Local GOP Seeks To Muzzle Media



What do Cuba, Iran and the Broward Republican Party have in common?

Answer: They are all into censorship.

Broward’s beleaguered GOP – divided between the country club establishment Republicans and the grass roots activists – are slapping among the most restrictive media coverage rules on their party debates this week for chair.


Christine Butler: Wants To Control Media


The rules were apparently mandated by Acting Chair Christine Butler.  She is running for fulltime chair along with Tom Truex, former Davie mayor.  Both are lawyers.

Other candidates include James Gleason, who once ran for mayor of Coral Springs and state representative and Bob Sutton, a teacher who lost a County Commission race last year.

Butler is requiring the media to following these rules, which are bold faced in the notice from Butler to GOP members:


“Recordings and Photographs:

The Moderator shall, at the outset of the event, clearly state the policy for the making of video recordings, still photographs and streaming transmissions during the Forum.

 If any recordings or photography is allowed, those making recordings must agree to supply all Candidates a complete copy of every such recording delivered to them within 24 hours of the end of the event. Such materials shall be provided to the Candidates without cost and free of copyright restrictions.

These rules shall apply to the Press and bloggers as well. No photographs or recordings will be edited, outcropped or digitally altered or taken out of context, and subsequently published in any media outlet, for the purpose or use of denigrating or displaying a Candidate in a mocking or derisive manner.   If the Press, bloggers and photographers do not agree to abide by these rules, they will be denied recording privileges.”


I can’t believe any legitimate media outlet like the Sun-Sentinel would agree to these rules, which amount to pre-publicaiton restrictions on the free press. A lawyer like Butler should know the Constitution better.

But this rule isn’t aimed at Tony Man of the Sun-Sentinel,  the Miami Herald or the broadcast media…although they are covered by it.

The excuse for these rules is contained within them.  Butler is deadly afraid that caustic critics like blogger Tom Lauder at Red Broward may make fun of her in a “denigrating” or “mocking or derisive manner.”

Give me a break!  Butler wants to be chair of the second biggest political party and she’s afraid of criticism.

This lack of confidence in her own performance disqualifies her to be chair.  How is she going to handle debates with Democratic Chair Mitch Ceasar or is she going to duck those and deprive Republicans a place at any of these events? How is she going to handle inquiries from the traditional media, who will refuse (I hope) to be stage managed?

Butler should memorize a cliché a lot of us learned long ago from my mother.  It is still operative today:

“Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words will never hurt me.”


16 Responses to “Local GOP Seeks To Muzzle Media”

  1. Step up says:

    This smells of DiNapoli. I really hope the great BREC Chairmen of the past step up and take a stand against this move. LaMarca, Strum, Ed P and Tynan enough is enough, take a stand and show this County that BREC is still a viable political organization and not a 3 ring circus.

  2. BREC membern GOPapa says:

    The Democrats had their chair election in public. Mitch Ceasar was being attacked, yet he believed the public had a right to know what was going on.
    Buddy is right. Butler is too thin skinned to be chair of a major party.

  3. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words will never hurt me.”

    Yeah, but the C word leaves a bruise on some.

  4. Kwityerbitchin says:

    Big effing deal.

    Remember that these debates are not public but are open only to members in good standing of BREC. It is only a courtesy that bloggers and other presstitutes are allowed there anyway. BREC has every right to set any ground rules they want in their PRIVATE debates.

    Whether the debates should be open or not is a political strategy. I can see lots of reasons to keep the debates closed, mostly because the Republicans have no friends in the media. The decision should not be made on the grounds that it might hurt the feelings of reporters or bloggers. The decision should not be made because certain people need political fodder to fill their website content or make a publishing deadline.

    The decision should only be what is best for BREC and the Republicans they represent and the ability to bring conservative principles and values to bear in the county.

    BUT, and it is a big “but”, BREC has a long reputation for being a closed club, with the moderates and establishment types joining forces to shut out Tea Party types. If the vast majority of Broward Republicans saw how their party was run, they would revolt.

  5. SAM FIELDS says:

    All this will do is inspire someone to covertly photograph and/or tape this event a la Romney in Boca last June.

    It will probably be a Republican.

    She can look forward to someone photo shopping her with a Hitler mustache

  6. House of DiNapoli says:

    DiNapoli was thin skinned, Richard’s boy Rico was so thin skinned he headed for the hills, now Richard’s new had picked successor to the House of DiNapoli, Buter is thin skinned too. This is what you get from the DiNapoli crowd.

    Typical DiNapoli, his legacy as BREC Chair will be turning BREC into a laughingstock in Broward. Even worse Richard has always been jealous of LaMarca and he would rather see a divided BREC loyal to him instead of a strong organization that can help Chip in 14.

  7. excompassionateconservative says:

    How come I did not read this in my paid for subscription to the Sun Sentinel?

    Will I read this in the Sun Sentinel on Tuesday?

    Disclosure. I did renew my daily delivery at the beginning of the year but sent them 47% of their asking price. They accepted and emailed me back later about sending my letter about the horrible downfall of this newspaper to their management.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m absolutely amazed at you Buddy! Your comments are purposefully malicious in the spin. I thought you’d long ago climbed out of that pool of slim! Your explanation isn’t legitimate comment on the facts, it’s more like a childish misrepresentation of the facts stated to suit a personal desire to attack a Republican leader. We have come to see Republican Committeeman Tom Lauder make a hobby of attacking Republican Leaders, we’d hoped you’d even as a left leaning blogger had matured above such common dialogue here in The Broward Beat.

    Buddy, look at what it the quote says. 1) Hosts are asked to set a policy, 2) If the policy is to allow recordings, those recording are asked to provide candidates that copies be promptly provided to the individuals involved, that is not censorship. 3.) No pre authorization is intimated in any fashion and you have mis represented that entirely. No censorship or pre approval there. 4.) That the Blogosphere and photographers are asked to restrain themselves in the use of images “as recorded” and not to reinvent the facts embodied in the images, is simply asking for civility, that’s all I read there. And you are correct, Tony Man would never stoop to such vile tactics as practiced by Tom Lauder.

    Honestly Buddy, I hope you are not going to stoop to the adolescent antics of Tom Lauder, so please crawl back out of the mental slim pit he lives in.


    Lauder can not be excluded because he is a Republican committeeman. So instead the party makes restrictive rules to control him and other media.

    As I wrote, Democratic leader Mitch Ceasar faced dissidents who publicly attacked him and his family over the years. Ceasar never excluded the media or attempted to tell them “no photographs or recordings will be edited, outcropped or digitally altered or taken out of context, and subsequently published in any media outlet, for the purpose or use of denigrating or displaying a Candidate in a mocking or derisive manner.”

    Apparently the Broward Democratic Party is more tolerant of internal criticism than the Broward Republican Party.

    By the way, what is “taken out of context?” One person’s context is not another person’s context.

    Republicans should learn that freedom of the press has no exclusion for “adolescent antics.”

  9. BREC Member says:

    Is Butler goint to step down from being Vice Chair in order to run? I heard of her announcing that she was running, but I have not heard of her stepping down from her current post. Why wouldn’t she? That’s what we would expect our elected officials to do.

  10. Ghost of Lew Keller says:

    I brought the party together because Republicans should have a Big Tent to include everybody. The current bunch is dividing the party. I’m ashamed to be a former Broward Republican Chairman today.

  11. Broward Dem says:

    I would hardly call Tom Lauder a member of the media ROFL.

  12. BREC Member says:

    Why should anyone be afraid of Tom Lauder’s comments? He doesnt comment, he copies and pastes. Besides, his readership is about 6.

  13. Real Brec member says:

    From what I’ve heard, Butler didn’t even make these rules. T weren’t rules – they were part of a discussion. They were the result of a back and forth discussion of all candidates that one candidate (presumably Sutton who is in bed with Tom Lauder) forwarded to Red Broward and that Red Broward then attributed to Butler and then sent to Nevins. By the way, the suggestions for rules at debates are stupid and it’s foolish to even put such stuff in writing since it will eventually get out and misattributed.

  14. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:

    Hey, Mitt Romney is looking for something to do. Recruit him to run…. or get Karen SCAREIngton to take the helm. She is bored out of her mine at Ricky’s in Hollywood…. or do the Democratic Party a favor and recruit Mitch Sneezer, for he does nothing at all for the Democratic Party of Broward, maybe he can improve his game for the R’s…. a lot of choices out there… or maybe y’all can get Chazz the Spaz Stevens, so he can stop his obnoxious blog and anti-woman sexist rants and stay out of this blog…

    and that’s the bottom line ‘cuz Stone Cold says so!

  15. Real Brec member says:

    Follow up from my post #13
    …and now the latest red broward piece poses the question of whether butler and Truex co-wrote these rules? Go figure! As I said above, these “rules” from what i heard were the product of back and forth email discussions between all the candidates. (This all smells like Lauder tearing into whomever he doesn’t like at the moment and then getting Browardbeat and others to regurgitate it).

  16. Judy Stern Loses Again says:

    Troy Samuels, boy oh boy, I thought Judy owned Miramar and could get that black vote out. Old Judy is not on the books but all her usual vendors are there, sterling fine arts, eggeletions brothers company, stan adkins etc. 2-1 more money and GOP Golden Boy Tory gets wacked.

    We see yet again why the only candidates can win with are retreads like Gibbons, Thurston etc. No one up and coming is dumb enough to work with this loser.

    I see Commissioner Colbourne had a lot of suport from from the black community county wide. Perry, keep wasting that House Victory money on momma stern, you are still her “boy” is Tallahassee.

    Troy dont be said you can still run for BREC Chair.