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GOP unlikely to remove Tea Party candidate from legislative race

UPDATED: In a Leon County courtroom, the Republican Party of Florida made a last minute attempt to remove a tea Party candidate from the ballot in a Central Florida state legislative race. But time was an issue because the ballot gets certified at 5 p.m. Thursday and the circuit judge appeared skeptical about granting an injunction.

Rep. J.C. Planas, a termed-out Miami lawmaker, was hired by the party to argue the case on behalf of a voter in House District 34, Christopher Denion. (Rep. Chris Dorworth, a future House speaker, currently holds the seat.) Planas argued that John DeVries is a bogus tea party candidate and asked Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford to disqualify him for technical issues surrounding his paperwork and a loan from Florida Tea Party leader Fred O'Neal.

"What we have here is the RPOF verses the Tea Party of Florida," O'Neal said in his opening statement. "They are trying to take us off the ballot."

At the end of the day, the judge rejected the RPOF's efforts to get an injunction but Planas said he will push it to trial. He also said he will ask prosecutor Willie Meggs to file a criminal case against DeVries.

Planas said DeVries admitted on the stand writing a worthless check -- which if convicted would disqualify him. "We are going to expose the (Florida) Tea Party for what they are," he said.

The group, led by Orlando political consultant Doug Guetzloe, is under fire as a front group for Democrats. (And remember the name "Florida Tea Party" is also a matter of legal dispute.)

Even if Planas won the argument for an injunction -- and the judge was incredibly skeptical -- it was still likely DeVries name will appear on the ballot, given that the case is ongoing and a decision might not come at the end of the hearing. Not to mention, the Florida Tea Party, as a recognized political organization, can then nominate a replacement.

Planas said the case is a trial balloon, and if successful, will lead to more GOP efforts to remove Florida Tea Party candidates.

Comments

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whasup

Guetzloe's name says it all: Gets low. How low can he go?

Fred O'Neal

Preserving Monopolies. That's what this case is all about. The Democratic and Republican Party Establishments want to preserve their monopolies. They want the voters to have two, and only two, choices in November. It doesn't matter if you like the Florida TEA Party. It doesn't matter if you agree with the Florida TEA Party on the issues or not. What does matter, however, is whether you believe that all voices other than the voices of the Republican and Democratic Party Establishments should be drowned out, pushed off the ballot and not be heard by the voters. Put simply, what we're talking about here is the First Amendment, the right to speak, the right to organize, the right to speak politically as a group, and the right to be heard at the ballot box by the voters. The Republicans and Democrats want to take those rights away from all of us. Today it's the Florda Tea Party. Tomorrow it's going to be you. The Founding Fathers had it right. Let us speak. Let us organize. Let us make fools of ourselves, if that's what you think. But give us the chance to put our ideas in front of the voters in November so that it's the voters, not the Democratic and Republican Party Establishments, who make the final decision as to who gets elected. That's all we're asking for - the right to be heard. - Fred O'Neal, Chairman of the Florida Tea Party

Rightone

Fred O'Neal & Doug Guetzloe personally attack and threaten people to intimidate them. O'Neal and Guetzloe's FL TEA party is not representative of the national tea party movement. Anybody who has ever associated with these two goons lives to regret it. Guetzloe's new sentencing date is October 22 at 3:30. Peg Dunmire was a rude and clueless when she was running as a GOP candidate. Her association with Guetzloe & O'Neal confirms this.

Twin66

I hope everyone who reads this, is engaged enough to know that the FL TEA party has no association with the tea party movement. If you like what you see, when you see tea party activists, then stay AWAY from any FL TEA candidate.
Peg Dunmire stands by, while her party founders bully, threaten and name call, innocent citizens. She was their 3rd pick for district 8 race, out of the GOP pool of candidates. so much for the people chosing the candidates.

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