Monday, February 11, 2013

Mitch Perry Report 2.11.13 - Will Jim Greer trial be as interesting as advertised?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 8:02 AM

I'd love to give you my take on the Grammy's last night, but unfortunately I passed out relatively early in the proceedings. I could go on about the wonders of Gotye, but really, the news that Pope Benedict XVI β€” aka Joseph Ratzinger β€” will be "stepping down" later this month transcends that, no?

The 85-year-old Pontiff is the first leader of the Vatican to voluntarily step down in nearly six centuries.

Unfortunately, we don't have much more to add. Pope Benedict was no John Paul II, coming into power as a less appealing personality (remember how he was referred to as "God's rottweiler"?).

Closer to home, political reporters and analysts around the state are getting fired up about the Jim Greer trial, with jury selection beginning today in Orlando. Greer is being tried on fraud, theft, and money-laundering charges dating back to when he was the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

The major issue regards his formation of a fundraising group called Victory Strategies in 2009 that signed a deal with the RPOF, though Greer was never listed officially with Victory Strategies. His former partner in that group, Delmar Johnson, has turned on Greer and will be the lead witness for the prosecution.

The excitement about the trial is that it could end up clipping the reputation of a number of high-ranking state Republicans, or ex-Republicans in the case of former Gov. Charlie Crist. Greer has been talking a lot of smack to a lot of news agencies over the past year, trashing the party to any news outlet that will have him. Could this trial be as potentially explosive as some analysts have theorized? We remain skeptical, but of course will be be watching and reading daily accounts.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, the Florida Federation of Young Republicans met up in Tampa to discuss what they can do to reverse the alarming trend in recent presidential elections, where the under-30 vote has been going solidly Democratic.

CL's Chrystal Tacker went to the second part of Saturday's Young Republicans event, where she watched Polk County-area Congressman Dennis Ross and Tampa area state Representative Jamie Grant discuss how they think the GOP can move forward from the 2012 election.

And yesterday on CBS' Face The Nation, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said he is going to do whatever is legally possible in the Senate to block the nominations of Chuck Hagel for defense and John Brennan for CIA director until he gets more information about the failures of our security in the events of last Sept. 11 in Benghazi, where U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans lost their lives.

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