GOP boss: Don’t talk about Allen West voter fraud or other ‘oddball issues’

The newly elected chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party told his board members Monday not to speak to the media or schedule speaking engagements without talking to him or a paid staffer first – ruffling some feathers in the process.

Chairman Ira Sabin characterized the admonition as a request, but many on his board took it as a demand.

Several sources told BizPac Review that Sabin’s comments seemed primarily aimed at board Vice Chairman Michael Barnett, an outspoken conservative elected without opposition in December. Sabin, by contrast, won the chairman post by only two votes.

Barnett is one of the lawyers litigating the True the Vote lawsuit against St. Lucie County Elections Supervisor Gertrude Walker over the irregularities in Allen West’s loss to Patrick Murphy, and that’s one of the banned topics.

“We have to have one message,” Sabin told me. “I don’t want side issues brought up.”

The county party’s vice chairman, treasurer and secretary are elected by local Republican Executive Committee members, and while it is customary to follow the chairman’s lead, there is no rule binding them to his orders. The two state committee members on the board, Cindy Tindell and Peter Feaman, were elected by Republicans in a countywide contest and do not answer to the local chairman at all.

Sabin told me he doesn’t want his board members to publicly discuss “voter fraud, birtherism, the St. Lucie County voter fraud suit” or any other “oddball issues” he deems off message.

Strangely enough, one of Sabin’s own unelected appointees to the board of directors is vocal birther Bonnie Re of Boca Raton, but Sabin has taken care of her, he said.

“Bonnie’s been told not to talk about it anymore, and if she does, she and I will have a problem,” Sabin said.

Jack Furnari

President at BizPac Review
Jack Furnari is a founding partner, writer and CEO of BizPac Review.


  • Bob Honiker

    I've been a Republican at least as long, and probably longer, than Ira Sabin has. I will talk about any damned thing I want to, the GOP establishment's refusal to listen to the conservative base in particular.

    • http://yahoo Elaine Schiff

      want to push me and other's out of the party?-Your on the road to just that-I for one will not sit down and shut up-remember the POTUS told us to do that-I dint then and I wont now-

    • Ladyliberty

      This is why, after 47 years as a Repubican, and untold hours of service on many campaigns and on my local REC in CA, I am DONE with this cowardly, pusillanimous party. Mr. Barnettt, YOU GO!! And True The Vote is the BEST!!

      • http://BIZPAC anonymous


  • KB Cook

    So now GOP 'heads-of-state' dictate the freedom of speech to their people? Sounds like statism to me. Party-line-propaganda is a real turn-off for those of us who believe the Constitution and the Bill of Rights got it right! This election cycle ended my 50-yr-alliance with the GOP. Game over – I'm an independent voter who will look for vetting and good reason to spend my vote on any and every candidate.


    I'm another 50 year Republican leaving the Party for its' treatment of Allen West and lack of fight..Guess I'll be independent and Tea Party man I had my own successful business for 40 years and a self made man- Navy officer in Korean War and I'm sick of the GOP cave- We must stay in attack mode or lose our ass,which we did last year.

    • John Witt

      Right on James–same with me–long time Republican now fed up with the lack of leadership and infighting. Count me as an Independent/Tea Party supporter. And, thank you for your service to our country.

  • Charlie

    Bonnie Re on the Board is a funny way of saying the GOP is a mess. Bonnie Re is at least 80 and cant walk or talk and makes a mess of everything she does.

  • Kendra

    Ira Sabin has promised everyone everything, and it will catch up to him. As far as Bonnie Re, why would anyone put someone as incapable as her on the board?

  • Susan

    I believe this article is about Ira Sabin bullying the board and strong arming everyone. But I had to laugh when I read that Bonnie Re is on the board. This is an old lady who is way, way past her prime and needs to realize she damages the party every time she does anything. I know people would not work with her during the Mitt Romney campaign because she is always bad mouthing everyone.

  • keeping quiet for no

    I am a board member who was at the meeting you are talking about. and I am considering leaving. Ira Sabin is playing a mob boss like we all knew would happen. He has NO right to control anyone's freedom of speech but just wait because there will be more stuff coming out.

  • http://Bizpac Ted

    Looking back at the last two elections. With the creation of the Teabaggers and the serious "odd ball" candidates (West) and idiotic controversies (birther, muslim, Kenyan, citizenship of Obama), I wonder if the GOP can project itself seriously on any subject. Seriously, folks, look ahead to 2014 and 2016. With the voter suppression and gerrymandering subjects being laid of the GOP, and the seemingly real belief that someone like Rubio (empty suit), is going to save the GOP, you might as well just do the concession before the elections. Really, think of the money you'd save. Adelson and the Koch brothers could save multi-millions and the GOP would have something to complain and whine over for another FOUR TO EIGHT YEARS!

    I know there some really intelligent Republicans. I have some friends that bring up concerns that are valid to all of us. So, where are these same concerns at the power levels of the GOP? I beginning to think that there is such a thing as making these upcoming elections too easy for the Democrats. Please! Just saying…

    • Isabella1709

      Teabaggers? Why don't you refer to them by their name, Tea Party Patriots? Craving attention, or just want to smear those that have very conservative points of view?

    • Uselogic

      @Ted. Why don;t you grow up and quit trolling a conservative site? Barring that, please consider self imolation.

    • Kathy

      I don't think that having to prove that you have a legal right to vote is considered voter intimidation or voter restriction. It's only the corrupt Democtatic/Communist party complaining about having to prove that you have the right to vote!! They can only win because of fraudulent voters!!

  • Boca Legend

    I'm a Republican to my core, but Ira Sabin DOES NOT speak for me, and I will say or write anything – and on any topic – that I damn well please.

  • Cassandra

    Shocked, simply shocked at Ira's behavior. Who would ever have imagined that he would act like a bully?

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