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Conservative brawler Furnari resigns from county GOP for Internet venture with BIZPAC’s Smith

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 by George Bennett


Sharp-elbowed Boca Raton conservative operative Jack Furnari has resigned from the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee to join with Business Political Action Committee Chairman John R. Smith in launching a for-profit conservative news website called


Smith is also stepping down from his non-voting role on the county GOP’s board of directors.

The pair say they are severing their formal GOP ties so they’ll have the editorial independence to criticize Republicans who fall short of their conservative standards.


Payback? E-mail blasting Dinerstein reprises criticism from county GOP chairman race

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 by George Bennett


Most of the anonymous trashing in the Republican Party of Florida’s five-candidate race for chairman has focused on presumed frontrunners Deborah Cox-Roush of Hillsborough County and Dave Bitner of Jefferson County.

But as Saturday’s vote looms in Lake Buena Vista, Palm Beach County GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein has also been targeted in an e-mail from “bocagop” that reprises many of the same criticisms Ed Lynch raised in his unsuccessful challenge of Dinerstein for county chairman last month.

Lynch, who lost a 120-to-87 vote at the Dec. 8 county GOP meeting, denied knowledge of the e-mail, but said, “there’s a lot of people that are not happy with what they (Dinerstein and conservative operative and Dinerstein ally Jack Furnari) did. It’s not just me that has an issue with what they did.”

The Dinerstein-Lynch contest featured a Furnari-produced mailer showing a picture of Lynch over a photo of dead bodies from the 1978 Jonestown mass suicide and Lynch’s invocation of the barbecue-sauce defense after Furnari posted pictures of Lynch in a T-shirt touting a Democratic candidate.


Attack mailer includes Jonestown mass-suicide backdrop in county GOP chairman’s race

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 by George Bennett

Mailer by Republican activist Jack Furnari likens potential election of Ed Lynch as GOP chairman to 1978 mass suicide by cyanide-laced Kool-Aid in Jonestown, Guyana.

About 230 members of the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee should be getting mailers today from GOP activist Jack Furnari that show chairman candidate Ed Lynch’s photo against a background of dead bodies from the 1978 Jonestown mass cult suicide.

“Don’t Drink Ed Lynch’s Kool-Aid!” say the mailer, which says a vote for Lynch over incumbent Chairman Sid Dinerstein is “a vote to destroy the Republican Party of Palm Beach County.”

Furnari includes his name on the mailer, which he says he sent on his own.

“I think ‘Don’t drink the Kool-Aid’ is a common expression in politics,” Furnari said of the content.

The election for county GOP chairman is Wednesday night.

GOP chair hopeful Lynch says he’s no Democratic guitar hero; asserts barbecue sauce defense for Dem shirt

Monday, December 6th, 2010 by George Bennett

GOP chair hopeful Ed Lynch (left, with guitar) says he was doing a sound check -- not performing -- when he appeared in 2008 with Democratic state House candidate (now state Rep.) Joseph Abruzzo and former Democratic state Sen. Dave Aronberg.

In his bid for Palm Beach County GOP chairman, two-time congressional candidate Ed Lynch is mounting a more-Republican-than-thou challenge of incumbent Sid Dinerstein. Among other things, he has ripped Dinerstein for allowing BIZPAC Chairman John R. Smith to be a non-voting member on the county GOP executive board when Smith contributed to Democratic state Rep. Joseph Abruzzo.

So Dinerstein supporter Jack Furnari is making hay of photos from 2008 that show Lynch wielding a guitar at a joint event for Democrats Abruzzo and former state Sen. Dave Aronberg. Lynch is wearing a “Team Aronberg” T-shirt in the pics, which conservative activist Furnari posted today on his blog.

Lynch says he donned Aronberg T-shirt after barbecue sauce mishap.

Lynch today called the guitar issue a sign his opponents are “desperate.”

Lynch says he merely loaned his sound system to a friend who played at the event. He says he picked up the guitar, which he says wasn’t his, to do a sound check and didn’t actually perform. Abruzzo said he thinks he remembers Lynch playing at the event, but can’t be absolutely sure. He said he remembers feeling a little uncomfortable about it because he supported Lynch’s opponent at the time, former Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler. Aronberg said he wasn’t 100 percent certain either, but thinks Lynch’s sound-check story is “probably right.”

And that Aronberg T-shirt? Lynch said he spilled barbecue sauce on his own shirt and donned the Democratic garment as an emergency substitute.

Dinerstein’s e-mail response to Lynch in county GOP chairman’s race

Friday, December 3rd, 2010 by George Bennett


Palm Beach County GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein, seeking reelection next week, sent an e-mail to Republican Executive Committee members that doesn’t name challenger Ed Lynch, but calls his rival a “Ron Klein Republican” and a “lifelong Democrat,” a reference to the fact Lynch was registered as a Democrat from 2000 to 2004.


Lynch launched his candidacy Thursday with a lengthy e-mail blasting Dinerstein.

The county race has particularly high stakes for Dinerstein. He wants to become Republican Party of Florida chairman, but won’t be eligible if he loses his county post.

Read Dinerstein’s e-mail after the jump….


Former congressional candidate Ed Lynch to challenge Dinerstein for county GOP chairman

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 by George Bennett

Two-time congressional candidate Ed Lynch announced he’ll challenge four-term incumbent Sid Dinerstein next week in the race for county GOP chairman.

In an e-mail sent to Republican Executive Committee members (read it after the jump), Lynch suggests Dinerstein is more interested in self-promotion and higher office than electing Republicans locally. Dinerstein wants to be Republican Party of Florida chairman. To be eligible for the state job, he must win reelection to his county chairman’s post next Wednesday.

Lynch lost to former Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler in 2008, then lost to Democrat Ted Deutch in a special election this year to replace Wexler.

Dinerstein said most of the accusations in Lynch’s e-mail aren’t true and “he knows that. He doesn’t care. We’ll have an election.”


Republican Lynch, after two drubbings, concludes CD-19 ‘ is run by the condo commandos’

Thursday, May 6th, 2010 by George Bennett



After losing two lopsided elections in a congressional district that’s 2-to-1 Democrat, Republican Ed Lynch opted not to run again this year — but says 2012 is a possibility.

He outlines a variety of reasons for passing on this year’s race in this letter to supporters.

Lynch, who got 27.2 percent in a 2008 run in congressional District 19 and 35.2 percent in an April 13 special election won by Democrat Ted Deutch, offered this observation about the electorate he failed to woo:

“Unfortunately, the electorate in district 19 is not fair and balanced. In fact a minority percentage of the electorate makes the decisions for the entire district. This district is run by the condo commandos of Century Village, Kings Point, Palm Aire and Wynmoore. These communities are bastions for the Democratic Party in Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Until those voters are truly educated and step out of that vote ‘D’ mentality can true competition be brought to the House Congressional Race.”

Lynch campaign to supporters: Donate $10,000 by 7 p.m. Thursday and he’ll run again

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 by George Bennett



The campaign manager for Republican Ed Lynch, who got 35.2 percent in a special congressional election on April 13, tells supporters in an e-mail tonight that Lynch will run again for the heavily Democratic District 19 seat in the fall if he can raise “$10,000 or close” by 7 p.m. Thursday.

Such an outpouring would roughly cover the $10,440 qualifying fee by Friday’s noon deadline to get on the ballot.

Lynch raised about $131,000 for his loss to Democrat Ted Deutch, who raised about $1.5 million. Lynch has “a game plan” for the fall campaign that will require about $500,000, says the e-mail from campaign manager Jessica Dornblaser.

Before Lynch could get a rematch with Deutch, however, he’d have to survive a GOP primary rematch against Joe Budd, who lost by less than 1 percent to Lynch in a special February GOP primary and who qualified this week for the fall ballot.

Read the text of the Lynch campaign’s e-mail after the jump….


Republican Joe Budd seeks to oust new Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch

Saturday, April 24th, 2010 by George Bennett



Joe Budd, the Boca Raton financial planner who narrowly lost a Feb. 2 special GOP primary in congressional District 19, said Friday he’s running again for the heavily Democratic seat.

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, won the seat in an April 13 special election with 62.1 percent against Republican Ed Lynch and no-party candidate Jim McCormick. Lynch was the GOP nominee after edging Budd by less than 1 percent in a three-candidate primary.



The period for congressional candidates to pay filing fees and submit necessary paperwork to qualify for the 2010 ballot is next week, from noon Monday to noon Friday.

Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 2-to-1 in the district and Barack Obama got 65 percent there in 2008. Budd will argue to Democratic voters that their “loyalty to the party has been taken advantage of.”

Read Budd’s complete candidate statement after the jump…..


Lynch (35.2%) and McCormick (2.7%) might try again for Deutch congressional seat

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 by George Bennett



Republican Ed Lynch, who got 35.2 percent in Tuesday’s special congressional election after polling 27.2 percent in a 2008 congressional race, says he’ll decide in the next few days whether to make a third try this fall for the heavily Democratic District 19 seat won by Democrat Ted Deutch.

Lynch said he’s received “hundreds of e-mails” urging him to run again and “I’ll mull that over.”

He’d better mull quickly. The deadline for federal candidates to qualify for the ballot is April 30.



No-party candidate Jim McCormick, who got 2.7 percent Tuesday, says he’s also weighing a fall run either for the congressional seat or Deutch’s old state Senate seat. If he runs, McCormick says he might go back to the GOP because “it’s clear to me that America’s just not as ready for independent candidates as it should be.”

Final Broward numbers: Deutch 53.8 percent; bigger lead in Palm Beach County

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by George Bennett

With all 93 precincts reporting in Broward County, which makes up about 30 percent of congressional District 19, Democrat Ted Deutch got 53.8 percent to 42.8 percent for Republican Ed Lynch and 3.4 percent for no-party candidate Jim McCormick.

About one-third of Palm Beach County precincts have reported and Deutch has about 65 percent of the vote there.

The Associated Press has declared Deutch the winner and Deutch just gave a victory speech to hundreds of cheering supporters in Boca Raton.

Associated Press, Burt Aaronson call it early for Deutch in special congressional race

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by George Bennett

The Associated Press, after looking at partial results that show a big lead for Democrat Ted Deutch, is calling Deutch the winner of the special congressional election to replace Robert Wexler.

Perhaps more authoritatively, Palm Beach County Commissioner Burt Aaronson just declared Deutch “our new congressman….Let me be the first to congratulate you on a wonderful victory.”

Aaronson is at a Deutch election night party at Mizner Park.

After nailing primary numbers, Dem Chairman Siegel predicts ‘mid-60s’ for Deutch in Palm Beach County

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by George Bennett

Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel, who early on the night of the Feb. 2 Democratic primary forecast “upwards of 80 percent” for Ted Deutch (he got 85.2 percent), is predicting Deutch will get more than 60 percent of the vote in Palm Beach County in today’s special general election.

“The forecast is mid-60s….63, 64 something like that,” said Siegel, who based his forecast on Democratic turnout at key precincts in Palm Beach County. He predicted a slightly lower percentage for Deutch in Broward County, which is about 30 percent of congressional District 19.

Former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler never got below 65.6 percent in a general election in the district. Wexler stepped down in January to head a Middle East think tank.

More partial numbers: Deutch gets 69.5 percent of Palm Beach County early vote

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by George Bennett

Ted Deutch got 69.5 percent of the early vote in Palm Beach County to 29.6 percent for Republican Ed Lynch in the special election to replace Robert Wexler.

Absentee and precinct numbers for Palm Beach County haven’t been posted. Palm Beach County is about 70 percent of congressional District 19.

Combined with partial results from Broward County, Deutch has about 63 percent of the vote to 35 percent for Lynch and the remainder for no-party candidate Jim McCormick.

Results are starting to trickle in, so keep visiting the PostOnPolitics blog and

Partial Broward results: Deutch 56.2%, Lynch 40.3%, McCormick 3.4%

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by George Bennett

Early and absentee ballots from Broward County show Democrat Ted Deutch with 56.2 percent of the vote and Republican Ed Lynch with 40.3 percent in the special congressional election to replace Robert Wexler. No-party candidate Jim McCormick has 3.

Precinct results are not yet in from Broward County, which makes up about 30 percent of congressional District 19.

No results have been posted yet from Palm Beach County.

It’s election day in congressional District 19

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by George Bennett

Voters in congressional District 19 today will choose a replacement for U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, the Democrat who stepped down in January to head a Middle East think tank.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The district has more than twice as many Democrats as Republicans and voted 65 percent for Barack Obama in 2008. That makes Ted Deutch, a state Senator from Boca Raton, the heavy favorite. But Republican Ed Lynch hopes to ride voter dislike for the new Democratic health care law to an upset victory. And independent candidate Jim McCormick hopes enough voters are fed up with two-party politics to propel him into office.

The winner serves the last 8-1/2 months of Wexler’s term and will be up for reelection to a full two-year term in the fall.

For a recent summary of where the candidates stand on key issues, click here.

Final days: Lynch rips Obamacare while Deutch riffs at Delray Affair

Monday, April 12th, 2010 by George Bennett

Republican Ed Lynch aired an ad ripping Obamacare over the final weekend before Tuesday’s special congressional election to replace Robert Wexler. Democrat Ted Deutch did his best impression of legendary Chess session man Lafayette Leake as he joined the band Riptide at Delray Affair on Saturday night and supplied keyboard accompaniment to a cover of Bo Diddley’s Before You Accuse Me.

Human Rights Council ‘typo’ says only Dems can vote Tuesday

Friday, April 9th, 2010 by George Bennett

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, which advocates for gay rights and against discrimination based on “gender identity and gender expression,” told thousands of its members today that Tuesday’s special congressional election is for Democrats only.

The group sent out a blast e-mail endorsing Democrat Ted Deutch. The e-mail says “only registered Democrats may participate” in the special congressional election to replace Robert Wexler.

“That was a typo. We’re going to correct that,” said the group’s president, Rand Hoch.

Hoch said the Democrats-only language was left over from an endorsement e-mail the group sent out before the special Feb. 2 Democratic primary. Hoch said a corrected version of the e-mail will go out Monday and Tuesday.

The e-mail says it was paid for and approved by Deutch’s campaign. Hoch said after Deutch won the endorsement, his campaign paid the cost — which Hoch estimated at less than $100 — to send the mass e-mail.

GOP candidate Lynch facing foreclosure suit

Friday, April 9th, 2010 by George Bennett

Republican congressional hopeful Ed Lynch is facing a foreclosure lawsuit but says he’s attempting to work out a loan modification to stay in his house.

Lynch, who’s running in Tuesday’s special election to replace Robert Wexler, has missed mortgage payments since last June and owes $647,974 in principal, interest and other advances, according to a suit filed March 30.

“We’re just like anyone else. We’re not on a pedestal. We’re not holier-than-thou. We’re not different from anybody else except that we trusted the federal government,” said Lynch, who says his contracting business is owed at least $2.8 million for work on a veterans hospital in Miami.

“Money gets tight when our biggest customer doesn’t pay us,” Lynch said.


Early, absentee voting for special congressional race to replace Wexler exceeds primary levels

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 by George Bennett

Early and absentee voting statistics show there’s more interest in next Tuesday’s special congressional election to replace Robert Wexler than there was for the special Feb. 2 primaries in Palm Beach-Broward congressional District 19.

Monday’s opening of early voting drew 1,192 voters in Palm Beach County — a 136 percent increase over the first day of early voting before the Feb. 2 special primaries, when 504 people voted. A total of 2,825 people ended up casting early primary ballots in Palm Beach County between Jan. 25 and Jan. 31.

Broward County had 305 early voters Monday, compared to 650 early voters for the entire seven-day period before the primaries.

With a week to go, both counties have already received more absentee ballots than they did for the primaries.


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