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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

An on the record attack on Deborah Cox-Roush

13

January

Chris Ingram shares this:

I received the following e-mail from Becky Ehret, a member of the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee. Ms. Ehret is not a fan of Deborah Cox-Roush and she outlines her reasons why in the e-mail. Ms. Ehret challenged Ms. Cox-Roush for Hills. REC chair last year.

You can read my letter of support for candidate Dave Bitner by clicking here.

The unedited e-mail from Ms. Ehret follows.  

Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2011 11:15:18 -0500

Subject: Objective Analysis of Deborah Cox-Roush for RPOF Chair

From: becky.ehret2@[address suppressed]

To: Members of the RPOF Executive Committee

I am writing to you as a female member of the Hillsborough Republican Executive Committee, a former legislative auditor and a person who makes decisions by weighing the costs and benefits of taking any given action.  I have no personal animous towards Ms. Roush.  I think she is a perfectly nice woman.  However, I do have some serious concerns as to whether she is the best person for the position of Chairwoman at this time.  As all of you are most certainly aware, there has been much written about Ms. Roush that is less than flattering and while Ms. Roush’s contention is that these articles are just a smear campaign and some of the allegations may be, that doesn’t change the fact that politics is all about perceptions and even where perceptions and truth are wildly different, perceptions rule.  Consequently, I put together an analysis of the costs and benefits for your review in the hopes that when you look at the whole picture, you will see, as I do, that her negatives are much greater than her positives and even more importantly, her negatives that impact things like fundraising, something that will be critical as we go into 2012, are likely to be huge in the eyes of our regular and prospective donors.

Benefits:

1. It would be a natural ascension to go from the position of Vice Chair to Chair

2. She currently serves as Chair of one of the larger RECs in the state and has held the position for 2 years.

3. Electing her could answer the public relations question raised in this race that she is being picked on because she is female.  I hope gender is not a criteria for election.

4. She is a relative newcomer to Florida and has risen quickly to prominence in Florida politics.

Costs:

1. She has received much negative publicity for her 2004 DUI, a charge supported by the mug shot and her own admission.

2. There is a negative perception of her from the story indicating that 24% of the REC budget went to pay her through her business.

3. She inappropriately used Hillsborough REC resources when she posted an endorsement letter on the Hillsborough REC website that suggests that the REC itself had endorsed her.  There was no vote to endorse her although there are individuals within the REC that do.  The purpose of the website is to provide information to Republicans and people interested in becoming Republicans. See www.hcrp.org.  Does this sound like the RPOF’s public endorsement of Crist prior to the primary, an action that drew the ire of Ms. Roush and others?  Does this give the negative perception of do as I say, not as I do?

4. There is a negative perception that because of nos. 2 and 3 above that suggests that like Jim Greer she used REC funds and resources for her own personal and/or political gain.  Given the negative media attention given to the Jim Greer situation, we need to be particularly cautious about any future similar perceptions because of the impact on fundraising and donations.

5. Ms. Roush’s business is being sued for ejectment and allegations have been made that this is the result of being thousands of dollars behind in paying the rent.  This allegation creates the negative perception that Ms. Roush is either in serious financial trouble, or irresponsible or both.  Of course the facts could be totally different, but again perception rules.  This raises the question, would you donate money to a person or organization that is either in financial trouble or irresponsible?

6. Ms. Roush’s business ejectment suit has been ongoing since at least August 2010 and despite the potential affect to the REC which meets there, was not disclosed except through the media.  Does this sound eerily similar to the upset caused when the current Chair of the RPOF did not disclose the existence of a Federal subpoena for more than 30 days?

Becky Ehret

p.s. If you have any questions call me at 813-[# suppressed].

[Last modified: Thursday, January 13, 2011 3:33pm]

    

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