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[Miami, FL] Drama and tempers flew tonight at the regular Miami-Dade Republican Executive Committee (REC) meeting.
For over a year, tensions have been building inside the organization due to the committee’s refusal to enable new members into the party infrastructure, as required per Florida law.
The main issues were the refusal of the Miami-Dade GOP to announce openings on the Miami-Dade REC, preferring to install their own candidates in the dark, and the refusal to provide contact information of members for applicants to effectively campaign for committee positions, as required by Florida law per one understanding of the statute.
Tonight, the issues came to a head as the newly-elected Vice Chairman Kevin Cooper, pulled a stunt to prevent a vote on a motion to announce vacancies available on the REC.
Witnesses called his behavior "unethical. People were furious."
After a lengthy discussion by newly-elected Chairman Alex Rizo, who attempted to let all voices be heard, a motion was put forth to allow the vacancy information to be distributed to all committee members. This would have allowed alternates to become full committeemen and new committeemen to be recruited.
Cooper, then loudly and dramatically shouted for all of his ‘friends’ to leave the meeting so there would not be a quorum present and the motion could not be voted on legally.
Great anger erupted in the room after this "unethical move," witnesses said.
Cuban-born American attorney Ed Vidal, who fled Fidel Castro’s communism as a child to America, confronted Cooper and a scuffle ensued. Vidal grabbed Cooper’s collar.
Cooper, then started screaming.
“I’m an attorney and I'm going to put you in jail Ed," he screamed, and pranced around the room according to witnesses. The police were called.
It is The Miami Independent’s understanding at printing that Vidal would be arrested tonight or tomorrow.
Cooper is a young attorney and chief counsel to Lennar, a local real estate developer.
When called tonite following the meeting, Kevin Cooper refused to give a statement or even say what law firm he worked for.
"I'm going to put out a statement in the morning," screamed Cooper, and he then proceeded to rant about a journalist calling him at 11:00pm.
The call was placed at 10:23 pm.
Cooper refused to answer any questions and became insulting and more upset.
When the Miami Independent told Cooper to stop the insults, he hung up the phone.
He had repeatedly refused to answer the question as to what law firm he worked.
We spoke with Miami-Dade police and verified their intention to arrest the elderly Vidal tonight or tomorrow.
"Transparency in every organization is key. The REC seems to be avoiding basic rights of Republicans which disenfranchises voters & our democratic republic. I’ve been trying to join the REC via their website for over two years. Tonight’s motion to simply supply the list of vacancies for REC positions was presented by an elected REC committee woman gave further light to what seems like an ongoing cycle of avoiding basic rights of Republicans in general," declared recent GOP Miami Commissioner Candidate Christie Tasker, who was at the meeting.
"Based on my own interaction with the Miami Dade Elections Department, I understand the REC is supposed to have an updated list of current and vacant committee seats. When I went to the Elections Department they knew very little about the REC committee openings because the list has NOT been updated in years. All applicants are part of public records therefore the REC should provide a list of committee elected officials accessibility to all.
"Tonight a committee woman made the motion; it was seconded by several other people. Before the motion was finished, and other people were permitted to speak, a group left the room like kindergarteners running to the restroom. A few minutes later those members returned to get other members. Only later did I realized they were trying prohibit a quorum. I did not realize people could leave a meeting then return later to prevent a quorum. Sure enough another role was called and they said they had no quorum. The lack of transparency among the REC board is alarming. The entire process could have been simplified by the board just agreeing to release the information to existing members. They would not agree. Instead the night ended with multiple police being called over what seems like a struggle for information."
Vidal's actions were not justified, but Cooper pulled an immature and declasse political stunt, according to witnesses.
Full Disclosure - Ed Vidal is a contributor to The Miami Independent.
Christine Dolan is a seasoned Investigative Journalist, television producer, author, and photographer. She is Co-Founder of American Conversations whose format focuses on in-depth analysis of critical issues about “the story behind the headlines.” She started the famous news program Inside Politics at CNN.
This is also happening in the Racine County WI GOP. They are blocking new membership based on donations to Republican candidates that were not endorsed by the party—-telling us we are not in “good standing”. The “endorsed” candidate was none other than the WI Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. Many of us supported his Republican opponent, Adam Steen, and for that—-we are being blackballed.
I was at the meeting. I am an Alternate District Committeewoman. Agree that Ed Vidal's actions were not justified but Kevin Cooper's stunt as Vice Chairman was not justified either. The fact that members left the room to avoid a quorum supports the suspicion that the list of vacancies is not being published on purpose and that there is collusion in the election of District Committee members.
Same thing is happening in California. Local GOP groups do not operate in full transparency. Local GOP do not want America First supporters in these committee positions.
I was the treasurer in my local Republican committee too much infighting. I left….
Excellent article, Christine. The Miami Dade REC leadership are spoiled RINOs who need to be tossed out pronto. We made immense strides in turning the county red last November and cannot be held back by power-hungry and childish politicos.
Dorcas, thank you for your corroboration. One point: unless you were an eyewitness to Ed's mandhandling the immature Vice Chair, and it was egregious, I would not suggest drawing some moral equivalency. Holding onto the collar of someone is a punishable offence? Since when can men no longer have a bit of a tussle when tempers flare, without some snowflake running to the police? That, in my humble view, is the most offensive part.
The same thing is happing in St. John's REC. We the people have had enough.
Elect patriots, not grifters.
Please look into KW Miller who was a candidate for Congress last election cycle. He wrote me in texts 2 years ago I still have, that he is responsible for going around to our country’s REC clubs to clean out corrupt Republicans. Where was he for Miami Dade? Right in his backyard. He claims to be from Palm Beach County where he is registered to vote but calling Monroe County his residence, and he also ran against Congressman Brian Mast in Stuart, Fl. Prior to running against Congressman Gimenez.
KW Miller was here in Monroe County lying and making false claims against our local REC Chairman Nick Mulick at the time. In edition, KW Miller spread malicious rumors the week he made his entrance into Monroe County Republican community, the week of our Reagan Day Dinner where Congressman Birain Mast and Jsmes O’Keefe were scheduled to speak. The same week James O’Keefe home was broken into and raided by the FBI. That week KW Miller announced to everyone and passed out literature with quotes from dishonorable MSNBC etc spreading vicious rumors about war hero Congressman Brian Mast
Where was KW Miller the REC cleaner upper for Miami Dade? He should have been there instead of harassing and upsetting our community. Please look into the KW Miller He allegedly has racists and white suppremecists and or very far right dangerous people guiding his attack on Monroe County and on our good Republicans. He has lied to people while using his website America First PC to take money from his donors who don’t investigate his money trail. if you try to find a trail? there is no trail. I contacted the legal team of America First when KW Miller first blew into Monroe County. They had not heard of him. Where does the money go he gets? Does he pay taxes? Report to SOE? Not that I have seen. KW Miller is a charismatic liar and crook and needs to be investigated. I have looked as far as my knowledge can go into his financials. Thank you!
And the RNC wonders why few people want to contribute.
I highly recommend everyone go to the PrecinctStrategy.com and immediately find out the openings in each REC. Most of the people currently in the REC are trying to hold on to their POWER and they are using Marxists, Commumunist tactics. I have applied to the REC twice and the only time it was acknowledged was when I applied at the Miami-Dade Elections Department. Even they said they have a hard time getting the REC to respond to applicants and often applicants think it's the Election Department's fault. NO! It's the REC that does not want real hard working republicans in. Because then, we will vote the controlling communists RINO$ out!
Per Roberts' Rules of Order, once a quorum exists, it remains unless called into question by a member in good standing. This motion cannot be made while another motion is on the floor. This essentially means that they could have all walked out during that motion, and quorum still exists until the close of that item. They were only hurting themselves. Next time they all walk out, call the question, and win.
We went through much of the same issues, here in Lee County. Luckily, we have one of Pat Buchanan's former campaign chairs amongst our ranks. Here's a quick summary of how we completely took over Lee County, and put the adults back in charge in Fort Myers...
The RINOs refer to it as a "manifesto". Such children.
I am appalled at the story on this page, how is it possible that we would do such a thing to a Cuban American whose career is impeccable. Ed Vidal is a gentleman, stands for people's rights and has done so much work to defend our Republic.
If Republicans do not learn to work together, IN TOTAL TRANSPARENCY and adherence to The Constitution, we fear... we shall continue to yield ground to other forces... United we stand... divided we fall...
By the way, to ask people to leave a meeting so there is no quorum present may be a tactic, but it is evident that politics have become a game of power and influence and NO ONE seems to be focused ONLY on doing the will of the people...