Burning Down the House

If your house is not in order, you don’t remedy that by setting it on fire.  Cathi Chamberlain in her book “Rules for Deplorables” describes how America First conservatives can use the weapons of the Socialist-Marxist progressive left against them.  It is a guide the Republican Party can use to further its core principles.  It is not a box of matches for those in the party to set fire to itself or its leadership.  Some Republicans in Manatee County are applying Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” to do exactly that, and others now fear these “radicals” are mounting an insurrection within the Manatee County Republican Executive Committee (MCREC).  In America, they can’t seize power and I don’t think most MCREC members are going to grant it to them.

The Republican Liberty Caucus works within the party to affect change.  Sometimes that effort is public but often it more appropriately begins by engaging party leadership.  Most of us are MCREC members, some of us are on the board.   We are neither chartered nor affiliated with the party, but we are the “conscience of the party” working to attain a government at every level and a party true to its core principles, the pillars of which are limited government, individual rights, and free enterprise. I am not a member of MCREC.  I was and may apply in the future to rejoin.  I attend most every monthly meeting as a guest.  The message, not the messenger I, is the purpose of this article.  The message is not understood, however, if I don’t first provide its personal context so I will. 

I became a MCREC member weeks after moving to Manatee County and remained one for close to two years before resigning days after the MCREC elections of December 14, 2020.  On that day I changed my voter registration to NPA and did not re-register as a Republican until seven weeks later.  The way in which the MCREC elections were orchestrated was a straw which broke this camel’s back.   I concluded that two years of individual and outside group attempts to influence reform through party leadership was falling on deaf ears largely due to the autocratic “rule” of the former chairwoman with the support of her VC.  The letter pasted below was the last vain attempt to at least start a discussion.   I wanted to vote in the primaries, attend MCREC meetings, and to be a voting member of the RLC.  Can’t do any of those things without being a registered Republican and I am.

To the credit of the current board and relatively newly elected Chair Steve Vernon much of the “reforms” are being tended to.   Steve will tell you he and I have had spirited discussion on these dating back over a year.  The “Johnny Come Lately” resurrectionists don’t appreciate that nor do they have the patience or people skills to communicate in a way to influence change-it is their way, all the way, or the highway.   Their “bullhorn” approach reminds me of the rather unattractive lady who incessantly last week screamed in a Turning Points reporter’s face “MY CHOICE! MY CHOICE!” or the BLM activist who grabbed the microphone from Bernie Sanders.    No way to win friends or influence others and is a Saul Alinsky method we often ascribe to the left but not ourselves. 

The MCRLC and I can be very direct and public as many know.  I can remember when the BOCC began their Covid Tyranny led by Carol Whitmore, Misty Servia, Betsy Benac, and lone Democrat Reggie Bellamy. I was the only Tuesday speaker at the microphone.  Happily, that quickly changed, and a chorus joined in freeing myself to work or to stay home.  Despite some harsh social media and public comment, I am still able to speak with Carol and Misty face to face. I can do the same with political consultant Anthony Pedicini who I have been both complementary and critical of.  Give credit when due and lay blame when deserved just be sure when done publicly you are certain of your information and put purpose ahead of self-promotion. 

Speaking of Anthony, I am glad he was in the corner of the Fab/Fantastic 4 and we have now a conservative majority on the BOCC but I give more credit to the conservative coalition of Tea Party Manatee (now Manatee Patriots), Women4Trump, Christian Family Coalition and the Manatee Sarasota Republican Assembly (now the MCRLC) than I do Pedicini and I hope the current board remembers that as a new coalition is coming together to fortify conservative values on both the BOCC and school board.       

May 1, 2021

TO:   MCREC Board Member

FROM:   Manatee County Republican Liberty Caucus

As Republicans, five of whom are members of the Manatee County Republican Executive Committee, we put the following questions before you, a duly elected member of the board.  We have provided a copy of this to each board member.  A list of 21 questions was submitted in the name of one EC member, Kevin Wright, nearly two years ago.   The questions which follow are those which most of the membership, by vote, determined were ones to be submitted on behalf of MCRLC.   They are listed in order of priority based on that vote. 

We ask that after consideration, that a meeting at a time and place chosen by the board or its chair be agreed upon to informally discuss these questions and whatever other matters the EC Board members may desire or entertain.   We desire that our EC Board Chair, Kathy King, and whoever else the board may arrange be present.


  1. Why isn’t our routine workload and authority not distributed to the grassroots by the county leadership? By grassroots: why aren’t there precinct captains and why aren’t precincts organized by county or school board districts under a leader responsible to the board or a VC of Precincts? Why do we charter Republican Clubs instead of organizing around the grassroots hierarchy just described to hold monthly meetings to get work done?  
  2. Why isn’t the contact information for all EC members made available to all EC members instead of having to go to the Supervisor of Elections to obtain this public information?Why isn’t the detailed treasurers report (quarterly) provided to and readily accessible to all EC members by the party instead of having to obtain it from the Supervisor of Elections?
  3. Why is there less information available publicly about the Manatee GOP on our web site than that provided by other counties? Why is there not a “members only” tab to permit members to access information they should have that we do not wish to make public? Why don’t we publish a monthly newsletter?
  4. Why isn’t there discussion and clarity on the process for vetting candidates for partisan and non-partisan elections by Manatee GOP? How, if at all, does Manatee GOP employ the ability to consider primary endorsement as described broadly in the executive committee rules and procedures? (We advocate vetting of candidates but not necessarily endorsement in primary elections)
  5. Why are we not routinely considering resolutions to make known the sense and will of county Republicans to the public and to the district and state party? Why aren’t our chartered clubs encouraged and expected to submit such resolutions for consideration by the EC membership at large?
  6. Why isn’t our “generic” Committee Rules and Procedures and County Constitution made accessible by the county party to membership instead of having to find it from sources outside the GOP? When and how is review and revision of these documents occur?
  7. Why isn’t there a greater effort to team with and pro-actively enlist the efforts of other conservative and GOP organizations rather than denigrate them as “splinter groups” or “pretenders”?
  8. Why aren’t the board meetings detailed minutes provided routinely to the general membership?



Kevin W. Wright

Chair, Manatee Republican Liberty Caucus

kevinwwrightenterprises@gmail.com  (502) 649-0089

Former Precinct 417 Committeeman, MCREC

5 Responses

  1. Mr Kevin Wright. Your above request is so insightful and appreciated. I have been a Republican my entire voting career and an active member of the Tea Party of Long Island. I joined the MANATEE GOP with the desire to learn from, I thought America First, member how I could contribute. Instead at the meeting I attended I have found, once again it is My Rules My Way.

    If you get the attention of these RINOS and channels are made I will be very supportive of these changed

  2. Acid or alkaline – the pH of any group, regardless the goal, initiative, or motive, will either accomplish its mission inside the container, or burn a hole in it. Bring on the changes that are needed to save the Republic. Just don’t burn those carrying the torch for you.

    1. The changes needed to get the MREC to accomplish its mission are numerous. The Chair and Board are not carrying that torch. Should the assembly sit and tolerate being oppressed and every rule of order broken to the point where making a simple motion is likened to Marxism? I think not.

  3. I am and always have been a Republican. Having said that, I will never vote for any Democratic but I will never vote for a RINO either. I am sure I am one of the people the email calling for certain new members to resign because we are calling RINOS out. If they insist on doing this they are going to loose some of the best true Patriotic, conservative people.
    I and several other people are some of the hardest working people for our country and the Republican Party. We have knocked on doors, made phone calls, helped at events and have helped in any way we were asked. I think they should consider what they are doing.

  4. Playing nice in a long game strategy might work. But nice people don’t ruffle feathers that need to be ruffled, don’t get the conversations started that need to be started, and often don’t achieve the necessary change. Remember the old adage: there are no friends in politics. In my experience no political establishment ever wants grassroots involvement, unless it benefits their power structure. Taking a page from the activist’s handbook shows that persistent, constant pushing toward our goals works; never settle or compromise on goals; intermediate wins are never enough. Insistence on a full Republican constitutional platform and traditional conservative standards on all major policy issues may not win friends in certain camps, but this is exactly what does win over new grassroots Republican voters. Look who is winning primary elections all over the country: MAGA and AF candidates. People are tired of those who promise much but then turn against us. We have tolerated for too long the cynical political strategy of “turning to the right before an election” then “turning a deaf ear after the election“. This is not going to work any more on today’s Republican base. We are already making changes in the party. America First and MAGA are inevitable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also enjoy