May 5th, 2010
02:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Florida Republicans demand refunds from Crist

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="20 Florida Republicans are asking Gov. Charlie Crist to honor refund requests from donors."]
(CNN) – Marco Rubio's Senate campaign announced Wednesday that 20 of Florida's Republican leaders have penned a letter to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist asking that Crist comply with any donor requests for refunds.

Crist announced last week that he will skip Florida's GOP Senate primary and, instead, run in the general election as a non-party-affiliated candidate. In the wake of Crist's decision, Rubio, the former Florida House Speaker, is expected to nab the GOP nod. GOP primary polls conducted prior to Crist's announcement indicated that Crist, once the favorite, was trailing Rubio by more than 20 percentage points.

Wednesday's letter slams Crist for deciding to abandon the GOP primary.

"As longtime and loyal contributors to Republican causes and your many campaigns, this letter is not easy for us to write," the 20 Republicans say, " But your actions have forced us to take action.

"We are both saddened and disappointed in your decision to abandon the Republican Party during this important election."

They added, "[f]or years we have put our names and credibility on the line by asking our friends to donate to you. Those days are over."

The letter goes on to ask that Crist "return every penny of donor money from every donor who asks for a refund," beginning with the individual contributions to Crist's Senate campaign made by signatories to the letter.

After noting that Crist has campaign war chest estimated at more than $7 million, the letter declares, "Charlie, that is not your money."

The letter ends with a request to all of Crist's Republican supporters to demand that their contributions to his Senate campaign be returned.

CNN has reached out to the Crist campaign for comment. The campaign has not yet responded to CNN's request.

Wednesday's letter is likely the leading edge of a larger effort to obtain refunds from Crist now that he has decided to continue his Senate bid as an independent.

Even before Crist's formal announcement, The Club for Growth, a conservative advocacy group, announced its intention to help Crist donors seek refunds if the Florida governor left the GOP primary.

And, the day after Crist's announcement last week, The Club for Growth slammed the Florida governor.

"Every dollar in Charlie Crist's campaign war chest was dishonestly raised," the group's president Chris Chocola said in a statement.

In anticipation of Crist's announcement, the National Republican Senatorial Committee also said late last month that it would ask for its $10,000 donation to be returned if Crist decided to run as an independent.

Filed under: 2010 • Charlie Crist • Florida • GOP • Popular Posts
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. conniesz

    I suspect there will be some small number of people who ask for their money back – but that will be dwarfed by the number of folks who will contribute to the newly independent Crist. The GOP in Florida is toast.

    May 5, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. Ed

    The party is on its way to becoming a regional one cateering to the extreme right. As the last national election showed, the shrinkage continues in who this party represents.
    Distance as you can, bit this past weekend was food shopping where I and others saw the true Tea Party the R's so readily endorse and are doing damage control for. Posters of our President , with a monkey face in a circle with a red line trough it.
    You can fool some of the people some of the time, but in the end the truth shall come out.
    Did Dems ask Joe to give ack any dollars? Despirate measures by a candidate who just got out flanked.

    May 5, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. jeff jackson, alabama

    Mama always said.......a crook is as
    a crook duzzz..........................

    May 5, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz

    You not obligated to give the money back Governor. Just hold onto to it for safe keeping since we already know what the RNC will use the funds for; Bondage Clubs, Private Jets, Limos, etc....

    I think the money is safer in your hands governor.

    May 5, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. Not Surprising

    Party affiliation of the individual apparently matters more than the individual to some people.

    May 5, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. dave

    Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. There are many more people with brains that will make up the difference.

    May 5, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Pragmatic

    Gee whiz ... the GOP doesn't seem to mind what Rubio does with all those loyal party member's donations ...

    Rubio billed the party for more than $100,000 during the two years he served as House speaker, according to credit card statements obtained by The Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times.

    The charges included repairs to the family minivan, grocery bills, plane tickets for his wife, and purchases from retailers ranging from a wine store near his home to Apple's on-line store.

    Rubio also charged the party for dozens of meals during the annual lawmaking session in Tallahassee, even though he received taxpayer subsidies for his meals.

    Just asking ...

    May 5, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Marge

    Hmmmmm wonder why that blue dirty dog democrat who showed his true colors and turned republican DIDN'T GIVE ALL HIS MONEY BACK. Fact is he didn't give any of it back.

    Keep it like the republicans.

    May 5, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. cspurgeon

    Give it to the idiots and then get your organization going.

    May 5, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. hayden zeke

    All the Republicans Crist raised money for should give it back, as well as all the money he raised for McCain for president.

    May 5, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. Cindy Strickland

    If those contributors had donated their money based on "who was the best candidate" instead of by party affiliation there would be no need to request a refund. I don't think they deserve a refund, perhaps next time they will consider the candidate.

    May 5, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. one voice

    The love of money shows the true colors of the greedy GOP.

    May 5, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    There is a phrase that comes to mind that begins with F and ends with 'em!
    This party annointed him as one of the front-runners for president, gave hm an early endorsement then systematically abandon him.
    He should sue for emotional stress and career interference.
    The money was given him to run for senator- he is running for senator.

    May 5, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. montag

    That's odd. I thought that when you donated money to a candidate, you wanted the money to help the candidate – not the political party.
    More sour grapes from the party of NO.

    May 5, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. Tulsa

    LOL.... giggle...... BWA-HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

    Stupid Republicans.

    May 5, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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