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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Newsletter chides Pinellas Dems chairman

Cliques and clashes in the Pinellas County Democratic Party haven't gone away with leadership changes.

Pinellas Democratic Party chairman Ramsay McLauchlan jumped on Republican Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate bid to urge people to buy tickets to a party fundraiser this month. Now McLauchlan is getting hit in the St. Petersburg Democratic Club's newsletter sent today.

Questioning whether priorities are "misplaced," the newsletter says: "Why is the Chair of the Pinellas Democratic Party interjecting himself into REPUBLICAN Primary politics, when we could use this opportunity to apply lessons learned from the Obama campaign, UNITING DEMOCRATS AND INDEPENDENTS under the banner of more open, more accountable and more responsive government?  Let’s offer a positive vision instead!"

The author is Hal Alterman, who isn't on the county executive committee but active in club work. The club is run by Jack Killingsworth, the third-place finisher when McLauchlan won the vote for chairman in December.

Alterman, who called himself a subversive, says the McLauchlan tactic doesn't indicate lessons learned from Barack Obama's "positive vision" in his 2008 campaign. And, he said, that "there is still a split."

McLauchlan said Alterman's free to have his opinion, but McLauchlan disagrees with the critique, and noted Alterman didn't speak for the entire club.

"The Pinellas Democratic party uses a series of different pitches to raise money. Some tend to be pro-Democratic, others are anti-Republican… we try to reach different people," McLauchlan said.

-- David DeCamp, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:53am]


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