Did Rick Scott Staffer Silence GOP Website?



Broward Democrats aren’t the only ones whose feuds are nasty and very public.

Red Broward was temporally knocked off the Internet this week and the Republican website is saying the “person likely behind” it is Gov. Rick Scott scheduling director.

It’s part of an inner-party fight in the Broward Republican Party.

Here is Red Broward’s report.  The website was silent for about a day and is now at a new location.

16 Responses to “Did Rick Scott Staffer Silence GOP Website?”

  1. Independent says:

    Are you saying that Red Broward is actually owned and run by the Governor’s staff? How else can a private web site be taken over by someone else? Something here doesn’t smell right and raises questions of conflicts of interest in government.

  2. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    If I recall, RedBroward didn’t pay his yearly domain renewal.

    And it appears that someone snagged the domain.


    Is this a case of in-fighting, or rather Tom Lauder just needs to get off his ass and find a job? Job = money, money = buy things like your domain name.

    PS I considered sniping RedBroward.com, replacing it with a picture of Rachel Maddow.

  3. Oh Rico says:

    It would seem like such a simple rule, you must live in Broward to be a representative from Broward on a Florida Republican Party Committee. This is why BREC is an embarrassment to anyone who is a registered Republican in Broward. It is time for a splinter organization to start a PAC, raise money and at least make a real effort to get Republicans elected. Can you imagine big money Republicans like Scherer and the guys at Tripp Scott breaking bread with these guys?

    Broward GOP Chairman Rico Petrocelli’s attempt to place a non-BREC member on an important congressional district committee embarrassed local GOP leaders including the co-chair of the Republican National Committee. The move came at last weekend’s Republican Party Of Florida meetings in Orlando. Petrocelli, members of the new BREC board, State Committeeman Ryan Anderson and RNC co-Chair Sharon Day made up the Broward delegation. One of the major items on the agenda was elections to fill congressional district committees across Florida. Local party chairs and state committee persons can nominate individuals from their counties.
    A printed list of Petrocelli’s nominations was circulated before the meeting began. However, once the proceedings began it was clear Petrocelli planned to abandon his list. First, he nominated Michael DeGruccio, the polarizing former secretary of the Broward GOP. State Committeeman Anderson nominated longtime committeeman Chad Lincoln to challenge DeGruccio. A vote by the RPOF leadership handed Lincoln a decisive victory over DeGruccio.
    According to several insiders the real fun was about to begin. For the next opening, Petrocelli nominated an individual who was not even a member of the Broward GOP. In fact, this person no longer resides in Broward county. Petrocelli never disclosed this information. Only after the votes were taken did it become public knowledge. The nominee admitted to presenting BREC membership paperwork that very morning. The RPOF was forced to table the vote until the next quarterly meeting. Witnesses say Sharon Day was incensed that Petrocelli allowed Broward’s “dirty laundry” to be aired in front of the entire RPOF.
    Why Petrocelli would pull such a questionable maneuver at his first RPOF meeting as Broward GOP chairman.? Some insiders speculate Petrocelli was attempting to curry favor with Florida Governor Rick Scott. The nominee in question has close ties to the Governor’s office. Petrocelli currently serves as chairman of the Broward County Housing Authority. Nominated by Charlie Crist in 2009, Petrocelli’s term ends this year. Petrocelli, a Crist loyalist, would need to be re-nominated by Governor Scott.
    Others wonder if Petrocelli has come under the influence of DeGruccio. A longtime Broward Republican volunteer, DeGruccio did not seek re-election as party secretary after it became clear he had lost the support of many party activists. These activists were upset by DeGruccio’s actions during the November elections.
    First, DeGruccio decided to ignore the Broward GOP endorsement of school board candidate Rochelle Solomon by issuing his our written endorsement of her opponent Abby Freedman. Ms. Freedman, a close political ally of Democrat Sheriff Candidate Scott Israel, used DeGruccio’s letter to convince voters that she had the support of the Broward GOP. Freedman ended up defeating Solomon and Israel beat Republican Sheriff Al Lamberti.
    Then, during early voting, pictures surfaced of DeGruccio hanging out at a polling place with a militant Democrat activist. The photograph of DeGruccio and Michael Rajner was featured on Buddy Nevins’ BrowardBeat.com. Ranjer was behind the August 2011 boycott of Congressman Allen West. Earlier this year, Rajner revealed personal information regarding a member of State Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff’s family.
    Despite the outrage from grassroots Republican activists, Petrocelli named DeGruccio his “Director of Party Development.” The duties of this newly-created position have not been made public. It is unclear if this is a paid position.
    After returning late Saturday night from Orlando, Petrocelli took to Facebook to thank DeGruccio for his “knowledge and contacts.” While he did thank Sharon Day for her “help”, Petrocelli never mentioned his fellow BREC board members.
    This is the latest misstep in Petrocelli’s one-month reign as Broward GOP chairman. RED BROWARD previously reported on Petrocelli’s controversial plan to hold as few as six BREC meetings in 2013.
    Maybe “the Chairmen” were on to something?

  4. know s says:

    She’s probably scared about possibly losing her job over this, but knowing who purchased it, this has nothing to do with the governor and everything to do with Sheila wanting to be a famous blogger.
    I’m not the biggest fan of her writing, but it would be better than the “LOL cats” joke of a website that passed for political commentary. My first grader made a “newspaper” at school that looked more professional and had more substantive content. To call the waste of bandwidth on red broward equal to the shark tank is a huge compliment. In reality, if red broward is my daughter’s lemonade stand, than the shark tank is Minute Maid…and the shark tank is no Minute Maid.

  5. Oh Rico = Tom Lauder says:

    Oh Rico, or Mr Lauder,
    Your post is the same post that was the last post of Red Broward (formerly Clean Sweep on Facebook).

    What are you going to do now that your borrowed domain name has been shut down? Rumor is that you were not at the county commission meeting. Were your homemade press credentials lost? Maybe your fancy blue blazer was tight from your holiday feasting? Possibly your stained white t-shirt was dirty and Mom wouldn’t wash it for you? You can always borrow one from De-gross-io.

  6. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:


    Those familiar with the expiration process will know the domain owner is given several opportunities to renew their domain…

    If you look at the RedBroward domain registration, you will note the domain expired back in November.

    Only after (I believe) 60 days or so does the domain go back to a “purchase pool”.

    So while RedBroward might have gotten “knocked off” this week, the owner would have had since before Thanksgiving to cough up a few dollars.

    What the new domain owner did was completely legal. Nothing untoward. Nothing foul.

    I counsel my clients — buy your domains for 10 years. If you can’t afford $100 or so, then find another part-time job.

    Personally, I’d have redirected the site to LemonParty.biz — but that’s cause I just kinda sorta abhor the Tea Party folks.

    But, even with my revulsion, I see nothing improper here.

    I also agree with #4. RedBroward didn’t do any investigative work. His photoshopping skills were utterly unimpressive. Sure he provided some raw red meat to a certain audience (who dined on raw red meat).

    But something… anything substantive? Not in the least.

    I’ve known for sometime Lauder is an idiot. This only cements that…

  7. Brec member says:

    Why did Sheela Venero own the site in the first place?

  8. RedCoward says:

    It’s no secret that Lauder has had some long-term financial problems. He didn’t pay for his site and it was shut down in Dec for a time. He could get a job, but would rather stalk political events with his “press” pass and snap blurry Iphone pics. Blogging doesn’t pay the rent if you have no talent Tom. Good riddance to one nasty hack.

  9. know s says:

    The most pathetic part about it is that if he put a donate link on his page, he could have rounded up the $20 it costs to renew the domain.

  10. Funny thing says:

    The irony here is that Red Broward exposes obvious corruption in BREC and no one cares. Why does no one care? Because most self respecting Republicans would rather walk on glass than be a part of that organization. I don’t see Rico, Shelia or Degruccio denying any of this so it must be true. They should just disband.

  11. Sam says:

    Once again, the Shark Tank wins. It is funny to see that the entire BREC revolves around the Shark Tank.

    This has been a pattern that doesn’t seem to ever go away. Tom Lauder should think about getting a job and while he is doing that, look into going on a diet.

  12. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Actually #10

    Red Broward loved to bust balls over imcompetence…

    How much more incompetent can you be, as a weblog owner, than to not renew your own domain?

    Technically speaking, that’s known as “poetic fucking justice.”

  13. anonymous says:

    No one cares because Red Broward is a loser. Only local political insiders read his stuff and most laugh at him. Bottom line, Tom: “you snooze, you loose.” He’ll find some free blog spot and start back up again with his bulls**t and lies. Get a life. Or, like Chaz says, “get a job!”

  14. Reality Check says:

    Dear “Oh Rico”

    Two things:

    1) Sheila Venero VanHoose is the person you indicated “no longer resides in Broward county”. In fact, the former BREC Secretary is from Pembroke Pines. Her job occasionally compels her to live elsewhere, but she is from Broward County.

    2) The real embarrassment is on the RFOP leadership who voted for an ignorant blowhard like Chad Lincoln over an accomplished, intelligent campaigned like Michael DeGruccio.

    Suffice it to say that Lincoln is an acolyte of the late (and not lamented) “Chairman” DeNapoli who suddenly found a job opportunity out of town rather than run for re-election as BREC Chairman. With the “Chairman” and other luminaries like Red Broward, Lincoln is one of the architects of the Republican victory of 2012. Oh … wait…

  15. Give me a break says:

    No dog in this fight (it’s all silly and stupid), but there are a few words I associate with Michael De Gruccio.

    “Accomplished and intelligent” are the opposite of such words. He’s lost every race he’s managed… and he’s a clown.

  16. Rick Scott Aide Shuts Down RedBroward, Blogger Claims « Florida Society of News Editors says:

    […] here. A post Tuesday detailed what went down with the old site, which has in turn kicked up posts elsewhere. ”This type of cyber squatting, intended to harm the RED BROWARD brand,” the blogger […]