they try and say that dems are communist, lol!

    April 22, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. WhoCares?

    I think you also had to sign an oath of loyalty when they forced you to join the Nazi party.

    Good Job Rethugs!!

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

    Kinda like the SEIU and Black Panthers with their threats on election day. At least the Repubs make no secret on who they want to be their next governor. Anyway, Crist is finished so he should wait till next election and run against Bob Graham for senate. ....makes more sense.

    April 22, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. Liberal in Boulder

    "Party Loyalty Oath?"

    When will the Republicans ever cultivate loyalty to the United States of America?

    April 22, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. HypocriCNNfection

    La Republika Resistance At It Again!

    April 22, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. WhoCares?

    "I vote to give up the single most important human quality that God in his grace gave me – My own Freewill".

    Seriously? And these guys wonder why people think that Republicans and tea-baggers are idiots?

    What intelligent human would actually do this???

    April 22, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. ramtruck2500

    OMG!!! I think that the party of No ! needs to be told just that. Support of someone endorsed by Dick Cheney and a loyalty oath. man who sounds like the Nazi's now???

    April 22, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |

    Freedom!....unless you are gay, want an abortion, are not white, are not Christian, don't approve of guns, smoke pot, don't approve of attacking other nations without being provoked, the list goes on...

    Bipartisanship!...GOP never had it, never will.

    April 22, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. Stephan - in Florida

    I will be faithful and obedient to [insert name here], leader of the [insert Republican Party of Florida] and people, to observe the law, and to conscientiously fulfil my official duties, so help me God!

    Nazi Hitler Oath – Germany – 1935

    Ich bin ein Floridian

    Just when you couldn't afford to shrink the party any further in Florida – now this.

    April 22, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Liberal in Boulder

    I forgot to add....

    This weird "Party Loyalty Oath" sounds quite like a relic from Nazism, or Fascism, or Communism.

    America's big secret: The Republican Party is much closer to Communism than you think. All the flag waving, nice suits and ties, clean cut looks don't add up to patriotism.

    April 22, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. ted

    NO one can forbid anyone from voting for whoever they want to vote for. The GOP is nothing but a bunch of rightwing paranoid lunatics if they think they control people to the extent of the choice they make in the voting booth. You want that kind of control, then go to North Korea, GOP.

    Go Charlie.

    April 22, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Joe Smith

    Do you intend to torture it out of them to determine if they supported someone on a secret ballot? Do you intend to murder their families if they are not faithful to the party? Do the Repub members have to wear a brown uniform?

    April 22, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Henri DaFrog

    Chain gang Charlie has been a pretty weak governor, until lately when he refused to tow the party line and vetoed some bad Republican legislation. He has always been a moderate.

    Meanwhile Rubio and the rest of the Republican leadership in Florida is under investigation for financial improprieties using their FGOP credit cards. They've sold us down the river for years and most of us are tired of their lame leadership.

    The best thing Charlie Crist could do is distance himself from the GOP and run as an independent. He would pick up a lot of moderate and centrist voters here and if he didn't win, he would at least dash the hopes of the far right to do even more damage to this state.

    April 22, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. scott from michigan

    "Party Loyalty Oath", just like the citizens of China pledging their loyalty to the Communist Party of China, sounds like the GOP wants to be more like the CPC.

    April 22, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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