A new charge emerged Tuesday from the swirling claims over former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's alleged homosexuality and desire to prevent scandal: that Crist appointed Sen. George LeMieux (R) in order to keep him quiet.
Crist has adamantly denied the claims. They were first revealed Friday in documents obtained by local station WTSP, regarding the investigation of former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer over an alleged scheme to divert state party funds to pay for his own personal expenses.
(Report from WTSP above)
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Investigative Report, Greer attorney Damon Chase had threatened to reveal in a potential deposition of Crist that the then-governor was gay and "had homosexual relationships with at least two men who were paid to leave the state to avoid embarrassing" him. In other allegations, Chase also claimed that he would testify that Crist had "kissed or attempted to kiss Greer" at a California hotel, and in a separate incident had attempted to "run people over while intoxicated and operating a golf cart."
Greer is now accusing LeMieux of extorting Crist in order to get his Senate appointment, WTSP reports. According to Greer, LeMieux, who was initially a longshot pick for the seat of retiring Sen. Mel Martinez, was set to be removed from the running. When Greer and Crist's chief of staff went to deliver the news, however, Greer says LeMieux responded by telling them, "After all I did for him, we'll see."
Greer says LeMieux then had an unscheduled meeting with the governor and, 20 minutes later, he got a call saying LeMieux was the Senate choice.
Greer thinks LeMieux pressured Crist. However, LeMieux simply expains, "I asked for an interview. I got an interview. And that's how it happened."
LeMieux is currently locked in a GOP primary battle against Rep. Connie Mack IV. While Mack has refused to debate LeMieux, calling the primary settled considering his lead in recent polls, WTSP reports that he is now jumping the latest charges, asking his chief counsel to write a letter to the Justice Department in response to LeMieux's alleged actions.
Below, a look back at other gay sex scandals that have rocked the political world:
James Dale Guckert, aka Jeff Gannon, is a conservative reporter who was given access to White House briefings from 2003 to 2005. He was accused of tossing softball questions to President Bush and then accused of involvement with gay pornography and gay prostitution.
Ted Haggard's career as the President of the National Association of Evangelicals came to an end in 2006 when it was discovered that he had a relationship with a male prostitute.
From 1995 until 2006, Foley represented the 16th District of Florida as a member of the Republican Party. He resigned from Congress in 2006 after former and current male pages claimed he had sent them sexually explicit emails and instant messages.
In 2007 Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) was arrested for trying to solicit sex from an undercover police officier in a public bathroom at the Minneapolis airport.
Shortly after Sanchez received the first "Jeane Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award" at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2007, it was revealed he had performed in gay pornography using the names Pierre LaBranche and Rod Majors.
Allen served as a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2007. In 2007 he was arrested for offering $20 for the opportunity to perform fellatio on an undercover policeman in the restroom of a public park. Allen claimed that he only made the offer because he was fearful of the black police officer. He was convicted and resigned from the Florida House of Representatives.
During his service as a California State Senator from 2002 to 2010, Ashburn voted against gay rights legislation on numerous occasions. But in 2010 he was arrested for drunk driving after allegedly leaving a gay bar with an unidentified male passenger. Ashburn subsequently came out.
George Alan Rekers
Rekers was an officer and scientific advisor of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a group that provides conversion therapy to gay people looking to become straight. In 2010 he hired a male escort from RentBoy.com to accompany him on vacation because he supposedly had a bad back and the escort was only there to "lift his luggage." The escort claims he gave Rekers "sexual massages" while on the trip and Rekers was forced to resign from NARTH.
Rep Hinkle (R-IN) allegedly solicited a "really good time" from an 18-year-old man on Craigslist. Though many called for his resignation, he refused to step down saying he only made "mistakes of judgement."
Arango served as a member of the Senate of Puerto Rico from January 2005 until August 2011 when he was accused of sharing nude photos of himself on Grindr.
The Religious Right And Gay Sex Scandals
Author Max Blumental discusses the religious right and gay sex scandals.