Broward GOP Cracks Down On Media, Dissidents


I wonder if Broward’s new Republican Party chairman Richard DeNapoli ever read the Constitution?

Maybe his Constitution starts at the Second Amendment guaranteeing gun rights.

Well, Richard.  You obviously don’t understand the spirit of the First Amendment.

DeNapoli last month declared that only handpicked members of the media would be allowed to cover Broward Republican Executive Committee meetings.  Only “authorized video and audio recordings of the meetings would be permitted.

Any discussions of substance where dissidents can complain are now done behind closed doors.

He is well within his rights.  BREC is a private organization.  However, this the same group that is always whining they don’t get a fair shake from the media.

This overkill is mostly aimed Javier Manjarres, a committeeman who has been highly critical of the way the BREC is run.  DeNapoli had better get used to the blogosphere because he is never going to stop Internet criticism.  He is running a party that is split.

DeNapoli must have listened too much to The Outer Limits as a kid and gotten the wrong message.  You remember The Outer Limits on TV?  Its had the famed introduction containing only a picture of a TV screen being manipulated.

That introduction now could begin every BREC meeting:

“We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper…. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear.

DeNapoli has taught me one thing: The different between Broward Democrats and Republicans.

The Democrats allow dissidents and media coverage of their comments at meetings.  The Republicans under DeNapoli won’t tolerate it.

DeNapoli obviously forgot — or maybe never understood — that politics is supposed to be combative.  People are supposed to debate issues.

And the Founding Fathers expected everybody to do it openly, just like the very public arguments they had when they drew up the Constitution.

26 Responses to “Broward GOP Cracks Down On Media, Dissidents”

  1. Disappointed republican says:

    This is in line with his whinny insecure personality. I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t a “Real Republican Executive Committee” coming our way soon!!
    They want everyone to accept all old business to cover up the accounting that should have shown a local candidate was given $15,000….They will not be able to cover this up!!!

  2. Chaz Stevens says:


    Is it politically incorrect to say that the GOP can suck my hairy nutsack?


  3. REC Member says:

    Buddy, don’t you know the REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA issues the Loyalty Oath. Not DeNapoli. It was crystal clear in the email sent out. Get the facts straight. Boy are you out of line on this one.

    You also fail to mention that if you’ve ever been to a BREC meeting, you’d know that NO MOTIONS had ever been allowed in the last 5 years that I’ve been attending. At least now the BREC allows its members to make motions. DeNapoli expanded debate and motions were heard for over an hour.

    Get the facts straight.

    Thanks for clarifying the loyalty oath issue as you see it.
    Before you wrote this, I took out any mention of the loyalty oath, not because of your point but because it is a side issue.
    After reading it again, I decided to stick with the main theme — the growing lack of transparency in BREC.

  4. REC Member says:

    Secondly, Buddy, members of the media, including Anthony Man, attended the meeting. During the last part of the meeting where motions were heard, nonmembers were asked to leave. BREC Members then made motions for over an hour. We’ve had problems in the BREC where nonmembers would come in and intimidate members by shoving video cameras in their face and trying to get a gotcha moment. In case you don’t know, that’s illegal. I’m sure the DEC and Mitch Caesar would do the same thing if Republicans started demonstrations at their meetings.


    I would like to know what law is being broken by video taping anybody at a public meeting.

  5. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't says:

    I get your point while at the same time, it’s clear that you certainly are not a constitutional scholar.
    The constitution protects us from government tyranny. Our rights are protected from the government (federal, state or local) from infringing on our rights.
    You may have the right to carry a gun, but I can tell you not to bring on in my house. I can throw someone out of my house who says something I may disagree with. Any claim to violating my former guest’s rights would be meaningless, because I am not the government.
    Neither is BREC or the DEC.
    One thing that you may be overlooking about BREC right now is that they have a unruly group of Tea Partiers that the DEC doesn’t have to deal with.
    If DeNapoli sits idle, BREC may get hijacked. If he tries to avert disaster, he gets articles like yours…

    I specifically said he had the right to do what he wants with the private organization called the BREC His actions are not in the spirit of what our county believes in.

    This has nothing to do with stopping BREC getting “hijacked” by the Tea Party. If DeNapoli has the votes to become chair, he should have the votes to defeat dissident committee members.

    This has to do with DeNapoli’s fear of being embarrassed publicly. If he can’t stand the heat, he shouldn’t have entered the kitchen.

  6. Floridan says:

    I wonder if DiNapoli has been watching what’s going on in Egypt?

    They’re trying to crack down on dissidents and the media there, too. Let’s see how that works out.

  7. BREC Worthless says:

    The BREC is toothless. McCollum and Maymon are two of the candidates backed by BREC leaders and defeated.

    The establishment is extremely scared of its own right represented by the Tea Party Allen West voters. That’s why they are attempting to lock out part of their own party.

  8. REC Member who can read ... AND think. says:

    @ # 3 REC Member:

    The new Loyalty Oath nowhere addresses DeNapoli’s nonsense. That is born out of a personal vendetta against Javier Manjarres.

    Here is the Loyalty Oath:

    “I, ___________________________, hereby swear or affirm that during my term
    of office:
    a. In a partisan general election in which the Republican Party has a
    candidate, I will not actively, publicly, or financially support the election of any candidate other than the Republican Party’s nominee;
    b. In a non-partisan election (other than a judicial election) in which a registered Republican is participating, I will not actively, publicly, or financially support the election of any candidate other than a registered Republican;
    c. In a contested Republican primary election, I will not support the nomination of one Republican candidate over another in my capacity as a Republican Executive Committee member unless the Party has voted to endorse under RPOF Rule 8.
    This rule does not preclude me from supporting in any manner my personal Republican candidate of choice, provided I do not express such support with public reference to my title or office within the Republican Party of Florida; and
    d. I will abide by the principles of ethical behavior contained in the Code of
    Ethics of the Republican Party of Florida as set forth in Appendix B to the RPOF Rules of Procedure.”

    Not many real changes.

  9. Jeb says:

    “Government tyranny”??? Now, let’s see, just who is it that invented and practices government tyranny? Maybe predatory Repooplicants that prostitute themselves to big business and the wealthy, destroying the other 90% of the populace? The electorate is pharmacuetically lobotomized when they vote for either of the two parties (don’t care for Demonrats either…)

  10. Non-Member says:

    Under recently past Chairmen, BREC members weren’t able to fully voice their opinions due to power or lack of control. Having been present for part of the meeting (not a BREC member), I can understand closing it off during official business. 25 years ago, BREC would conduct business behind closed doors (not all the time, but often enough).

    If those in the media are true writers, then use your writing skills and don’t rely on modern devices. As far as the BREC members are concerned, I find it funny that some use the opinions of Nevins, Man, and other politically (left) biased media to justify their complaints about BREC. One has to question if these people are not really anti- GOP, RPOF, conservatism, grasroots, etc. but are trying to sway BREC.

    The new Chairman has been a proponent of unity, trying to include establishment and grassroots (although I think some of his committee appointments were politically biased). Regardless, those who are perpetually divisive within BREC are simply stubborn children not willing to embrace the positive aspects of this new board.

    From what I understand through supporters and opponents of the new Chairman, it was a good first step. I do have to wonder why the Vice Chair announced she’d strictly enforce attendance including leaving a meeting early, but confirmed a new member based on the fact that she saw them earlier, even though they weren’t present when called. The new board has some learning to do I’m sure, yet I was pleased with the meeting for the most part.

  11. BREC Member says:

    Contrary to what is written here, this was the most open meeting I’ve ever attended as a member of the BREC.

    Buddy should know as a professional journalist that you are supposed to ask someone for an interview. The blogger above never asks anyone for permission – just shoves a camera in their face. Even reality shows require written disclosures of people…bloggers are for-profit enterprises and are supposed to do the same. I don’t remember a right to video in the constitution. Pick up a pen and paper.

    And even the founding fathers met in secret in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787 for the Constitutional Convention.


    Would it surprise you to learn that I have gotten e-mail and comments reflecting the complete opposite view from yours? That’s a good thing. Debate.

    Since I was a professional journalist from the time that Nixon was president — meaning I got paid for my work — I feel obligated to comment.

    Ambush journalism, or surprising somebody with a video camera, has been part of television news almost from the time television started. I still see it frequently on local stations.

    Hidden camera journalism has been part of television news for years.

    There are entire shows on TV and on the Internet where unwanted cameras are shoved in people’s’ faces wielded by paparazzi.

    However, in Florida you can not record somebody’s voice without their permission. So it involves the law in Florida, not the ethics of journalism.

    I will quickly add that I never interviewed somebody without asking first. I always tried to be polite because the person was giving you their time.

    Photographers who worked with me did use long range lens on occasion to take pictures of people without their permission (I remember several investigations at the School Board, County Commission and city governments where this was done.) Pictures of crowds at public meetings were routinely made without asking permission from everybody who appeared in the picture. But newspaper photographers usually asked permission to shoot a photo of an individual, if for no other reason than they wanted the person’s name for the caption, or cutline as it is called.

    Also, I never got a written permission slip for an interview in my life, including from internationally-known celebrities I interviewed. I also never saw photographers involved in news coverage get one from an adult they photographed.

  12. BREC Member (longer than 1 meeting) says:

    Sounds like “BREC Member” has about the same amount of experience in jouralism as he does with BREC: almost nil. That’s what DeNapoli is srrounding himself with – a crowd of “know-nothings”

  13. GOPapa says:

    DeNapoli is a step backwards for the party. I’ve been around since before Lew Keller and he is the worst I’ve seen. On top of that, he’s a lightweight who is over his head.

  14. AJE says:

    Attempting to be “fair and balanced,” I’ll give the new BREC leadrship a chance to prove themselves before I eagerly and viciously hang them out to dry as some seemingly have from the tone of all this wet ink.

  15. Rastas says:

    Perfectly in line with Leninist precepts on how to run a political party. More proof that in today’s America, the real Bolsheviks are on the right.

  16. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:

    Buddy, PLEASE ban Chaz Stevens from your blog. He is a total anti social, perverted idiot. Please respond back, either way, whether and why you would allow such a low life, non value adding commenter to issue crass, unacceptable comments, or the good news that you agree he needs to be banned.

  17. Plantation Resident says:

    Interesting that the new BREC leadership does not appear to embrace openness, yet their new Executive Director, Rico Petrocelli, has been filming all around our city for the past year or so.(Plantation council and advisory board meetings, candidate forums, etc.) All to provide a service to the public in his self-reinvention as a “journalist” (blogger)

    To quote BREC member (#11) “bloggers are for-profit enterprises and are supposed to do the same. I don’t remember a right to video in the constitution.”

    So, Buddy,if Florida Law states that you cannot record a person’s voice without their permission, would that include videotaping one of the aforementioned meetings,even if it were public?


    I am not a lawyer.

    My understand from the many law seminars I attended is that taping at public meetings or public places is legal in most instances. This would apply to video taping in a public park or on the street.

    Florida law allows video taping of public government meetings by anybody. If Petrocelli was taping government meetings of any type, he was within his rights.

    A private organization like BREC can pass rules that forbid taping at their meetings. Violating those rules could get you thrown out of the meeting, but not thrown in jail.

  18. beenhere says:

    Right on Buddy – It’s freedom and unless the video is doctored – like Michael Morgan does – it’s good thing. Might keep some people honest.

  19. Tyronne Steele says:

    I think Richard DeNapoli made an excellent choice in appointing former Plantation commissioner Rico Petrocelli as the new party executive director.

  20. Lexington Steele says:

    DeNapoli is petty. The 20 Tea Party committee members won their seats and need to be treated with respect. He can’t muzzle them.

  21. Huh? says:

    Lexington, what are you even talking about? What does any of this have to do with the tea party?

  22. Sam Fields says:

    Sorry Buddy, but major political parties are not private organizations in the same way some club might be.

    In 1932 the Texas Democratic Party declared that it’s primary election was restricted to Whites. In Smith v Allwright the United States Supreme Court held that as long as a political party uses the public ballot to select it’s nominees that this constitutes state action and Smith, a “Negro” could not be excluded from membership.

    Thus it’s not 100% clear that the Constitution allows DeNapoli can run the BREC like he was Mussolini.

    FROM BUDDY: Sam Fields, a guest columnist, is a trial lawyer with a large Fort Lauderdale law firm.

  23. Sam Fields says:

    If DeNapoli does not want people to videotape the meeting let him try and stop it. Is he going to call the cops or try to physically remove the transgressor?

    The video of that would go internet viral within 24 hours.

  24. Disappointed republican says:

    @ Sam Fields…he did and if you look on the link attached to the article you will see someone being “removed”

  25. Don says:

    It is going to become a game of “chicken” with some people faking that they are videotaping and others videotaping for real while the “Chairman” foams at the mouth, shouting for the Sergeant-at-Arms everybody laughs and nothing gets done.

    Or some very interesting viddeos hit the net in a matter of minutes, made more interesting for being “verbotten”.

  26. Clark Kennsington says:

    There is no constitutional issue at play here except these.

    The BREC is not a public governmental entity, it is a political party. The party meets on private property, not public. The Hotel does not permit the errant recording of its guests at any time and any place within the hotel. Further the hotel objects to the incidental taping of its guests. Next, BREC meets in a hired facility for private meetings. BREC meetings are not public meetings and are held only for the members benefit. The press and bloggers can not invade of the privacy of individuals on private property without express permission of the individual.

    You will be surprised as it is obvious you are not on camera much is that the REAL MEDIA Boys do ask for name and contact info of subjects even in public places. These same media pros would never publish video of individuals faces who are not committing reportable acts without the subjects permission. Hence, you see the facial blocks every day when cameras catch people’s identity in error. Simply because you can afford a $100.00 video camera does not confer on you the blogosphere the unilateral right to transgress peoples privacy, when that person has a reasonable right of expectation to privacy in private places. Famous personages have less right to privacy than does a private individual. You media pros know you pay if you disturb privacy, and if you do it for profit you can be cooked for it and your attorney blogger writing in this thread will undoubtedly confirm.

    So get it straight, BREC is not a government entity, it is not conducting public meetings and guests are only allowed at the pleasure of the Committee and must follow Committee rules, the door is not open to all and attendance is conditional.

    The recording of BREC meetings is now made by “Official Videographers and Still photos by Official Photographers” BREC makes public authorized recordings for press use as well as stills and protects the privacy of members.

    It seems bushwack sleezy video blogging is not going to be permitted under this BREC Boards tenure. That such a policy is burr under the blogosphere’s blanket is well tough. Perhaps for those really interested in the BREC, will clean up their act.

    As for the claims of the openness of DEC, why is it their meetings do not appear here in all their glory? I suppose one might say, post their meeting tapes and put it up here to prove that claim. I truly doubt we’ll see blogger tape on Mitch and DEC meetings.