Michael Thompson declares war on Florida GOP with Anthony Sabatini appointment
Anthony Sabatini is the first shot in a fusillade against the Florida GOP.

Sabatini gun
Not only is he a disgraced former lawmaker, he actively criticizes party leaders.

Newly elected Lee County GOP Chair Michael Thompson wasted no time declaring war on the Republican Party of Florida, led by Sen. Joe Gruters 

Just 48 hours after being elected by a one-vote margin on the third ballot of a bitterly contested contest, Thompson appointed Anthony Sabatini — a disgraced former state Representative who failed his feeble attempt at higher office and consistently makes a mockery of Florida, and the GOP — as the General Legal Counsel for the Lee County Republican Executive Committee.

Sabatini, it’s worth noting, is a former New York Democrat who previously did legal work for convicted sex trafficker Joel Greenberg.

Sabatini served four years in the Florida House and recently lost a congressional primary to Corey Mills. He has gained a statewide following for his blistering attacks on all levels of Republican leadership, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Speaker Chris Sprowls, and current Speaker Paul Renner.

To make matters worse, Sabatini was caught on video last year speaking to a Republican Club and called then Senate President and now Commissioner of Agriculture-elect Wilton Simpson a “liberal.” He blasted Rep. Thad Altman as a “cuck” and described Rep. Randy Fine as “evil.”  Don’t believe it? The video is still live.  


His frequent absences earned him the nickname “Absentini” during his last Legislative Session, largely skipping his legislative duties to attend fundraisers in D.C. to bolster his congressional bid.

Sabatini’s association with Greenberg has been well documented by the Orlando Sentinel. Greenberg served as Tax Collector in Seminole County before flaming out in a spectacular series of scandals including sex trafficking, stealing more than $400,000 in taxpayer dollars, using the state’s driver license database to obtain the names of minors he later exploited for sex, creating fake social media accounts to slander his political opponents, and impersonating a law enforcement officer. Greenberg was indicted on 33 criminal counts and was recently sentenced to 11 years in federal prison.  

During his brief tenure in office, Greenberg hired a number of his friends to lavish jobs, including Sabatini to provide legal services. There is no documentation Sabatini ever produced any legal work.

It is unclear exactly what legal work Sabatini will do for the Lee County GOP, but his association with Thompson preceeds his appointment. Thompson and Sabatini are part of the “America First” movement that is working to take control of grassroots political parties at the county level.

This is Thompson’s first official act as chair, and it’s a catastrophic one that warrants immediate attention. 

For Thompson to tap someone for a leadership position within the county party apparatus who has a blemished political career, known affiliation with nefarious actors and who consistently undermines key figures in Florida GOP politics is not only wrong-headed, it’s dangerous. 

With this appointment, Thompson further shows that he is lining up against a successful party leadership structure that led Florida to a historic 20-point re-election for DeSantis and ushered in a Republican supermajority in both chambers of the Legislature. 

Sabatini is clearly the wrong man for the job, and it looks like perhaps Thompson is too.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


  • Billy O’Rourke

    December 17, 2022 at 8:44 am

    Absentini is a malcontent who is obviously in love with himself and the sound of his own voice — his foul, vulgar, simple-minded voice.

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    • Yeah

      December 21, 2022 at 1:24 am

      He’s the perfect Republican lol

  • Brian Wright

    December 17, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    As a member of the Lee County REC I was always proud of the leadership we had under for the former Board-Chair Jonathan Martin, Vice Chair Doris Cortese, Secretary Missi Lastra and Treasurer Andrew Sund. The results of Lee County proved how effective the were. No one can dispute those facts. Yet, not enough of the rank and file members showed up for the election of new officers and just enough America First loyalist did to allow an obvious self opportunist like Thompson to win by one vote on the third round of voting! His first act shows a lot about his judgement or rather lack there of!

  • Sally

    December 17, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    Thompson and Sabatini will be amazing leaders in getting our country back. They call out the RINOs and are fighting for America First! Love both of these gentlemen!!

    • Joe Corsin

      December 17, 2022 at 12:50 pm

      America First is an extreme right wing nationalist movement akin to the Nazi Party. This shall not be!

      • V Cuevas

        December 17, 2022 at 2:36 pm

        Get the Nazies out of Florida.
        Too many of our grandfathers died in WWII to allow the nazies a place in our state today.. Let our greedy politicians destroy each other and vote hard working women and men who really care about we the people of

        • Yeah but

          December 21, 2022 at 1:25 am

          “Get the nazis out of Florida”
          Who would be left? Lol

      • P. Ross

        December 17, 2022 at 3:02 pm

        I am in total in agreement with you. Sabitini’s blustering sounds like he wants to go back to the Wild West with no rules, no law & order❗️Very scary😱

    • Ken

      December 18, 2022 at 5:20 pm

      They call the RINOs out? They are the RINOs. These are lifelong Democrats. Are you so foolish to overlook that?

  • Elliott Offen

    December 17, 2022 at 12:49 pm

    The empty suit hogs are tearing each other’s eyeballs out to become the next empty suit grifter and time waster! What else can one expect from conservatives who feel the governments only job is to lock people up? You sad sacks already have your right wing police state so what more can you ask for besides more dramatic political theatre?

  • Boaz

    December 17, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    You can be legitimately critical of manifestations of extremism in the Florida GOP without resorting to non-credible Nazi hyperbole. I remember from many of my leftist college professors that the first person in an argument or debate who invokes Hitler or the Nazis loses. Nowadays, it seems that the leftists are departing from their own rule. You can criticize the political right without debasing your own credibility by engaging in overheated political hyperbole. Otherwise, the words will lose all meaning and become ineffective.

    • Don’t Look Up

      December 18, 2022 at 2:34 pm

      That’s because Florida is surrounded by Nazi’s!

    • Joe Corsin

      December 18, 2022 at 8:54 pm

      Well why don’t you people take out your own trash already!!!

  • Beverly Marker

    December 17, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    Randy Fine is evil, DeSantis is a thin skinned dictator, and these two have the courage to call the GOP when it’s wrong.

  • Joe

    December 17, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    If this article info is correct..sounds like he left democrats like charlie Crist did and went to Republican. Is there to help we the people of Florida or is here to push his demo ways and infiltrate the rep party with demo crap. When it’s to good to be true it usually is …. Florida watch your back and remember you can remove them for cause if they don’t live to Republican standards as promised.

  • Wilson

    December 17, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    The content of this article is automatically suspect. American has lived in the middle for centuries and whenever a writer spews out this much hate at someone it is nothing more than throwing a political tantrum because they have a publication that will print their drivel.

  • Peggy

    December 19, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    Anthony Sabatini is a criminal.
    This is the same guy who ran a dog fighting ring in Sarasota and stabbed a guy in a bar fight. But here in Republican Flori-duh he’s an elected official.

Comments are closed.


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