Arlen Specter Fund Raiser Draws Fire; Democrat Larry Smith Co-Host Of GOP Bash


Two of Broward County’s leading Republicans are at each others throat over a South Florida fund raiser for U. S. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania

It’s because Specter voted for President Barack Obama’s expensive recovery plan.

Florida State Committeeman Ed Kennedy, a former Broward County commissioner, lashed out at Broward Republican Chairman Chip LaMarca for co-hosting the event.

As far as Kennedy is concerned, LaMarca shouldn’t help raise money for Specter, one of only three  Republican senators supporting the plan.

“A lot of unnecessary stuff in there is the beginning of an ultra-liberal agenda,” Kennedy said. “Those three senators – my words can’t describe how I feel about them…I can’t understand a Republican voting for this bill. As far as I’m concerned Arlen Specter is not a Republican.”

Wow.  Strong words.  What happened to the GOP’s 11th Commandment: “Thou Shall Not Speak Ill Of Any fellow Republican?”

“I agree with Ed on the issue, but I committed to this weeks ago,” LaMarca said. “I told Ed that you can’t agree with anybody 100 percent of the time.”

LaMarca said he told Kennedy that Specter was instrumental in getting two new conservative judges appointed to the U. S. Supreme Court in recent years.

“Without Arlen Specter, we wouldn’t have Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito,” LaMarca said.

Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, helped round up votes for the court nominations.

LaMarca also told Kennedy that as Broward County chair he must “support all Republicans who come to South Florida for fundraising help”

The fund raiser Friday night will be at the Miami Beach home of fabled political consultant Roger Stone.

Stone is not just any political consultant.  He’s part of GOP history.

He got his start as one of Richard Nixon’s so-called “dirty tricksters.

Stone was the one who donated money to Edmund Muskee’s 1972 presidential campaign in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance.  He then leaked the story to the newspapers.

He also was supposedly behind the near-riot of Republican activists in Miami-Dade County, which caused officials to call off the recount in the contested 2000 presidential election.

Stone says the co-hosts include (who else?) Fort Lauderdale lawyer Scott Rothstein and his partner, Stuart Rosenfeldt. Stone hangs his hat in Rothstein’s Fort Lauderdale office these days.

One unusual name on the host committee — former U. S. Rep. Larry Smith.

Smith is a Democratic partisan. He has been at the head of numerous Democratic campaigns in Florida since leaving Congress in the early 1990s.

So why is Smith bi, as in bipartisan, this time?

Specter and Smith worked together in Congress, especially on issues relating to Israel, Stone said.   Both are Jewish.

Kennedy’s reaction to Specter is not unusual among conservatives. Specter’s re-election in 2010 already has opposition from the conservative National Republican Trust, according to the Miami Herald.

A poll by Quinnipiac University this week said Specter was actually running stronger among Democrats than Republicans.

Around 62 percent of the Democrats approved of the job Specter was doing, compared with 55 percent of the Republicans.

He traditionally draws strong support from the Jewish community, as well as the trial bar, African Americans as well as gun owners and moderate Republicans.

Specter is 79 today and will be running for his sixth term. The Stone event is being billed as a Birthday bash.

10 Responses to “Arlen Specter Fund Raiser Draws Fire; Democrat Larry Smith Co-Host Of GOP Bash”

  1. GOP Voter says:

    I thought Republicans like us were suppose to have a big tent. If they do as they proclaim, Arlen Specter is surely right in the middle of that tent. These litmus tests some Republicans try to administer are sickening.

  2. I. P. Freely says:

    Seriously, larry smith. I watched him publicly berate Senator Lieberman at Temple Sinai earlier this year for supporting Senator McCain to the point where he was shouted down by the rest of the congregation. To see his name as the host of a republican fundraiser after witnessing that scene is really, really odd.

  3. Arlen Knows says:

    Arlen Specter and George Bush the father go back to the good old cold war days. Not many of those guys left. They’re probably the last two guys alive that know how the JFK assassination really went down.

  4. Broward Republican says:

    Chip LaMarca is right. Arlen Specter has been a dedicated Republican for a long time and shouldn’t be judged on one vote.

  5. Grand Ol' Papa says:

    Arlen Specter was instrumental in getting $6.5 billion for medical research and an increase for high speed trains in the bill. Both of these additions will stimulate the economy and help America be a leader in the future. Republicans like Kennedy have no vision.

  6. "Not" Ed Kennedy says:

    Listen, I don’t get me wrong. I want to say something out of line with this observation. But the fact is Ed Kennedy is about as tired and played out as his wife’s hat. He needs to move on and leave politics to the younger, more interesting people. Ed had his time and frankly didn’t do very much with it.

  7. Broward DEM says:

    Chip, we need more Democratic cheerleaders like you and Governor Crist over here with us. You and Charlie have been such an incredible boost for our party that we don’t even need Mitch.

  8. Floridan says:

    Chip LaMarca is the future of the Republican Party; Ed Kennedy represents its past.

  9. A Good Republican says:

    FYI: My sources tell me that Larry Smith was not in attendance at this event. It was more of a RRA and Stone event that included numerous RRA attorneys. Kudos to Scott Rothstein for continuing his support for the political candidates.

    At the end of the day this was an event attended by Repubs from Hialeah to Boca Raton and all parts in between. Specter was not even there. I hear that it was a nice place too!

  10. Lincoln Republican says:

    Chip LaMarca and those like-minded Republicans are the only hope for the Party. Poor Ed, he is old stale and irrelevant, if the party doesn’t start listening to the LaMarca’s in the party, the GOP is going to be as stale, tired and irrelevant as Kennedy.