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Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered, in other words, the Delmar Johnson story

in Statewide by
For the past year, Delmar Johnson mixed and mingled with the well-heeled and powerful, chasing checks from large Republican donors from fishing piers in Key West to a football stadium in Boston.

But even as the economy soured and GOP fundraising lagged, Johnson earned more than perhaps any party leader in Florida history — at least $408,000 as executive director and chief fundraiser for the Republican Party of Florida. His total pay was more than triple what party chairman Jim Greer made.

Nearly $200,000 of that came through a contract signed by Greer and Johnson naming Johnson as the party’s chief fundraiser. That contract was apparently never divulged even to senior members of the party’s executive committee.

Anger over the party’s flailing finances prompted an unusual combination of grass-roots activists and big-ticket donors to force Greer’s resignation last month. And that was before party elders knew of Johnson’s fundraising contract – and his outsized earnings.

Read the rest of this gluttonous story here. Check back throughout the day for updates.

Update – Greer used Johnson’s AmEx card to pay for his own travel, and trips taken by Crist campaign staffers and a handful of state legislators.

Update – “Delmar? He was the guy in the duck suit!”

Update – Charlie Crist says he was unaware of Delmar Johnson payments

Update – Candidates for RPOF Chair speak out on Delmar Johnson.

Update – Crist campaign manager Eric Eikenberg says Governor did not know about Delmar Johnson’s lucrative compensation package. “That’s internal Republican Party business.”

Update – Crist camp: We are not hiring Greer and Delmar

Update – Rockie Pennington lays the wood to Delmar Johnson on the Buzz.

Update – Sharon Day, the Broward County committeewoman who’s running against John Thrasher for party chair, said she pressed Greer for fundraising details last August when it was apparent donations were drying up.

“I was basically told he [Greer] was handling the financial side of the party, and he didn’t give me anything,”

Update – Delmar’s pay spurs calls for change at RPOF:

State Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, called Johnson’s $408,000 in compensation last year a “mistake,” and pledged “it won’t happen again.”

“Delmar is a fine young man, but that is a gross overpayment of what that position should be paid,” he said. ”It sends exactly the wrong message to the people who we need to participate in the Republican Party.”

Update – Gubernatorial candidate Paula Dockery weighs in on controversy:

This news is a slap in the face to all the other hard working staff and every rank-and-file Republican around the state working to get Republicans elected. Money is donated to the RPOF by Florida Republicans to help elect honest, conservative Republicans to office, not for exorbitant salaries and bonuses that would make a Wall Street banker blush.

Update – Loved re-reading this nugget from Jim Greer on Delmar’s hiring last year: “As the governor says, ‘If you don’t like Delmar, you don’t like life.’ “

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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