Anthony Sabatini attempt to bully Florida GOP members on Ronna McDaniel vote exposed

Sabatini rant
But can he twist enough arms to get a quorum in Sarasota on short notice?

Lake County Republican Party Chair Anthony Sabatini has barely held his post for a month, but he’s already forced officials to hold a special meeting on a single item.

And he’s bullying fellow Republicans to side with him or face embarrassment with an online mob.

The former state lawmaker petitioned Republican Party of Florida Chair Joe Gruters to hold a meeting later this month. With more than 30 co-signatories signed onto a letter, Gruters was required to schedule a meeting to vote on decrying Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel and formally opposing her re-election.

Gruters did schedule the meeting, at the Sarasota Fairgrounds at 9 a.m. on Jan. 20. But no action will be taken unless at least half of the 259 members of the Florida Republican Executive Committee show. Otherwise, there will be no quorum to act.

That has Sabatini threatening other members of the REC to show up or face public embarrassment.

“Gruters and others are doing everything they can to discourage people to go,” Sabatini wrote in an email to members. “That’s why they chose a Friday and skipped over other dates.”

Gruters disputed the facts of the email. He said quarterly meetings for the REC always take place on Fridays, and for his part, he’s encouraging people to come.

“I hope they have a quorum,” he said. “Otherwise, we can have no meeting.”

Gruters did set up the meeting in his hometown of Sarasota, but that was largely a matter of convenience, he said, because he had to book a venue on short notice.

Sabatini’s email threatened members that he will publicize the attendance or lack thereof for REC members.

“We will hold a vote that day NO MATTER WHETHER WE HAVE A QUORUM OR NOT,” the email reads. “Vote result will then be reported in and sent out out (sic) as the official vote of those are are (sic) present. We may have to vote outside the building which is fine.”

But any vote of those outside a building without a quorum would only be recorded by those who do so and would not be part of any official record of the Republican Party, nor would the state pass along any information officially to the RNC.

“That’s like saying ‘a group of people’ voted on something,” Gruters said. “It would not be reflective of the Republican Party of Florida.”

Gruters, notably, is running for RNC Treasurer and has been supportive of McDaniel. Still, he’s not urging people to vote one way or the other on any resolution presented at the meeting.

No position taken by the party will have any direct bearing on the RNC election between McDaniel and challenger Harmeet Dhillon; to date, the party has taken no stance. That’s obviously what Sabatini wants to be changed, and co-signatories on his petition include Leon County Republican Party Chair Evan Power, one of the candidates to succeed Gruters as State Chair.

But importantly, any position taken by the state party has no bearing on the national election anyway. National Committee members Peter Feaman and Kathleen King do have votes in that race but are free to elect whomever they choose.

And when asked, state party officials have made clear to REC members that attendance at the Sarasota meeting is not required; missing it will not count against members as an absence the same way as missing a quarterly meeting.

Sabatini has not responded to requests for comment. He even attacked REC members who told other members it was optional to attend the January meeting. For example, he scoured the Facebook page of Stafford Jones, the Chair of member relations for the RPOF, for a picture of him at Disney World with a cast member dressed as Mickey Mouse. He accused Stafford of “working to help Woke Disney keep political power.”

Jones on Twitter said Sabatini “started attacking me after I stood up to him bullying members.”

Sabatini has also continued attacking McDaniel with “Fire Ronna” tweets, while also supporting political unrest in Brazil and calling out all U.S. House Republicans who supported Kevin McCarthy for Speaker.

“They all caved,” he tweeted.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


15 comments

  • Patriot Paul

    January 9, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    Ah, poor Stafford Jones, the ultimate party establishment tool, ran from Twitter to FL Politics.
    Stafford Jones has been a tool of Tallahassee’s establishment for years. Opposed Rick Scott for Governor, opposed the Tea Party from getting involved in the party and now spends his time fighting true patriots.

    • anne

      January 9, 2023 at 7:53 pm

      Stop picking on Stafford; he’s the best, most awesome person in the entire party. Don’t believe me? Ask him.

    • Elliott Offen

      January 9, 2023 at 10:25 pm

      The Tea Party is a bunch of cracked pots that don’t have the sense enough to see that the GOP can’t be reformed and that their agenda would be even worse especially for rural meth heads and sub-apes. Democratic Socialism is the answer… and the Tea Party doesn’t have it.

  • SteveHC

    January 9, 2023 at 8:05 pm

    Ah… quintessential Republican twits who just can’t help but be themselves, namely the 2-year-olds that they are.

  • Auggie R

    January 9, 2023 at 8:45 pm

    Typical Sabatini. The guys comes across as a cheap knockoff of Matt Gaetz and Donald Trump. Anybody notice that he Instagrams quotes from Matt Gaetz as his own. He’s that unoriginal. If an original thought went through his head, it would be the quickest trip in North America.

  • Really

    January 10, 2023 at 3:43 am

    I hope someone kicks him in front of a moving bus lol

  • Stafford Stan

    January 10, 2023 at 9:04 am

    #TEAMSTAFFORD. I so appreciate Stafford’s efforts over the years to protect the party from #TEAMCRAZY. Anytime the party needed to squash an insurrection, Stafford was sent and to crush it or massage it. Tea party? Smacked! TEAMCRAZY? Smacked! Anytime a local party starts feeling themselves and flexing, Stafford is sent by the RPOF. When #TEAMCRAZY sees Stafford walk into the room, they quake in their shoes and retreat. The party needs more Staffords and less Sabatinis.

  • Joe Corsin

    January 10, 2023 at 10:09 am

    Tea Party terrorists and half dead mummies don’t have the sense that God gave an ape. Barely competent enough to vote. People would be put in slave labor camps and others would die if the Tea Party governed. Most of them are white supremacists AkA neo nazis. The rest are anti-government bombers.

    • Kimberly

      January 17, 2023 at 8:23 am

      You sir know absolutely nothing about the fundamentals of our Republic and the Constitution it stands on. If you would like to become a socialist country, feel free to continue to support RINOs like Stafford and Ronna Romney. They want nothing more than to collect a paycheck off the backs of Americans, while doing the bare minimum to fight for our freedom. It amazes me that there are so many of you that think trampling over our god given rights is okay! Due to the lack of balls from the Republican party, the Dems have been left to their own devices. This has resulted in open borders, rigged elections, surveillance and suppression of free speech, political prisoners in our capital, and an all-out attack on our sovereignty. Ronna Romney needs to be removed from office. All she does is take our money and spend it with lobbyists and on flowers ($300k on flowers!). She has, IMO, lost two election cycles and allowed blatant treason to occur by not supporting key swing states like Arizona and Georgia in their attempt to reveal the shadiness of the elections. She is a fraud and needs to be removed for the sake of our country and our freedom. If you want to live under socialism, feel free to move to Canada. If you want to live under the tyranny of bureaucrats like the DHS, who are appointed and not elected, head on over to Israel. I have turned a blind eye for too long, but I am awake now and plan to do everything I can to bring awareness to the pure evilness of those in power under false flags. RONNA STEP ASIDE!

  • Thomas Hayes

    January 10, 2023 at 5:54 pm

    I see the establishment is ruffled. The comment demanding an audit of Stafford’s self-dealing and enrichment has been deleted.
    He’s a crook and the establishment is protecting him. Drain the Swamp!

    • Gurust

      January 14, 2023 at 2:56 pm

      the real swamp is in Tallahassee! The RPOF is corrupt and when anyone tries to hold them to account they demean them with Democrat behavior… It’s not by mistake these swamp creatures act like Democrats… They are Democrats who ran as Republicans to get elected.

  • Gurust

    January 14, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    Jacob Ogles is obviously a tool of the corrupt FLORIDA GOP to write an article like this

  • SEC MEMBER

    January 14, 2023 at 3:41 pm

    THE CHAIRMAN, RNC COMMITTEEMAN & WOMAN AS WELL AS ALL SEC MEMBERS ARE SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT US REPUBLICANS IN THE PARTY, NOT BE KING OR QUEEN AND GO AGAINST WHAT WE WANT. This vote is supposed to help guide their vote at the RNC level.

    • Kimberly

      January 17, 2023 at 8:27 am

      Amen! This crap has got to stop. these people are supposed to look out for Americans and not vote based upon their own personal agenda. Vote on merit not on popularity. AND GET TO WORK. It is absolutely absurd that these people don’t show up to meetings!

  • Joe

    January 21, 2023 at 8:11 am

    I don’t want CRT taught in our Schools. I don’t want drag queen story hour. There are only 2 genders. (follow the science). I don’t want open borders. I don’t want to eat bugs. I reject the WEF and globalism. I love America. I was at the meeting to protest against Gruters and Ronna. If that makes me “cracked”, so be it.

Comments are closed.


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