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Mack demands investigation of LeMieux appointment

Posted May 19, 2012 by William March

Updated May 19, 2012 at 07:12 PM

Citing a Tampa Tribune story, Rep. Connie Mack IV is demanding an investigation into the appointment of George LeMieux to a temporary U.S. Senate stint in 2009 by former Gov. Charlie Crist.

Mack and LeMieux are running against each other in the GOP U.S. Senate primary.

The story—see it here —reported that LeMieux convinced Crist to reverse a decision to appoint Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp to the seat with “a strategy that included direct pressure on Crist,” according to an account by former state Party Chairman Jim Greer, confirmed in part by Kottkamp.

Greer and Kottkamp both said they didn’t know what kind kind of argments or pressure LeMieux used to change Crist’s mind, and didn’t make accusations of extortion, but Mack campaign manager Jeff Cohen voiced the darkest suspicions.

In a campaign news release, he said LeMieux “may have used pressure to extort Charlie Crist into giving him a seat in the United States Senate” and compared the situation to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s conviction for seeking political donations in return for a Senate appointment.

“Depending on what kind of pressure George LeMieux brought on Charlie Crist to gain a United States Senate seat, it may be more than just morally reprehensible, it may be outright illegal,” he said. He said the matter should be “pursued by the media and the justice system.”

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