Brow GOP Anti-Media Policy: Dumb & Dumber





Of all the half baked ideas I’ve seen recently, Broward Republican Party Chair Christine Butler’s new diktat locking the media out of key portions of meetings takes the cake.

Butler doesn’t have a clue.

Apparently Butler believes she can control coverage by shutting the door on GOP meetings when members start to argue.

That’s not the way the media works.  Reporters (and everybody else) get suspicious when you do business in secret.  Tell a reporter that a meeting is private and they’ll try even harder to find out what happened.

Doesn’t Butler realize that there is no way to keep secrets when there are more than a hundred people in a room? If the Sun-Sentinel’s Tony Man or any blogger wants to find out what happened in Butler’s meeting, they’ll find out.

Butler’s policy stems from her belief that the party should present a unified face to the public. She prefers media coverage featuring a room full of GOP robots publicly parroting her views. She doesn’t like stories about GOP members arguing and debating.

Gee, I thought that an exchange of ideas was called Democracy.

By sealing off the meetings, Butler is playing a losing hand. The only accomplishment will be to raise suspicions that Butler is hiding something.

And she is.

She is hiding that the Broward Republican Party organization–formally called the Broward Republican Executive Committee, or BREC–is irrelevant.

BREC once influenced local events. For instance, the party organization was instrumental in getting single member districts for the School Board.

Today with its out-of-step stand on social issues and its open door to far right conspiracy nuts, BREC can’t sway opinions in Broward.  It no longer has a seat at the table where important decisions are made.

BREC is even meaningless to candidates.  That’s why GOP hopefuls largely work around the party organization.

Meanwhile, moderates are pulling out. Long-time activists like Alvin Entin have left the organization.

Formerly BREC’s chair and now a county commissioner, Chip LaMarca sees the rot in BREC.  He had some advice for Butler in today’s Sun-Sentinel. 

“…I wanted to get as much news as possible out through local news channels. If you’re trying to be inclusive and grow the party, why would you have closed doors?” LaMarca is quoted.

Are you listening, Christine? Or can’t you hear us behind your closed door?



14 Responses to “Brow GOP Anti-Media Policy: Dumb & Dumber”

  1. Republican voter says:

    LaMarca never allowed any members to voice their opinions during his meetings as chair – no motions and no discussion allowed – he just adjourned the meetings quickly when things got tough so he could ignore people. Amusing to see him grandstanding now.

  2. count l f chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    Isn’t the point of political groups to win elections? Don’t you win elections by getting your message out? So how does shutting the press out help you get your message out?win elections? Of course I have my suspicions that they don’t want the racist anti immigrant anti Semitic anti gay rights anti handicapped anti poor people talk from the yes party lunatics doesn’t get out – oh I forgot anti women’s rights including abortion rights. There are a lot of things butler has to hush up

  3. Don't Forget says:

    The Broward Republican Party is a tiny minority of crackpots who are against gays, blacks and Hispanic rights.

  4. GOPapa says:

    Christine Butler does not even speak for the majority of BREC members, much less the heart and soul of the Republican Party in Broward County.

  5. Sam The Sham says:

    Once upon a time, long, long ago when I was on BREC, we occasionally had closed meetings. The meetings generally started out as open, but sometimes an issue would come up where we wanted to strategize on an election and didn’t want reporters (almost all Democrats) spying on us and reporting back to our political opponents. We asked all members of the media and all non-Republicans to leave the room. Big deal.

    Buddy, was it like this or does she close every meeting?

  6. Kevin Hill says:

    Some of these people running BREC now seem like the type that would also worry about water fluoridation and the Government Orbital Mind Control Lasers. So this is not at all surprising. I am sure somebody on “teh Fox Newz” told them to be scared of the lame stream media.

  7. Republican voter says:

    @Sam the Sham – your description of closing only a portion of the meeting is exactly what Christine is proposing. It’s been done before, just as you referenced. This is much ado about nothing.

  8. Old Timer says:

    There is no cure for stupidity … not only the Chair, but those who voted for her.

  9. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Do the tea-baggers eat their young when the doors are closed?

    I’ve long suspected such…

    I was originally going with, ‘do they eat each other,’ but wasn’t sure how to make that un-gay-sounding for them.

  10. huh says:

    GOPopa if she doesn’t speak for the majority how was she elected?

  11. Ana Gomez-Mallada says:

    Just like that pinhead Richard DeNapoli. And probably for similar reasons: fear of criticism.

  12. Ana Gomez-Mallada says:

    But on the bright side, Governor Scott just signed an order extending spousal benefits to same sex couples. I don’t know if anyone but Mr. Nevins has reported it.

  13. Republican voter says:

    It’s funny how the local media is framing this. A cursory review of any of the Sun Sentinels articles in the last two years shows what most thinking people would consider an animosity against the local Republican Party. Something isn’t covered with one article, but with upwards of five articles on the same story. If there’s a disagreement between even two members about something it suddenly becomes an “above the fold” news story. If a small group within the party – i.e. The two leaders of the Ft Lauderdale tea party – says something that others disagree with, Then it is blown into gargantuan proportions. I don’t see the same “blow by blow” reporting covering the Broward Democratic Party. Why is that? You’d think that with so many more members than the Republican Party of Broward, there would be more disagreements to “report” on. I think what’s happening is that Democratic internal squabbles just aren’t covered. Sorry but it’s kinda obvious. And if a group is so irrelevant why does the Sun Sentinel and now Broward Beat keep reporting on it?


    The Democratic Party organization has had plenty of dissent. Chair Mitch Ceasar has had serious challenges every time he runs for re-election, including at times significant opposition from Labor. One time former U. S. Rep. Peter Deutsch ran against him for chair. The divisions in the party have been covered extensively by the media. Ceasar, who had repeatedly been attacked by blogs influenced by his opponents, never closes the meetings to the media.

    I guess the Broward Republican Executive Committee leadership just has thin skin.

  14. Republican voter says:

    I’m a regular reader of the sunsentinel – and yes, they do cover some internal Democrat Party of Broward infighting AT THE TIME of the DEC PARTY ELECTIONS as you point out, but those only happen once every 4 years. The Sun Sentinel has just about zero to say about Dem squabbles outside of that once every four year cycle … Yet there is are constant articles about internal squabbles in the local Republican Party – no matter how insignificant these squabbles may be in reality. There is definitely a double standard at play here when it comes to the local Republican Party. Why is it that we don’t see Tony Man reporting from a DEC meeting as frequently if they are imdeed open ?


    I wouldn’t ever try to answer for Tony Man. He will have to answer for himself.