Skip to comments.(Larry) Klayman to enter Florida Senate race Tuesday
Posted on 09/23/2003 10:03:15 AM PDT by areafiftyone
Legal gadfly Larry Klayman has resigned as chairman of Judicial Watch to seek the Republican Senate nomination in Florida.
He has contacted GOP consultants to enlist their services for his forthcoming primary campaign, well-placed sources said. His formal announcement is scheduled for Tuesday in Tampa.
Klayman, whose conservative legal foundation that has been a perpetual thorn in the sides of politicians of all stripes, has sued almost everyone from presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to Osama bin Laden.
Judicial Watch, which Klayman founded in 1994, would not comment yesterday on the candidacy or resignation, and the potential candidate himself was traveling and could not be reached. Hes in an undisclosed location, said a spokeswoman. I honestly dont know his whereabouts now.
A new website, klaymansenate.com, went online yesterday. It quoted Klayman, who has communted between Miami and Washington for nearly a decade, as saying: As a conservative, I pledge to never tire in defense of our faith, our liberty, and our freedom.
Although the sources said he resigned from Judicial Watch over the weekend, the organizations website still listed him late yesterday as its chairman and general counsel.
Klaymans entry into the already crowded Florida race caught Republican officials by surprise.
I dont know who he is, Ive never met him, he hasnt called me, he hasnt tried to contact the party, said Jeffrey Becker, director of the Republican Party of Florida. The main claim to fame Ive heard is that he tried to sue the president and the vice president. So thats not exactly a way to engender goodwill on the Republican side. Its just rather odd.
Equally surprised was the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which responded coolly.
We have a strong field in Florida with people like [State Senator Daniel] Webster, [former Rep. Bill] McCollum, [Rep. Dave] Weldon and [State House speaker] Johnnie Byrd who are experienced leaders in that state, said Dan Allen, NRSC communications director. Were comfortable where we are now knowing that Florida has the potential to be a real competitive race.
With a seemingly inexhaustible armory of lawsuits, official complaints and Freedom of Information requests, Klaymans Judicial Watch has zealously pursued politicians for alleged malfeasance.
Initially, the good-governance crusade was aimed at the Clinton administration. The topics he pursued included the circumstances surrounding the death of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster, the administrations fundraising practices, and the former presidents philandering.
With the arrival of the Bush administration, Klayman broadened his sights to include Republicans. In addition to bin Laden and the Senate as a whole, Klayman has pursued Dick Cheney over his ties to Halliburton, which he headed before becoming vice president, and the House and Senate fundraising committees over allegedly selling access to public officials.
Most of Klaymans high-profile suits and complaints have been dismissed, and his litigious trigger-finger has not endeared him to GOP congressional leaders, the administration, the partys affiliates indeed, Republicans in general.
The NRSC was coy about whether Klaymans legal confrontations with the GOP would undermine Republican support for his candidacy in the event that he won the primary.
I think ultimately thats going to be a question that hes going to have to answer if he does decide to jump into that race, said Allen.
Klayman now faces a number of challenges. Given some of the things hes done, particularly in a Republican primary and with the presidents popularity, hell have some explaining to do, said Republican consultant Dave Winston of the Winston Group.
Klayman has never held political office at the state or federal level. By contrast, the four of GOP candidates have extensive experience and strong grassroots networks. Given Judicial Watchs considerable donor base, Klayman is expected to have adequate funds.
Sources say Klaymans campaign plans to emphasize his opposition to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, casting him as the antidote to the liberal New York Democrat.
In the wake of the Elian Gonzales affair, Klayman has taken a number of legal and publicity actions on behalf of Cuban Americans, a powerful political constituency in Miami.
(At least I don't think Larry's ever denied he was in it for fame- and all it brings.)
We wouldn't want a conservative to win... No, we want a Cruz-like dem/lib/socialist/commie to win rather than a Klayman.
You think Klaypot is a conservative?
It would sure be nice if they could make this Peter Paul/Hillary thing stick. (not holding my breath )
Sounds like he needs to carpet-bag it to the Empire State and run agianst Hitlary in '06. Would ultimately help to defeat Hildabeast since whoever is the viable Republican candidate (Giuliani?) can let Klayman sling the mud during the primary. Ref: "good cop, bad cop" routine. May even redeem himself to the GOP.