In Lee County, Florida, Marilyn Stout won 73 percent of the vote in her committee race but party leaders backed her opponent Brenda Skupny due to a loyalty oath technicality. Stout did not sign and return the loyalty oath in time.
And the Fort Myers News-Press has been raising hell about it ever since. But they didn't stop there; they cast their eyes around the rest of the state, and found other candidates similarly victimized.
Including 19-year-old Derek Black in Palm Beach. And they decided that Derek Black also got screwed, even though he has family ties with Stormfront operator Don Black. While the News-Press staff does not sympathize with white nationalism, they apparently sympathize with democracy, and believe it should be applicable to all.
So Fort Myers News-Press staffers published two instant editorials supporting Derek Black's right to be seated as a committeeman. Although instant editorials don't carry as much weight as regular editorials, the staff members authoring them are accredited journalists, so they're just as official.
Both were published on December 16th, 2008. Here's the first instant editorial, entitled "Is it ever O.K. to reverse an election", published by David Plazas, the community conversation editor of The News-Press.
Our editorial “Respect voters’ decision” about the Lee County Republican committeewoman’s race has generated discussion in emails to me and online about whether it’s OK to recognize an election in some cases and not in others.
Marilyn Stout won 73 percent of the vote in her race, but party leaders backed her opponent Brenda Skupny due to a loyalty oath technicality.
Online contributor Laurence J. Gillis wrote that while he’d like to see Stout seated, he doesn’t want the son of a former Klansman seated as a Palm Beach County GOP committeeman.
Derek Black, 19, won 58 percent of the vote in his election, yet the party chair refused to seat him, citing a loyalty oath technicality, presumably because of his past associations with the Ku Klux Klan (his father was a former national grand wizard and he contributed to a youth message board on white nationalism).
Like Stout, Black won a majority.
And while voters may have been unaware of his past, undoing a fair election could ultimately undermine the credibility of the process.
And here's the second editorial, entitled "Seat the Klansman", published by Deron Snyder, an Editorial Writer/Conversation Ambassador for The News-Press.
The Republican Party of Palm Beach County — like its Lee County counterpart — is refusing to seat a winning candidate based on a technicality.
Derek Black won 167 of 287 votes for committeeman, but didn’t sign a loyalty oath.
Moreover, the oath requires candidates to avoid activities that are “likely to injure the name of the Republican Party.”
It turns out that Black has strong ties to the Ku Klux Klan.
Instead of overriding the people — like the Lee GOP in the case of Marilyn “73 Percent” Stout — Palm Beach Republicans should seat Black.
If they disagree with his philosophy, the free flow of ideas and public discourse will prove it.
It looks like Palm Beach Jewish Republican boss Sid Dinerstein outsmarted himself and pushed his luck a little too far. Backlash against him and other party bosses in Florida is building. The Duke-Black strategy of mainstreaming white nationalism is paying unexpected dividends.
By the way, Marilyn Stout has filed a grievance with the state party organization and is considering a lawsuit. Perhaps Derek Black and others similarly victimized might want to consider joining the suit and turning it into a class action suit.
All previous coverage of this story on this blog can be viewed HERE.