To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”– Abraham Lincoln

Tonight I will stand with Elizabeth Barcay.

Ten years ago, Lizzie Barcay was a 17 year old senior awaiting graduation from the exclusive Harvard Westlake School in California. The daughter of two accomplished physicians, Lizzie Barcay was no spolied rich kid. Reports from her school newspaper say Lizzie was active in school projects meant to help troubled students.

Ten years ago, she encountered her classmate, Rupert Ditsworth. Sensing he needed to talk, Lizzie Barcay approached Ditsworth. She accepted his invitation to the local Jamba Juice. On the way back to school, Ditsworth attacked Lizzie Barcay. Published reports say Ditsworth hit Lizzie Barcay over forty times with a claw hammer. When the hammer broke, Ditsworth tried to strangle Lizzie Barcay. She survived the brutal attack. Ditsworth was charged with first degree attempted murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Three years later, Ditsworth would plead no contest to a felony assault charge. He served six years of felony probation.

Shortly after his arrest, Ditsworth relocated to Broward County. He changed his name. You may know him as Rupert Tarsey, secretary of the Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC).

Last month, Tarsey and fellow board members Richard DeNapoli and Kevin Moot voted to hold a special meeting to remove current Chairman Robert Sutton.

Eventually, less than seventy people signed a petition supporting Tarsey’s ploy to become the next BREC Chairman.

I attended that unauthorized meeting. Dissenting opinions were not welcomed. Tarsey said I was not allowed to be there. Eventually, Rico Petrocelli called to the Plantation Police. The always professional Plantation Police asked me to leave. I complied. It’s not the first, or last time, some politician calls the cops on me.

Tarsey will try to remove Sutton again tonight at another meeting in Plantation.

I will be at Deicke Auditorium at 7pm.

I will stand with all the BREC members who have been threatened or pressured to play along in this childish game.

I will stand with BREC members who were victimized by cowardly anonymous emails.

I will stand with those subjected to homophobic slurs.

I will stand with those who suffered from bigoted religious attacks.

I will stand with those who were confronted, in person, by hired investigators.

Make no mistake, this was never about Chairman Sutton or fundraising or voter registration.

This has always been a raw power grab. An attempted coup intended to catapult newcomers into positions of power.

These delusions of grandeur were fueled by cynical operatives eager to settle old scores.

When Tarsey’s past made international headlines, his seasoned supporters should have stood down. Instead, these experienced professional men and women with families doubled down in their support of a young man who spent considerable time getting court-ordered medical help.

Tarsey showed no remorse. He blamed this reporter for making his past up. He blamed the victim. He said she was bigger than him. He said he acted in self-defense.

So, tonight I will stand with Lizzie Barcay.

The current scandal involving Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has exposed how his money and power kept people silent in the face of his horrible treatment of women.

His disgusting attacks on women were out there when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton took Weinstein’s money.

Now, celebrities “speak out” after they’ve been shamed by their silence.

Republicans never get that kind of a pass from the mainstream media.

Chairman Rupert Tarsey would be an albatross around the neck of every Republican. The media would demand every Republican denounce Tarsey.

The phony outrage machine would hold President Trump and every Republican responsible for Rupert Tarsey.

The media would continue to push the false narrative that Republicans do not care about women.

Tonight, you can say “enough.”

This isn’t about Bob Sutton. It’s our chance to stand up and say “enough.”

No matter the outcome, nobody can ever say you stood by in silence.

Tonight, stand with Lizzie Barcay.