Florida GOP pens memo to nat’l media warning them of … poor, little SaintPetersBlog

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I really don’t know what to say about this other than to laugh … to laugh at the irony of the Republican Party of Florida attacking me, the blogger and political consultant who works for at least a half-dozen or more Republican legislative clients, including Speaker Will Weatherford, Senators Jeff Brandes and Jack Latvala, and Representatives Dana Young, Matt Gaetz, James Grant, Kathleen Peters, and Dana Young, as well as dozens of others candidates.

Here is the memo:

It is widely expected that former governor Charlie Crist will be announcing his candidacy this coming Monday for the Democratic nomination of the office that he once held. And it can be argued that the race for governor in Florida will be the most covered, most watched and maybe the most important statewide race of the 2014 cycle.

Many of you in Washington covering this race will closely follow traditional print and broadcast outlets in Florida, as well as online sources that include bloggers and political operatives on their social media accounts.The Republican Party of Florida is preparing this memo so that you understand the context by which you should read and interpret information from one of the most prolific non-traditional sources of news analysis: Peter Schorsch and SaintPetersBlog.com.

It goes without saying that SaintPetersBlog.com is a widely read political blog in Florida that provides and aggregates a lot of information that this state’s “chattering class” and opinion elites consume. And it is fair to say that SaintPetersBlog.com and its many writers cover a gamut of substantive issues and process stories, many from differing political perspectives. A few national outlets have noted the website as one of the nation’s top state-based political blogs.

That being said, it is important for you to know some facts about SaintPetersBlog.com’s administrator and chief author/editor, Peter Schorsch. First, Schorsch, a longtime political operative, is unapologetically loyal to Charlie Crist and will be heavily involved in his upcoming campaign. Schorsch’s wife is a former aide to Crist and is expected to be involved in the campaign as well. Just as one example, John Woodrow Cox and Michael Van Sickler of The Tampa Bay Timesnoticed that it was Peter Schorsch who submitted the permit application for the park in St. Petersburg where Crist was originally supposed to make his announcement.

Second, Schorsch has a checkered history that should be taken into account when assessing information he distributes. Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, whom many of you read, sums it up in a blog post one week ago.

Looks like blogger/consultant/man about town Peter Schorsch pulled the permit for Crist’s first campaign rally/announcement. Now I’m a big fan of Schorsch’s web site and more than once have enjoyed a martini or three with Schorsch.

But Crist already has a history of lousy judgment in leaning heavily dubious supporters (Scott Rothstein, Jim Greer, Alan Mendelsohn, Greg Eagle) who have a knack for winding up in prison … 

Still, for his very campaign event Crist turned to Schorsch who routinely and unapologetically lies publicly to the press, who owes nearly $68,000 in outstanding fines to the Florida Elections Commission, who six years pleaded no contest to grand theft and scheming to defraud charges. Really? 

It should be taken seriously when a reporter of Adam Smith’s stature says an individual “routinely and unapologetically lies publicly to the press.”

Third, even outside of his support for Crist and his checkered history, Schorsch does have a history of rushing to break news that turns out to be wrong. Only a couple weeks ago, Peter Schorsch wrongly tweeted that Congressman Bill Young died (two days before he actually passed away) after claiming to have sources close to the family confirm. What was surprising was the fact that many national reporters, through their social media accounts, as well as Fox News, used that tweet as a source to report the same thing.

Schorsch also makes conclusions and claims without seeking details from sources. After RPOF made an in-kind contribution for polling/survey research to Bill Foster’s mayoral campaign in St. Petersburg, Schorsch wrote about the contribution, claiming that the “research” line item for that contribution was “opposition research of [Foster’s opponent Rick] Kriseman; research which will soon find its way into attack ads against Kriseman.” Only after we contacted Schorsch did he correct the story.

This memorandum isn’t meant to disparage Schorsch or SaintPetersBlog.com. It is only meant to give you context when you make a decision on when and how to use information from him in writing your stories and analyzing the race here in Florida.


Matt Moon

Communications Director

Republican Party of Florida

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.