Grassroots Republicans Seek Change in County Leadership

Local effort gathered petition signatures for new Republican committee hopefuls

More than 60 potential new Rockland Republican Committee members submitted their petitions to the county Board of Elections last week.

“What we’re trying to do is save the Republican Party,” said Rockland Republican Academy spokesman Lawrence Stone, whose group organized the petition effort.

But not everyone agrees.

“First of all, they are not a recognized Republican committee,” Rockland County Republican Committee Chair Vincent Reda said.

Stone said paramount among the concerns of the prospective committee members was the number of unfilled committee seats in the county and frequency of cross-party endorsements especially on the democratic line. There are about 500 committee seats in Rockland and according to Stone about half of them are vacant. The next opportunity for Rockland Republicans to become committee members is in two years.

“We have a leadership in this county that has made the voters not even want to come out to vote,” Stone stated. “They’re disgusted with party politics.”

Reda disputed Stone’s statements. He said there are a number of vacant committee positions but not half. As the minority party in the county, Reda said cross endorsements of candidates by the Independence, Conservative and Working Families parties are needed.

Reda questioned why the prospective committee members only carried petitions for themselves and not for the party’s candidates for assembly, senate and congress.   He said they did not approach the party committee chairs about their interest in becoming committee members.

Stone noted some current committee members have held their seats for 22 years and claimed they have consistently nominated the same candidates. He said the only way to stop that is to change the party leadership. After the September 13 state primary, the town Republican committees will hold reorganization meetings within 10 days to select their leadership and the county will hold its session within 20 days. 

Stone is pleased with the response, which required hopeful committee and current committee members to sign a pledge. He said more than 100 people have signed the pledge.

“We have also recruited lots and lots of new faces to the party,” said the Stony Point resident.

Reda said the members of the group had previously tried to take over the Rockland Tea Party and Rally for America organizations and said some of them had been republicans for just two years.

Stone described the pledge that the committee candidates are asked to sign.

“It’s an initiative to rescue the Republican Party from irrelevancy,” he said. “This initiative is a really big deal.”

The pledge’s eight criteria include: Republicanism, Accountability, Honor, Loyalty, Fair Play, Communications Transparency and Allegiance.

Committee representatives Jean Black of Orangetown, Joseph Ciardullo of Clarkstown, Anthony Mele of Ramapo and Stone sent a letter to fellow committee representatives calling for a whole new slate of GOP leadership. This is an excerpt from the letter.

We believe that 22 years of ineffective leadership has reduced our party’s relevancy. The erosion of Republican core principles led to the financial calamity we now have in Rockland County.  What is the long term impact on the tax payer, when we no longer have an opposition party to challenge Democrats?  The role of the opposition party is to protect the taxpayers from uncontested power of the majority over the minority. The party leadership has forgotten that they work for us and not the other way around. As a result, we are forced to take this less than conventional route to restore these principles by replacing the leadership.”

The group lists specific complaints against the current GOP leadership that they refer to as” indictments” on their website. The items include giving nominations without a party convention and suppressing candidate interviews.

Lynn Teger July 22, 2012 at 01:02 AM
quincy also commented on Grassroots Republicans Seek Change in County Leadership. "My only concern with your post, Anthony, is that you reveal numerous private meetings that you took upon yourself to make. With new committee leadership, do you agree that this would NOT be necessary? and that they would not be notified by an open letter after the fact? perhaps this notion is naive or uninformed, but in an open process of choosing candidates, I would hope that the pledge would hold true once adopted in the party by laws?" In your response, you did not inform quincy that these actions on your part would not be necessary. Instead, you defended your actions. Your request to Bob Axelrod to take over Reda’s position is exactly what you say you are against: Backroom deals.
Lynn Teger July 22, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Many claims that you made in that letter to the Republican Party leaders are also untrue. I will address only the paragraph that contains my name. I was at one meeting that you called to have with Bob Axelrod. The meeting was called, directed and conducted solely by you. My only participation was to sit and watch. The request to have Bob Axelrod take Reda’s seat came from you. At that time you believed you would be running for Congress. During that meeting Bob never agreed that he would run for Reda’s seat. It was your idea to create the (Rebel) Republican Academy, yet when you went before the Ramapo Committee recently, you stated that you were only there to “share information”. Is this what you call transparency? We did not write the letter to stop new committee people from becoming members of the committee. We applaud the fact that new committee members will participate. We did not write the letter to disparage the tea party. We wrote the letter because we know that you are using these organizations to assist you in your political ambitions. We know that your purpose, since you have stepped down from your run for Congress, is to replace the County Chair seat by stacking the committees with your supporters is to help you achieve this goal. You have signed a pledge that promises transparency and no backroom deals. Your words do not match up with your actions.
ROWENA MOLLUSO July 22, 2012 at 02:28 AM
REPUBLICANS MALIGNING REPUBLICANS It is not Republican chairman-like to undermine a nominee elected by Republican voters. It is also not Republican chairman-like to telephone the opposition candidate for the purpose of blocking the Republican nominee’s campaign. It is this precise underhanded behavior that discourages good candidates from running for office who wager their own money, time and energy in an election that is covertly controlled by political party bosses. At one campaign stop, for example, Melé debated two sitting Democrat Congressman at the same time. Two Democrats against one Republican – and Melé impressively held the Republican message of self reliance and less government intervention. Yet, not one mention of Melé’s stellar performance by Reda in the Chairman’s newsletter, not one mention of Melé at all – ever. The unintended consequence of this election is to expose the malfeasance of a Republican Chairman’s conduct which is in violation of his responsibilities to the rank and file. We are exposing their game, and grassroots patriots like Anthony Melé, is leading the way. Anthony Melé says it best: “Reda is the best Republican Chairman the Democrats have ever had. He has put more Democrats on the Republican line than Republicans. That is like the CEO of Coke selling Pepsi.” The rest of the article can be found here: http://raquelokyay.com/raquel-commentary/1300/gop-sabotages-congressional-campaign/
Lynn Teger July 22, 2012 at 02:39 AM
You cannot answer for Mele. Your diatribe is merely a distraction and has nothing to do with anything I've stated, but it's a good opportunity to promote Raquel's articles. Raquel has had no personal experience with the Repulican Party in Rockland County, except to repeat information which she received from Mele.
ROWENA MOLLUSO July 22, 2012 at 03:00 AM
And don't forget about the dead fish at her doorstep & false police reports! Who's CRYING for attention? Yawn... we GET it, Bambi... NEXT!
ROWENA MOLLUSO July 22, 2012 at 03:23 AM
If it weren't for your articles, Raquel, i don't think ANYONE would know what really happened in 2010. Many many thanks for being brave enough to put out there what no one else had the guts to do.
Lynn Teger July 22, 2012 at 03:31 AM
You are entitled to your opinions. Your comment only serves to bolster my prior claims. You followed the race by reporting everything you were “spoon fed” by Mele. You don' even live in Rockland County. The rest of your statements are untrue. I remember many things about you Raquel, but I hesitate to post them as I will not reduce myself to your level. Your comments are over-reactive, childlike and angry. You obviously have much to defend. I will not say and do “anything”, but obviously, you will.
Raquel Okyay July 22, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Give it up Bambi. I have 100s of articles discussing politics at my blog. Not to mention 1000s of readers. Your level is the gutter, and your inability to comprehend reality goes beyond the pale.
Raquel Okyay July 22, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Attn: Vincent Reda #2 - Do you really want LT as your spokesperson? Pure Audacity: Anthony Mele for Congress - With two Republican candidates on the ballot and one primary race, results will boil down to Tuesday September 14, where Republicans who reside in Congressional District 17 (parts of Rockland, Westchester and Bronx Counties), will cast a vote for Army Veteran and Security Expert, Anthony Melé or National Guard Reservist and Insurance Broker, York Kleinhandler. If Republicans want a candidate who speaks boldly for them – the People – with the US Constitution in hand and best intentions in mind, the choice is simple, Anthony Melé for Congress. Anthony Melé’s life- long service and dedication to America is nothing short of a super hero movie. Traveling around the world providing high level and classified protection, Melé has decades of professional experience in a wide range of national and international capacities – the kind of experience that far outshines the regular statesman. Continue reading here: http://raquelokyay.com/ny-congressional-district-17/692/pure-audacity-anthony-mele-for-u-s-congress/
Raquel Okyay July 22, 2012 at 03:50 AM
This is for you Bambi: As a 20 year old Army Specialist, Tony Melé was issued “The Army Commendation Medal” on December 20, 1979 for: "Exceptional valor and intrepidity while saving a young woman from death by drowning in the Potomac River on the night of 6 June 1979. Specialist Melé demonstrated alertness and quick action, without concern for his personal safety, while exposing himself to the same hazard. Upon observing the woman fall out of the boat, he raced to the river embankment and noticed that she had submerged in the murky water. He dove into the river and by sheer determination, located her, brought her to the surface, and with the woman on his back, climbed the retaining wall to safety. Specialist Five Melé’s courageous Act is in keeping with the highest valued traditions of the Old Guard and reflects great credit upon himself, the United States Army, Military District of Washington, and the United States Army. Signed by Robert Arter, Major General USA Commanding and witnessed by the Secretary of the Army." Read entire article here: http://raquelokyay.com/ny-congressional-district-17/532/532-anthony-mele-unseating-engel/
Raquel Okyay July 22, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Here's another one you might enjoy, Bambi: Restore principled leadership in Congressional District 17 Here we have two congressional candidates who will petition for a primary race against each other to challenge incumbent progressive Democrat Elliot Engel. Engel voted for all of the wild spending measures the tea party is against and since no incumbent is safe this year (it’s best to be optimistic), the strongest conservative Republican in the right circumstance should come out on top. Republican Anthony Melé (candidate no. 1) is an Army Veteran, Patriot and Constitutionalist, who has strong support in the tea party movement, but not so much support from the big-wigs of the Republican Party. Republican York Kleinhandler (candidate no. 2) was supported from Day 1 by the Republican Party machine (possibly as a stand-in for non aggression pacts with Democrats) is a typical moderate Republican incapable of motivating the base (nothing new here). What you will read next, however, will alarm you. Continue reading here: http://raquelokyay.com/raquels-picks/164/support-a-liberty-candidate-anthony-mele-for-congress
RepublicanYouth July 22, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Ooo Thanks for the articles Raquel! As far as LT's letter that seemed to have gone to everyone Republican in the county... I read it and the whole thing just read like a scorned woman. Reminded me a lot of high school girls fighting because some boy rejected their advances for a tumble. Nothing in the letter attacked Mele's politics. They all attacked him personally. And I didn't know Mele personally, so I couldn't take her word for it. I'm not looking for a new best friend, I'm looking for new leadership with a vision I can agree with. His personal business is his personal business. If he was a devil in his personal life, I don't care. I only care about his political vision. When you can bring up something political about him, you might actually have a solid leg to stand on.
Raquel Okyay July 22, 2012 at 05:03 AM
You're welcome, Republican Youth. When I saw with my own eyes the trickery of the GOP machine in District 17 I was horrified. I met Tony at a fundraiser early on in the race, and I thought what a fantastic candidate, only to learn that the GOP were actively working against him. Tony would whip out a copy of the US Constitution, and say "this is my bible". And he truly means it!! Want leadership in Rockland? Go with the academy. Good luck!
Lynn Teger July 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Republican Youth: In looking at your Patch profile, I notice that you have recently signed up for Patch. The only article you have commented on is this one. It’s easy to spread gossip about another person while standing behind a phony screen name. Based on your comments, I cannot believe that you do not know Mele. Our letter was written to expose the truth. It reported incidents that actually happened. There is a difference between exposing the truth and spreading gossip. Spreaders of gossip is also an issue that relates to individual character. Voters have a right to hear both sides of the story and then make their own decisions. You, and the others fight very hard to prove Mele’s case, yet Mele has not been able dispute the items in the letter we wrote directly, honestly and forthrightly. Nor has he been accountable or taken any responsibility for his actions. Anyone can read lines from a book (or teleprompter) and be able to tell people exactly what they would like to hear. Our letter is about individual character and is based on public information and actual happenings. I am not the only one who signed it. When people begin to be personally accountable and take personal responsibility for their actions, maybe then we will have a fighting chance to make positive, effective changes in our community and our country that are for the better.
Lawrence Stone July 22, 2012 at 04:55 PM
RECRUIT, REPLACE, RESTORE. That's all I can focus on right now in regards to this initiative! I have no time for emotional vampires, their Spokespeople or their supporters. Nor should any of you. LEAD, FOLLOW or GET OUT OF THE WAY! Ask but one question: "Have you signed it?" http://rocklandrepublicans.org/the-pledge/
ROWENA MOLLUSO July 22, 2012 at 05:18 PM
YES! I say that emphatically! I'm ready to push this "distraction" aside who has waaaay too much time on her hands. To question the authenticity of someone's comments simply because they do not agree with hers is an all-time low. I wouldn't put it past Reda to do a background check on all those who oppose him. When they find NOTHING, they fabricate and are reduced to character assassination. CLASSIC. I not only signed the Pledge, I've shared it. I'm ready to stop perpetuating the cycle of cross-endorsements and cronyism. These are the first steps in getting Rockland County back on track. LET'S ROLL!
Think4urself July 22, 2012 at 05:23 PM
To LT- I'm paraphrasing an old biblical saying - Take the log out of Vinny Reda's eye before you extract the splinter from Anthony Mele's. Also, the person that is losing the most ground, throws the most dirt. By that standard, it looks like you've gotten yourself into one very deep, messy hole.
ROWENA MOLLUSO July 22, 2012 at 06:05 PM
She has got "SCORN" emblazoned clearly across her chest and it is reflected in all her comments. When she outwears her usefullness & Reda has wrung out every last bit of information he can extract from her--he is going to toss her out like an old shoe. Meanwhile, the renewed interest in politics by our youth is a positive sign. The surge in good, honest, law-abiding citizens wanting to become Committee people is another. Little by little, people are finding the bravery to take a stand. It's REFRESHING.
RepublicanYouth July 22, 2012 at 09:56 PM
The beauty of this website is this I don't need an account to read an article. I only sign in when I actually want to say something, and this is the first topic where I felt like I wanted to say something. The screen name? Its a screen name. I see many of them! No one told me there was a rule that you had to use your real name. And finally, don't tell me who I know and don't know. You don't know me you don't know my life. I'm not fighting very hard, if at all even. You defend a shoplifter, and attack a man with a positive military record. Such a great way to show your respect for people who take a stand to defend your country. Really, this isn't a hard decision or fight at all. When I join the military, I'll try not to think of you while I'm on the job.
Irene Tiburcio July 22, 2012 at 09:56 PM
The attacks on Lynn Teger in this stream are so radical, it reminds me of the left's ideology of Saul Alinkski's "Rules for Radicals" playbook; Rule 12 of Alinsky’s rules is, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)” If these are the types of so-called Republicans that want to seize positions of power, who needs or wants them?
Think4urself July 22, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Thanks to your contribution, the discussion have devolved from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Lou Ann Davis July 22, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Irene after reading all of this, I totally agree with you. It's amazing all the stuff these blogs put out, one of the main reasons I do my own research and stay away from these cyber bullying pages.
Irene Tiburcio July 22, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Like vultures, waiting, hovering, going in for the kill. Bullies all. And New City Patch allows it.
citizen rc July 23, 2012 at 12:26 AM
If we turn a blind to Reda and his gang defaming someone like Mele, then who is safe? Also, what decent folks would even want to be involved in these attacks?
Robert Prol July 23, 2012 at 01:08 AM
And you may want to make the "general" aware of DOD Directive 1352.1. He is in violation of it, and could be prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. LT has strange partnerships with "honorable" people.
Robert Prol July 23, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Maybe Vinnie the Rug can apply a little "pressure" on AOL to suppress all of the comments he doesn't like...?
RepublicanYouth July 23, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Thanks for explaining the tactics the group you associate yourself with use. Isn't the better question... Why is Reda & Co. fighting so hard to keep their position? Why can't everything be done with civility and fairness?
Think4urself July 23, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Someone once said that we make politics too difficult when the truth will simply do. Go for it, Mr. Mele! You have the fire in the belly, the integrity and the energy to bring back fiscal responsibility, values and pride back to this county.
Think4urself July 23, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Vinny Reda is the biggest bully in the proverbial school yard-sans the toupee, of course!
Mike Hirsch July 23, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Good to hear from you Pat. It is time for a change.


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