GOP Chair: Rubbed Bigwigs The Wrong Way?



Why did Rico Petrocelli quit as Broward’s Republican Party chair?

He isn’t talking except to say on the Internet and in a news release from the GOP that he had “irrreconciliable difference” with the party’s executive board that caused him to leave.

Here is his comment sent to me and reputed to be from his Facebook page:

“I have resigned as Chairman of the Broward Republican Party. Irreconcilable differences with the Executive Board. Not giving interviews, etc from TV or Print. In the best interest of the Party..”

He isn’t giving interviews, but several political sources talked to

According to the sources, the board was upset with a scheme to pay commissions to members who brought in contributions.  Petrocelli also irritated some members by plugging his private detective business through a link on the party website, one source said. A third source said the party under Petrocelli lacked “transparency.”

Some of the things he was trying were “undignified,” said another source.

Petrocelli tried too many changes that bugged the board.

Another thing I believe was at work here. Class differences.

Petrocelli had money problems off-and-on for years. A former car salesman, he had little in common with the white wine-and-brie crowd that makes up a major part of the party’s donor base.

It wasn’t like he used the wrong fork at dinner or showed up with gravy stains on his tie.  Still, the party leader who talked as if he came from the streets never won over the GOP high rollers who own the streets.

Yet despite my belief, Petrocelli did have some supporters among the deep pockets crowd, I have been told.  They just couldn’t save him.

Meanwhile, Broward’s Democrats are laughing.  For once, the Democratic Party seems calm…and the GOP is squabbling.


This was released midday Wednesday, Feb.20 and sent to me by  RedBroward.

February 20, 2013


Broward Republican Executive Committee (“BREC”) announces the resignation of its Chairman Rico Petrocelli. In a surprising action, Mr. Petrocelli voluntarily tendered his resignation on February 19, 2013, effective immediately. Mr. Petrocelli cited his reason for resigning as undefined “irreconcilable differences “ with the Executive Board.

Going forward, Vice Chairman Christine A. Butler has assumed responsibility as acting Chairman until a new Chairman is elected. In the interim, Ms. Butler expresses confidence in the Executive Board’s commitment in advancing the BREC’s mission and programs.

The Executive Committee’s Board will announce an election of a new Chairman in accordance with the rules of the Republican Party of Florida. All business and programs of BREC are expected to continue during an orderly transition in leadership.

Vice Chairman Christine A. Butler, a practicing attorney in Broward, was elected as Vice Chairman of BREC in December 2012, and has served as a Precinct Committeewoman in Davie, Florida since 2010.

For more information or comment, please contact Ms. Butler at 954- 401-9933″ is open to Petrocelli if he would like to make a statement giving his reasons for leaving.


15 Responses to “GOP Chair: Rubbed Bigwigs The Wrong Way?”

  1. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Here’s a possible quote:

    I dropped off the money exactly as per… look, man, I’ve got certain information, all right? Certain things have come to light. And, you know, has it ever occurred to you, that, instead of, uh, you know, running around, uh, uh, blaming me, you know, given the nature of all this new shit, you know, I-I-I-I… this could be a-a-a-a lot more, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, complex, I mean, it’s not just, it might not be just such a simple… uh, you know?

    – The Dude Petrocelli

  2. Hat Tip says:

    I think credit needs to be given to Tom Lauder at Red Broward for having the courage to expose the problem within his own party despite the flack he took over it.

    Rico probably could have slithered by had his ideas for fundraising, games he played at the convention and other issue had not been raised by Lauder.

    I have to say I agree with Sharon Baron from Tamarac Talk when she pulled her objection to Lauder serving on the School Board Diversity Committe saying what a good writer Lauder was/is.

    I agree with Ms. Barron, Lauder is a great writer. Congrats again on the great job you did with your Rico coverage.

  3. In the Room says:

    Hey Buddy, the down low inside the party is that Rico was having trouble asserting leadership with the Broward Executive Board. He’d made repeated missteps, some serious, in the past months days which were of growing concern among many Committee members. But, most seemed willing to be patient as he grew to the role. What seems to be the inside on Rico’s quitting was that he’d been refusing to disclose to his Board the financial activities of the Committee. He was ignoring their requests, and they became insistent he stop stone walling. Some question if Rico walked rather than disclose. With Rico’s having had past issues with ethics matters …. Well go you go figure …

  4. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    @Hat tip

    Tom Lauder is a great writer? You’re joking right?

    Or did I just get transported to an alternate universe?

    His writing style is pedestrian, his photoshopping skills banal, and his humor level? That’s missing in action.

  5. The man behind the cubical says:

    I am SURE – DeNaopli has something to do with this… please confirm?

  6. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Chaz call your friend and fellow blogger Sharon Baron aka Tamarac Talk, she is the one who called him a great writer when she withdrew her objection to Lauder being on the Diversity Committe.

    That is correct, right Sharon? If not, please come forward and clear up the confusion.

  7. SAM FIELDS says:

    GOP in turmoil.

    This is my best birthday present

  8. Ron says:

    Any word that it was Karen Harrington (who was pummeled by Wasserman) who wanted him to hit the road?

  9. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Comment #6 was NOT written by me.

    @6 – get your own “handle” – that one is already taken.

  10. Miramar Voter says:

    Lauder is a joke even Buddy recently stated that he did not have enough sense to come in out of the rain and renew his own website.

    As to why Rico quit only he and his bride know that answer an thats how its supposed to be.

    His ideas about fund raising were different but possible. Outside the box is great. As to the suggestion that the GOP is run by big money a few facts are in line Obama was broke when he ran for Il senate now hes a multimillionaire. Kerry the Catchup King is a liar and a cheat the Swift-Boaters proved that.

    Clinton was broke until he became gov of Arkansas an the list goes on.

    This is just a Buddy hit piece an in closing Tom Lauder has a lot of nerve posting the cell phone of a Club President who died an made him a looser a champion of news???????

  11. Tamarac Talk says:

    Dear Hat Tip…or should I say Tom Lauder,

    Even I know when I must back down and and be diplomatic on matters pertaining to the school board. I need their support in my volunteer work more than they need me.

    Besides Tom, you need to tell everyone that you are no longer on the Diversity Committee so this may be a good time to move on.

  12. A Political Bystander says:

    Yet again, Rico proves to be his own worst enemy. Yes, he can be amiable, a glad-hander, for sure, but how he was able to move into any position of importance is a true indication of how sleazy and unethical politics really can be.

    Rico has always been good at pressing the flesh, he has many people who consider him to be a great guy, but behind his protestations of “God and Family” is a slick operator who would doing anything to score political points.

    He always cries that he is the target of malicious lies told by others, yet he schemes with his small Plantation cabal to execute his political vendettas in private.

    His continued mis-steps were an embarrassment to BREC, but they should have done their homework (hmm, maybe hired Rico the P.I to investigate Rico the BREC Chair!). Were his close-ties to the likes of Bill Lewis not enough? His prior ADMITTED ethics violations? Perhaps BREC should call for an audit (it worked for PAL),,,,the pattern here is that there always seems to be a connection to financial “irregularities” with this guy, always skirting around the rules and what is “right”.

    The Karmic energy of the Universe really is not to be taken lightly. You can’t continually live your life with a disregard for ethical behavior and expect a good outcome. It catches up to you eventually.

    Rico, do yourself a favor, save your poor family further embarrassment and get a real job, out of the spotlight (though, how you love it). Stop trying to manipulate politics in Plantation and beyond…live a good life, try to be the man you profess to be. Maybe then the Universe will be kinder.

  13. Miramar Voter says:

    Correction : This is just a Buddy hit piece. Concerning Tom Lauder who do you think you are posting any ones Phone Number?

  14. BCDevelopment says:

    The Republican party in Dem domninated Broward-does it really matter who’s Chair?

    The Dems sheer numbers assure them power & control even w/ thier obnoxious local leader.

    The trend towards less people contributing to the government and more people relying on its support also benefit the Dem party…You can debate the multitude of reasons for that trend (people living longer,lack of jobs,unlawful immigration,poor public policy, pressure from emerging countries…etc..)but its a fact.

    Republican voices, regardless of the message or quality of the messenger will always be background noise in BC.

  15. Sharon the Fraud says:

    Sharon aka Tamarac Talk

    Wrong again, you need to communicate better with those School Board friends of yours, Lauder was just named as one of SB Member Donna Korn’s appointees to the Diversity Committee.