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

Jack Furnari

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


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

  1. Elaine O'Neal says:

    I don't trust the Republican Party to stand for the Constitution and the basic rights of the American people. I have quit making donations to the party and will only donate to the politicians who will stand and speak in support of the principles that made this country great. Too many party heads are Rinos. I love the Tea Party movement.

  2. Many of the snide, ugly remarks in the comments section are anonymous and don't deserve notice. If here is disagreement with the chairman why can't you be civil and simply express your disagreement and sign your name?

    Michael Barnett is a real asset to the REC and should be commended for fighting for fairer elections. There was a lot of highly questionable goings-on in the Hasner/Frankel and the Murphy/West races –the need to fight for clean elections should be supported by the chairman and by all of us in the party.

    I'd like to see Ira's side of the story in rebuttal here.

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