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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

RPOF accused of 'witch hunt' purges



When did the Florida GOP decided it wanted to emulate what used to be the Florida Democrats' domain: intraparty warfare? Here's the latest example (UPDATE: please note the RPOF response at bottom):


Republicans Are being Targeted: You Could Be Next!

It's been more than a month of debate since Brevard County Republican Chair, Jason Steele, led his local party in voicing decent over the early endorsements of primary candidates by state party bosses, and statewide Republicans remain engaged in a battle for the soul of the Republican

Following Steele's announcement that his local party would not support primary endorsements by the state political machine, and the subsequent resignation of the Brevard Republican Executive Committee Secretary, Travis Clinger, who was asked to resign amidst allegations that he acted against his organizations vote to rebuke state bosses, RPOF has begun a purge of independent minded Republican leaders throughout the state.

Deon Long, one of the state's most influential African American leaders, was recently removed and banned for life from participating in Republican Party activities, after he spoke out criticizing party big wigs for their attacks on Republican Liberty Caucus leader Will Pitts.

"This is the kind of witch hunt that will only serve to purge loyal conservative Republicans, and make room for cronies who will tow the line behind part fat cats and their pet candidates," said Brevard Chairman Jason Steele. "In a time when we are working so hard at the local level to expand the outreach of the conservative message, we need leaders like Deon, and Will Pitts, and a hundred others. This is not the time to stifle debate by silencing the real leaders of our party."

Steele himself has been notified that he is the target of a grievance alleging he violated the RPOF loyalty oath by his actions at the local level. "I have been and remain a loyal Republican, but I have not been, and will not be a mindless follower of the state 'party line,'" said Steele.
"We are engaged in nothing less than a battle for the soul of our party, and our nation, and I will not sit by and watch as voices are shunned for speaking out!"

Steele called RPOF actions a "purge" and said he and other leaders around the state would fight to see that every Republican voice counted, and that the party returned to the corps values that he said his organization was built upon.

"We live in a nation facing tough economic times, threats to our way of life are at home and abroad, and the world marches forward looking to us for leadership, and it troubles me that the party of Lincoln and Reagan is being decimated by a hand full of good ole' boys looking to preserve their own power," said Steele. "We have been the party of ideas, of true inclusion, and now we must remind every Republican of that, and we must call on each other's strength and commitment to restore and rejuvenate our 'Grand Old Party'"

If you feel as strongly as I do, Please contact us and help us take our party back. (321) 258-8993, or e-mail [email protected]. Your help is vital if we are going to restore individual accountability to our party and our nation!


Jason Steele
Brevard Republican Executive Committee

RPOF's Katie Gordon: "Deon Long was not permanently removed from the Party. He
was removed from holding a leadership position for a period of 4 years by
the unanimous recommendation of the grievance committee. He was given the
opportunity to appear before the committee to present his case and chose
not to.

"The personality conflict between Jason Steele and Travis Clinger has little
to do with the state party. Both parties will have the opportunity to
present their cases before the grievance committee later this month. It is
unfortunate these types of e-mails receive so much publicity, detracting
from the reality that hundreds of county leaders and thousands of
volunteers across Florida are working hard to get Republicans elected."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:51pm]


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