GOP delegate attends convention after being banned from meeting as security risk

As Republicans gather in Tampa to nominate Mitt Romney for president, few are aware that in their midst is a man fellow Republicans deemed a security threat just a month ago. Jay Goldfarb, an alternate delegate to the convention and co-chair of the Palm Beach County Romney for President campaign, was considered such a threat to the “personal safety” of fellow party members, he was banned from attending a local GOP Board of Directors meeting last month.

Palm Beach County Republican Party Chairman Sid Dinerstein said he banned Goldfarb, a member of the Republican Executive Committee, from attending the July 23 meeting because “there were several board members who said Jay had acted in a threatening manner and were concerned for their personal safety.”

When asked if he had notified the Republican Party of Florida, the Secret Service or the Republican National Committee about a potential security threat, Dinerstein said he had not.

“I wouldn’t use those words,” Dinerstein said. “I don’t consider him a security threat. I didn’t think he was going to show up with a gun or anything but just come to rant and rave.”

But in a July 22 email to Goldfarb, Dinerstein voiced concerns that painted the REC member as someone people feared would do more than rant and rave.

“Please do not come to the Board meeting tomorrow night,” Dinerstein wrote. “You will not be admitted. My Board members and myself are concerned for our personal safety. Thank you for understanding.”

Dinerstein was so concerned, he even gave a photo of Goldfarb to building security, stationed in the lobby’s entrance, with instructions that Goldfarb be stopped from entering the building.

After Dinerstein’s repeated warnings, Goldfarb agreed not to attend the meeting, saying in an emailed response: “Since you think I am such a disruptive and dangerous person I will obey your wishes and stay away.  My intention was to present information to the board and make myself available if anyone wanted to ask me questions.”

Reached for comment over the weekend, Goldfarb scoffed at any notion that he was a security threat.

“I’m a pacifist. I don’t believe in violence,” he said. “I have to go and work for five days in Tampa now, and the only things I’m bringing with me are scuba gear and a surfboard.”

Dinerstein said he was the one who pushed for Goldfarb to get the coveted alternate delegate slot in the first place, but that the two have since had a falling out over a business dispute that arose between Goldfarb and the county party’s new executive director, Susanna Barasch.

The dispute, ignited by Barasch’s decision to use another vendor over Goldfarb’s printing company, culminated in an angry Goldfarb telling anyone who’d listen that Dinerstein would be removed as chairman and Barasch would be fired.

The day after Goldfarb vented those rants, at a July 21 grassroots event, Dinerstein banned Goldfarb from the following night’s meeting.
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