Republican activist flushes chance to censure Crist; state GOP keeps eye on proceedingsby George Bennett | August 16th, 2009
Carson, a Republican Executive Committee member from Jupiter, was out of the room and missed the vote when the rest of the committee split 65-65 on a resolution Wednesday night to rebuke Crist for his various departures from GOP orthodoxy.
The tie vote means the resolution failed.
Carson said he would have voted for censure.
But after hours of debate and an earlier vote on whether to table the censure resolution, Carson went to the men’s room. When he got back, his name had been passed in the roll call of Republican committee members.
Carson said he told party leaders he was back and wanted to vote before the roll call was complete, but was ignored by county GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein and others who opposed censure.“Sid didn’t want the resolution and because of my prostate problem he found a way to get it (defeated),” Carson told the Politics column.
Dinerstein said he didn’t know of Carson’s wish to vote until it was too late.
“This guy didn’t say a word until our vote was finished and recorded,” Dinerstein said. “To me it was a little like sending in your absentee ballot late.”
The Republican Party of Florida, which is chaired by close Crist ally Jim Greer, took an interest in the censure vote. Carla Rivera, a field rep from the state GOP, attended the meeting and videotaped the county GOP’s deliberations.
“We do that a lot of times when we go to events,” state GOP spokeswoman Katie Gordon said. “It’s not sort of Big Brother overseeing what the local parties are doing. We’re all on the same team.”
State Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, is bolstering her Palm Beach County support as she runs for the Palm Beach-Broward state Senate district now held by CFO-seeking state Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach.Bogdanoff is already backed by House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach. And the hosts for a Bogdanoff fund-raiser later this month include some big Boca Raton names: Mayor Susan Whelchel, Boca Councilwoman Susan Haynie, GOP activist Jack Furnari and former county Republican Chairman Tom Sliney.
Bogdanoff faces two Palm Beach County rivals — state Rep. Carl Domino of Jupiter and businessman Nick Loeb of Delray Beach — in a Republican primary in which about 64 percent of Republican voters live in Palm Beach County.
Retired educator Vincent Goodman, a Republican who was one of Crist’s four finalists for the Palm Beach County commission appointment that eventually went to Democrat Priscilla Taylor, has opened a campaign to run for the seat in 2010. Democrats have a 4-to-1 registration edge over Republicans in Taylor’s minority-dominated District 7.