Since making the switch from Republican to independent candidate for U.S. Senate, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has received his fair share of flack. But the anger from those who once supported him has yet to die down.
In a complaint filed June 22 in Collier County court (which you can read in full or download after the jump), plaintiffs Linda Morton and John Rood allege that Crist unfairly used GOP funds to run against the very Republicans who supported him.
The suit cites a Fox News interview with Greta Van Susteren as an example of Crist’s so-called hypocrisy. In the interview, which aired in March 2010, Crist said, “What I mean by perpetrating a fraud on people is by saying one thing and actually doing another. That’s not right. That’s not being honest and straightforward with the voters.”
The suit alleges that Crist himself is guilty of this very fraud
Offering to receive, and accepting, the Republican Contributions to his campaign for Senate as a Republican candidate, and then actually running against the Republican candidate without refunding the Republican Contributions, “is not right.” … It also violates the law and has caused damages to thousands of donors who accepted Crist’s offer.
Both plaintiffs made their donations during the Republican primaries in 2009. The suit says that Morton made her donation of $500 after “being solicited to do so to support ‘Governor Charlie Crist, Republican candidate for United States Senate’.” Rood, a retired U.S. ambassador appointed by President Bush, contributed a total of $4,800 to Crist’s campaign. They are suing for unjust enrichment, breach of contract and breach of good faith and they seek a temporary injunction obligating Crist to return the funds so that they can be used for their intended purpose — electing a Republican. The suit claims that a temporary injunction is necessary to prevent the political process from being “irreparably harmed.”
The plaintiffs are represented by Republican Rep. Thomas Grady, who once acted as a regional chairman of Crist’s Senate campaign. Grady resigned following Crist’s switch to independent status and, in a letter written to the governor, said, “As a long-time personal friend, I suspected you were considering a break from the party when my recent calls went unanswered. This comes at a time when we clearly differ on what it means to be a conservative with a firm belief in less government, less taxing, less spending and more freedom.”