Wednesday night, the RINO Establishment wing of the Hillsborough County Republic party attempted an in-house "palace coup" to take control of the Hillsborough County Republican Party, but were overcome and defeated by Party Chairman Col Jim Waurishuk, USAF (Ret.), a staunch MAGA populist Constitutional Conservative.
They used a “weaponized” grievance process to replace the Republican Party of Florida’s Constitution, rules & procedures to serve as a means to strip Waurishuk of his authority as the county party chairman. They suspended his nationally recognized orientation and training program for bringing on new precinct committeemen and committeewomen in an attempt to stack the membership deck against his conservative Executive Committee.
In just over a 90-minute period, using a series of four motions from the floor brought forth by his conservative base in the county Party, Waurishuk eliminated the “Astro-turfed” effort to stack the RINO opposition’s numbers in the Executive Committee to take control of the Party from the Conservative-led America First leadership. The illegal and unconstitutionally process of “member harvesting” was killed by motions brought by the floor. Chairman Jim Waurishuk used those key motions, along with statements presented by the angry conservative base to expose the RINOs, forcing them to reveal their motives and intentions.
His maneuvering demonstrated the strength of both the Chairman’s leadership and the principles and the voice of conservatives in the Hillsborough Republican Executive Committee. In the end, Waurishuk shut down the coup attempt that had by design, manipulated, marginalized, and “used” the people they recruited as “political pawns” to serve their agenda. Sadly, the RPOF leadership not only allowed this effort, but sanctioned and orchestrated it by “weaponizing” the grievance process against Chairman Waurishuk.
The RPOF denied Chairman Waurishuk “due process” under the Constitution. To date, the Chairman has yet to be officially notified of any grievances, nor allow him the right to refute, the right to a hearing, the right to retain counsel, and the right to present witnesses. With that said, the Grievance Committee held secret deliberations to recommend punitive action against Chairman Waurishuk. Those actions translated into the orchestrated “palace coup” and denial of his Constitutional authorities as a county chairman. The RPOF Grievance Committee Chairman admitted the official grievance process was intentionally broken to deny Chairman Waurishuk his Constitutional rights. This was a truly Stalinistic method to destroy conservative leadership as it is view as a threat.
The RPOF used their clandestine edicts as cover to allow the State Party Chairman and Grievance Committee Chairman to issue the unconstitutional directives and mandates, while constantly moving the goal posts to create havoc, chaos within the Hillsborough REC. Short notice suspenses resulted in unnecessary and wasted time, work and resources. Worse, the effort was intended to force the Hillsborough REC staff to take valuable time away from the REAL PRIORITY at hand of ‘Getting the Out the Vote and assisting Republican candidates in the final three weeks of the nation’s most critical election.
Nevertheless, the end result was a critical WIN for party conservatives and leadership. While the attempted coup and the ensuing debate that followed was ugly, its impact was critically important because it exposed what was actually at play. Conservatives voices and key motions brought to the floor countered the ploy and stopped the attempt by the RINO Establishment to get a strong foothold in the party specifically for the December 2022 Hillsborough County Republican Party Board Election.
The party now goes back to its regular process of bringing in new precinct committeemen to represent their respective precincts, and working to support and defend true Republican Party principles, platform, and Constitution.
In the end, a critically important message must be spread far and wide -- MAGA-led conservative county Republican Executive Committees across the country need to be aware of such efforts in their states as Establishment RINOs take on Democrat-style tactics in attempts to take back control of the party at the county level. The illicit practice of “member harvesting” RINOs" to take back power needs to be recognized and stopped in its tracks.