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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The Fla GOP soap opera continues

20

January

Battle Republicans throughout the country have lots of reason for optimism one day after the bombshell election in Massachusetts. But in Florida it should give people some pause to consider where the state GOP in America' biggest battleground state stands today at the start of an incredibly busy and volatile election year: A skeleton crew remains at the state headquarters in Tallahassee. And there is no consensus and plenty of internal dissension on the question of who should be elected chairman next month, John Thrasher or Sharon Day.

We're wondering if ousted state chairman Jim Greer is shaking his head, smiling, or both.

Consider this note posted on the Osceola Republican party Facebook page: ALERT call/email your Rep. state reps and sen. ASAP... They are trying to hijack the RPOF. Our elected officials are calling county REC chairman, state committeeman/committeewoman saying if they don't select Sen. Thrasher as RPOF chairman they will withdraw their contributions to the RPOF to watch it crumble. ENOUGH IS............ ENOUGH, let the people vote for the direction of the party... Email everyone.

And this letter from Charlotte County GOP Chairman Bob Starr.

Now comes a response from former state party vice chairman Allison DeFoor:

Dear Friends-this letter is sent as a mild and friendly riposte to Bob Starr’s letter, and to suggest, respectfully, the need for a reality check.  First of all, our Republican legislators, our allies, not our adversaries, have nominated, not anointed John Thrasher for the consideration by us all, together, to be Chairman of the RPOF.  As you can see by the attached press release, they did so with great deference to the fact that it is a collective decision.  Note the words “respectfully nominate”.  They have a right to nominate someone, since they have 20 votes on our committee, and they have provided the bulk of the financial support of the Party this year (read $millions), and they provided the final tip that allowed the transition to a new Chairman.  In sum, they have skin in the Game-plenty, in fact.

They have nominated John Thrasher.  He was not my first choice, but he is a solid guy, having a distinguished background as a soldier, politician and Speaker of the House during the Republican ascendancy.  His credentials as a conservative cannot be questioned with credibility, nor his managerial and fundraising capacities.   

Against this we have the alternative of Sharon Day.  I have a great fondness for Sharon.  She has been a tireless champion of our Party, and has stood up to some serious political heat.  I am unaware of anything in her experience base that would suggest the ability to raise the 10’s of millions of dollars which will be required to make 2010 the kind of year that it offers itself to be, or any managerial expertise of the kind that our Party needs in the very short window that we have to right our ship between now and November.  Vague assurances that ‘the fundraisers will come through’ leave me cold to the sure knowledge that the House and Senate have been our horses for some time now, and my confidence that they will pull out if they continue to be dismissed. 

If I were king, I would make them co-chairs, on the RNC model, and let John raise the money and manage, and Sharon rally the troops at the local level.  There will be plenty of Lincoln Day chicken to be eaten in the next nine months, with plenty for all.  Such accommodation does not, yet, seem to be in the mix from either side.  But, hope springs eternal. 

In any event, we have a choice for now.  We need to make it with clear thinking, and embrace the favorable winds now blowing from Massachusetts across America.  We have an opportunity to do great good for Florida and America.  Let us take it.  But, let us remember that we are family.

Respectfully Submitted, 

Allison DeFoor

SCM Wakulla

Former Vice Chairman-RPOF

Former Republican nominee for Lt. Governor of Florida (1990)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:15pm]

    

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