by Javier ManjarresOn December 8th, members of the Palm Beach Republican Executive Committee (PBC REC) will be voting to determine who will lead the county party for the next two years. The two candidates for the position of Chairman are its current Chairman Sid Dinerstein and former congressional candidate Edward Lynch Sr. The current sentiment amongst many within the Republican party is to vote out existing ‘establishment’ types along with their ‘status quo’ mentality which continues to plague the Party at every level of government.
Chairman Sid Dinerstein has served as the PBC REC poobah for 8 years now, and accusations have swirled around that he has openly supported Democrats against viable and well liked Republicans candidates, and in doing so, has aligned the REC with local business interests, most notably, BIZPAC. In addition, Dinerstein is also accused of conducting ‘back room’ deals that benefit these same business interests while hurting the local GOP electoral process.
In a past interview with Dinerstein, when questioned about his now REC opponent Edward Lynch’s first run for Congress, Dinerstein went on the public record stating that “he can’t win”, a comment that many within the PBC Republican Party felt never should have been publicly made by a sitting Chairman, even though he was proven correct after Lynch’s two losses in the gerrymandered 19th Congressional District to Robert Wexler and to now Congressman Ted Deutch.
But the controversial statement exposed a huge divide between Lynch loyalists and the sitting Chairman’s faction, and it further fueled the claims that Dinerstein was not a team player for the Party. The second of Lynch’s two congressional campaigns was a hotly contested and very negative race, as Lynch was the recipient of the brunt of the attacks from his primary challengers who tried to exploit Lynch’s personal and past business dealings. Most of the information brought out about Lynch was accurate, however there were additional accusations which stretched the truth.
Edward Lynch’s candidacy for Chairman also has its own question marks, as a reliable source is accusing Lynch of engaging in his own ‘back room’ deals. The source in question revealed to the Shark Tank that Lynch ‘offered’ 100 votes to the source if the source would run for Vice-Chairman of the Party, a tactic is an old and well known in political circles. Moreover, Lynch has stated that he had not decided on whether or not he would seek to run for Congress or any other elected position in the near future.
Lynch has another open issue as well- he has failed to report to Federal Election Commission (FEC) since his Special Election loss in April. Lynch’s Congressional campaign remains open, but FEC guidelines require that he must file until his campaign account is closed. Here is the link to the FEC report dated August 3, 2010.
Some observers around the Party believe that Lynch’s motive for running for PBC Chairman is more to garner notoriety within Republican ranks that would springboard him towards yet another congressional run. It’s also worth noting that Lynch’s former campaign manager, Jessica Dornblaser, is also is the sitting Membership Chair for the REC. During his run for Congress, Lynch and his campaign referred to themselves as the “Lynch Mob“.
Lynch’s announcement that he was running for Chairman made some very sharp criticisms of Dinerstein, yet some of those same criticisms could be leveled at Lynch. Dinerstein and Lynch were both staunch supporters of Bill McCollum in the Republican Gubernatorial Primary. Lynch specifically criticized Dinerstein’s remarks about Rick Scott’s chances to become governor:
“Our chairman had the audacity to say that Rick Scott would never be the Governor of Florida not so long ago, reminiscent of disgraced RPOF Chairman Jim Greer speaking about Senator-elect, Marco Rubio. Enough is enough.” – Edward Lynch
But during the same campaign, Lynch made the following comments about now Governor-Elect Scott:
August 7 at 7:04pm @EdwardLynch on Twitter
When a candidate has nothing good about themselves to say they have to engage in cowardly, negative politics. It says a lot about the person. I, for one, really hate that. Rick Scott is trying to buy the governorship and has engaged in nothing but negative politics and has proven the type of governor that he would make which is one of the many reasons why I am supporting Bill McCollum.
June 25 at 9:44am
Both candidates in the race have to clarify both their prior statements along their records. But more importantly, who has the better plan to move the PBC REC forward and expand its outreach?If re-elected, does Chairman Dinerstein pledge to support ‘all’ GOP candidates, implement a policy of complete transparency as it pertains to the Party’s political dealings, and put into action a detailed plan that will expand the PBC GOP’s membership and influence? Is his current quest for position of RPOF Chairman putting his ambition above his responsibility to the REC?
If elected, would Edward Lynch commit to serving out his entire term without declaring another run for Congress or other office during his tenure, and is he truly committed to serving the PBC REC for the long term?
These, along with many others, are the questions Palm Beach County’s REC members must ask of the candidates for Chairman.