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Doug Guetzloe’

More Tea Party brew-ha-ha

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 by Dara Kam

The flame war between GOP operative Michael Caputo and Sen. Paula Dockery (and her campaign for governor) over a Tea Party schism got hotter last night.

Caputo, who’s involved in a federal lawsuit a bunch of Tea Party activists filed against Orlando political gadfly Doug Guetzloe and his brand of Tea Partiers, and Dockery exchanged a rash of e-mails yesterday peppered with questions about their links to Guetzloe in the spirit of “Will the real Tea Party people please stand up?”

Caputo says he is not being paid by Attorney General Bill McCollum, Dockery’s GOP primary opponent in the governor’s race.

(more…)

Dockery Tea Party battle brewing

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 by Dara Kam

State senator and GOP governor hopeful Paula Dockery blasted Republican operative Michael Caputo for linking her with Orlando politico Doug Guetzloe, the center of a Tea Party turf battle playing out in federal court.

Guetzloe joined forces with Dockery in fighting the SunRail/CSX deal during the special legislative session and has supported her candidacy against Attorney General Bill McCollum in the Republican primary for governor.

Caputo, a Republican operative who has worked on campaigns in and out of the U.S. and who is closely linked with Roger Stone, and a variety of local Tea Party groups filed a lawsuit against Guetzloe and his cohorts accusing them of hijacking the “real” Tea Party and asking the court to order him to stop using the “Tea Party” moniker.

The flame war began when Caputo sent out an e-mail questioning whether Guetzloe is secretly backing Dockery’s campaign and calling the Lakeland Republican a “liberal.”

Dockery responded with an e-mail asking Caputo with some answers plus her own list of questions.

Guetzloe “is not and has not been paid by my campaign or on behalf of my campaign. I am asking you to refrain from making this claim as you have now been formally told there is no truth to your assertion. Please provide your rationale for making these false claims,” she writes.

The exchange also includes a “Who’s the better Republican?” line with Dockery saying she’s a life-long GOP’er who was first elected in 1996.

Caputo one-ups her there: He says he’s been a Republican since he first got into politics in the 1980s when he worked on President Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign.

Dockery also tries to extricate herself from the Tea Party wars, writing: “I have absolutely nothing to do with the forming of another party and have, in fact, suggested that the formation of a “tea party” will actually harm reform-minded Republican candidates like me.”

Caputo’s snarky response to Dockery also challenges her to distance herself from Guetzloe.

“If you seek Tea Party support for your candidacy, your work with Doug Guetzloe does not endear you to thousands of authentic Florida Tea Party activists who are enflamed by his hijack attempt of their name and cause,” Caputo wrote.

“If what you say is true, it is not enough to stand silently. We ask you to denounce Guetzloe’s Tea Party political party. Please call upon him to disband it immediately and demand he end his personal threats
on true citizen activists in Florida’s Tea Party movement. Our plaintiffs – 34 Tea Party activists and organizations deeply concerned about the damage of Guetzloe’s third party – can help get your message out.”

Read the three messages after the jump.
(more…)

Too many (tea) parties, not enough (any) amity

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Florida Tea Partiers accuse Orlando political activist Doug Guetzloe and his cohorts of hijacking the “Tea Party” brand in a lawsuit filed in federal court today.

Florida Tea Party Chairman Fred O’Neal, Guetzloe and Nicholos Egoroff registered the minor political party with the Department of State in August. Since then, the Tea Party and Guetzloe have backed state Sen. Paula Dockery in her GOP primary bid for governor.

But the suit, filed by activists throughout the state unassociated with O’Neal or Guetzloe, accuses the two of being johnny-come-lately’s to the Tea Party movement and now they want their name back.

“We believe the identity of the Florida Tea Party has been hijacked by cynical forces,” South Florida Tea Party chairman Everett Wilkinson said. “We are especially concerned the group is improperly leveraging
the tea party movement to support the gubernatorial campaign of Sen. Paula Dockery.”

(more…)

Grand jury sought on DOT ‘Wafflegate’

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 by Dara Kam

Tea Partiers have asked Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs to convene a grand jury to investigate state transportation officials’ use of code words in e-mails.

Tea Party Chairman Fred O’Neal filed a request with Meggs yesterday asking for a grand jury to look into “deliberate evasion of Florida’s Public Records law” as well as “as an arrogant disregard” of the state constitution’s Sunshine Law guaranteeing access to public records and meetings.

Tea Party activists dubbed the messages “Wafflegate” after The Palm Beach Post reported that Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos and her deputy Kevin Thibault exchanged three messages last month with the subject lines “pancake,” “pancakes” and “french toast.”

Doug Guetzloe, chairman of “Ax the Tax,” said he plans to file complaints with the ethics commission and Attorney General Bill McCollum’s office and another to Meggs.

“This is a direct violation of public trust,” Guetzloe said. (more…)

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