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The Chairman: The Rise and Betrayal of Jim Greer

Peter Golenbock

Newsouth Books
$32.95 hardcover
6 x 9
416 pages
Published in 2014

The Chairman, a Shakespearean tale of friendship and betrayal to rival Hamlet, is the harrowing story of Jim Greer, a man loyal to a fault to Florida governor Charlie Crist, his benefactor.

From 2006 to 2010, Greer served as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. In 2010, controversies arose involving party finances and spending behavior by state elected officials. Despite evidence that supported Greer’s claim that top party officials knew about the arrangements, Greer choose to end his trial and surprised many by pleading guilty in 2013. Greer trusted Crist to protect him from the onslaught of the Tea Party wing of the party, only to watch as Crist stabbed him in the back and helped send him to prison in order to try to save his own political career.

It’s also a political tell-all about how wealth begets power in Republican-led Florida state politics. The book details the secret deals, the dirty pool, the payoffs. Featuring political treachery at every turn, it’s also a personal, inside look at the brotherly relationship between Greer and Crist and the ruthlessness of potential presidential candidate Marco Rubio and attorney general Bill McCollum.


“Jim Greer is no low-level staffer. He had a seat at some of the country’s most powerful tables, whether it was delivering the votes making Michael Steele the first African-American national Republican chair or putting Senator John McCain over the top at the 2008 Republican National Convention. He knows where the “bodies are buried.” U.S. senator and putative 2016 presidential candidate Marco Rubio won’t be handing this book out to friends and family at Christmas. Sunshine State Democrats will be left to wonder why they ever jumped in bed with former Republican governor Crist, making him their 2014 Democratic gubernatorial candidate. Golenbock blew the lid off the hypocrisy, greed, and avarice of big-time college sports with his 1990 best-seller, Personal Fouls; now he is doing the same for politics in America’s third-largest state.” —Scott Farrell, journalist, lawyer, and former U.S. congressional candidate