Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Republican group 'dubious' about Crist

The ink isn't dry on his announcement that he is running from the U.S. Senate and already Charlie Crist is drawing fire from his right flank.

The Fort Lauderdale-based Conservative Republican Alliance greeted Crist with this broadside.
The Conservative-Republican Alliance (CRA) wishes to welcome Governor Charlie Crist to the U.S. Senate race, and our organization looks forward to hearing how he intends to advance the causes of individual freedom, fiscal discipline, and limited government in the U.S. Senate. There is little doubt that Governor Crist’s popularity throughout the state and his name recognition will greatly aid his prospects; however, the CRA wishes to express its doubts about Governor Crist’s reasoning and rationale that are currently being offered for his entrance into the race for U.S. Senate.

RPOF Chairman Jim Greer has stated that, “It's my opinion he has come to the conclusion that he needs to fight for Floridians on the issues coming out of Washington, D.C., and he needs to be there first-hand." Furthering that sentiment, George LeMieux, Governor Crist’s advisor has said, ''He loves being governor, but he also realizes that Florida's problems have become national problems.''

Pardon our initial cynicism, but it is a dubious proposition at best for Governor Crist to believe- if indeed he really does believe it- that as one of 100 Senators, and with the Republican Party currently sitting in the minority, he would have more power to solve Florida's problems as a Senator than he would as the sitting, elected Governor of Florida? Perhaps we need to remind Governor Crist that a governor of a state has far more power and discretion to affect the lives of the citizens of Florida than a solitary U.S. Senator.

In addition to that dubious appraisal of political power, his entrance into the Senate Race essentially makes him a lame-duck Governor, which further dilutes his power and his chances to effect positive change in Florida from this point forward. Governor Crist’s announcement also throws the entire Florida political map into a state of flux that possibly could jeopardize the Republican Party’s chances to retain the seats and offices that it presently holds. Will the chain of events that Governor Crist has set in motion by virtue of his announcement ultimately serve to benefit the electoral prospects of Republicans across the state, not to mention the citizens of Florida that are presently laboring under the dictates of an increasingly profligate Federal Government? In light of this announcement, we here at the CRA believe there is legitimate cause for concern.

The CRA is all too familiar with the platitudes and political-speak that politicians routinely use as they attempt to advance their careers. Therefore, we respectfully ask the following question to all interested observers- How can Governor Crist honestly claim he is entering this race on behalf of "the people" and for the good of all Floridians? From our perspective, Governor Crist’s quest for the Senate appears to be an opportunistic political move that jeopardizes the prospects of Republicans maintaining political power in Florida, dilutes his own power as Governor, and simply amounts to a risky political wager that would only gain him a resume enhancement for purposes of furthering his own political ambitions.

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