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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Booing Pinellas GOPers admonished for treatment of St Pete Mayor

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster is a loyal Republican, who is up against two Democrats in his nonpartisan re-election campaign this year. But based on the reception he received from Pinellas Republicans at their executive committee meeting last month, hizzoner has some significant problems with conservatives. We hear audience members loudly booed the mayor when he noted his support for The Lens design for the new Pier and especially when he spoke favorably of improving the county's transit plan, including light rail.


Keep in mind, the Pinellas GOP these days has strong contingents of tea partiers and Ron/Rand Paul libertarians. It raises the intriguing question of whether Democrat Kathleen Ford, with her skeptical questioning about virtually everything that comes out of City Hall, might be the real tea party candidate in the mayor's race.

The hostile reception to Foster was enough to Pinellas GOP Chairman Mike Guju to send executive committee members a letter the other day admonishing them for the last minute and warning that if it happens again people will be ejected from the meeting. That could be a pre-emptive move to ensure a more welcoming reception when Republican state legislators appear before the Republican Executive Committee Monday night. Guju's letter:

Dear   ,

It is with great disappointment, and profound distaste, that I feel compelled, ascygur Ch.airman, to write this letter. But due to inappropriate and boorish behavior of a few attendees at our last monthly meeting, l must addressthe topic- - of proper meeting decorum. Apparently to these few, the idea of being a gracious host is a foreign concept to them.

When a guest accepts our invitation to speak before our membership, they do so with the expectation that they will be shown common decency and respect. Every speaker, whether you agree with the person or not, deserves nothing less. In addition, it is rude to the office the speaker holds, embarrassing to the PCREC organization and inconsiderate to others in the audience when a person or two insists on making a spectacle of themselves by, for instance, being belligerent, booing or hissing.

Every speaker, as well as any person attending our meetings, deserves politeness and civility just as a guest in your home would receive, not necessarily because of who they are but because of who we are. We hold ourselves to a higher standard of behavior than many of our counterparts in other organizations.

Thus, effective immediately, any party member or guest who displays inappropriate behavior 1 during the PCREC meetings will be asked to leave immediately by the Sergeant at Arms. I will stop the meeting and have the person or persons ushered out. If you do not know what unacceptable behavior is, feel free to contact me and I wi!! go over it with you.

It is my desire that this is the last time this subject will be discussed. I appreciate your co-operation and look forward to many pleasant meetings in the future .

Very Truly Yours,

Michael J. Guju, Chairman
Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee

[Last modified: Monday, May 6, 2013 11:17pm]


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