Aug 7, 2010

Florida Tea Party Prepares Criminal Complaint Against Newly Formed "Republican Goon Squad"

A press release from the Florida Tea Party, emailed to TPID:

A brand-new 527 Electioneering Committee named the "Tea Party Foundation, Inc." was established this week by Republican Party of Florida operatives and close associates of indicted former RPOF Chairman Jim Greer and Bill McCollum.

The committee was informed yesterday by the Secretary of State that it's formation is a clear violation of Florida law and elections statutes.

The new electioneering communication organization, listing Abby Dupree of Tallahassee as its agent, registered with the state Division of Elections last month. Dupree, listed as the group's original registered agent and treasurer, is also treasurer of Republican Sen. George LeMieux's Protect America's Future PAC, which funnels funds to GOP candidates. Dupree also was the contact for the "Jim Greer for Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida" campaign committee which funneled nearly $400,000 to the indicted former chairman and his associates.

The committee has retained Rhil Russo, an Orlando-based Republican campaign worker for 8th Congressional district congressional candidate Todd Long in an effort to bring some veneer of association to the tea party movement. Russo, the spokesperson for the bogus 'foundation' immediately stated his and the committee's support for "gay marriage; legalized marijuana and opposition to the Patriot Act," putting that group in direct conflict with established tea party principles. Interestingly, an associate of Mr. Russo's, South Florida Tea party "czar" Everett Wilkinson declared to the Washington Post in a recent article that his own South Florida Tea Party has "hundreds of gays" in this group and therefore he opposes the definition of marriage as between a woman and a man.

Russo, a co-leader of one of the smaller Orlando tea party groups had approached several Florida Tea Party leaders in July about working for the Florida Tea Party and having them 'buy him a car.' The request for the car and for employment was denied.

"This is a typical GOP goon squad front group that doesn't even attempt to mask it's attempt to thwart the laws of Florida. No wonder there are over 3 dozen criminal investigations of RPOF officers and GOP elected officials from both Federal and state authorities. The mob is tame compared to the Republican Party of Florida," stated GOP consultant Doug Guetzloe, an unpaid advisor to the Tea Party. "It's really disgusting that these goons think they can buy their way into political power with millions in special interest funds," Guetzloe concluded.

Attorney Fred O'Neal is in the process of filing a criminal complaint against all individuals named in the bogus group. O'Neal was advised by the Secretary of State's office to file the criminal complaint.

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