RPOF chair candidate endures mudslinging

Dave Bitner called me last night and broke the news about a now public revelation that he and his wife Wendy had a domestic issue thirteen or fourteen years ago. Bitner’s telephone call followed a report in the St. Pete Times that had just been posted on the paper’s website which you can read by clicking here. He proceeded to explain the entire situation to my satisfaction. Not only that, his wife Wendy got on the phone and reaffirmed Bitner’s version of events and answered my questions.

 Irreverent View standing by Bitner

By Chris Ingram

Dave Bitner called me last night and broke the news about a now public revelation that he and his wife Wendy  had a domestic issue thirteen or fourteen years ago. Bitner’s telephone call followed a report in the St. Pete Times that had just been posted on the paper’s website which you can read by clicking here. He proceeded to explain the entire situation to my satisfaction. Not only that, his wife Wendy got on the phone and reaffirmed Bitner’s version of events and answered my questions.

Photo: Dave Bitner (r) with former House Speaker John Thrasher.

We spoke further about what this means to his campaign for chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. It’s never good in politics to be on defense or to have to explain your behavior, but the Bitners appear to be weathering the storm and sailing on. Bitner strongly stated his displeasure for this type of campaign tactic and pledged he has not, and will not engage in such devices.

Ultimately, only God and the Bitners know what happened on that day in 1997 which lead Mrs. Bitner to file for an injunction against her husband. What we do know is shortly thereafter she withdrew the filing and to this day maintains that the claims she made in the injunction “did not happen.”

It is important to note that her withdrawal of the injunction occurred long ago – this isn’t a matter of her recently changing her story for the convenience of her husband’s candidacy for RPOF chair. In a moment of naiveté, Bitner said since the injunction had been dropped he figured there was no record of it existing and therefore he never felt the need to share the information publicly before his opponents did. Note to future candidates: do a public records search on yourself before running for office.

The fact is, Mr. Bitner was never arrested, charged, prosecuted, or convicted of any crime. The false charges were never criminal in nature — they were made in a civil proceeding. He and his wife worked out their problems and recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.

Don’t get me wrong, I was disappointed and somewhat let-down by the revelations I learned about yesterday. I thought about it overnight considering whether or not I should continue my support of his candidacy. Dropping him like a hot potato would have been easy. But I rarely take the easy path. Ultimately, I have considered the following facts and decided to stand with Dave Bitner in his bid for chairman:

1) He was not charged with any crime;
2) The accusations made against him were withdrawn and his accuser said it didn’t happen;
3) He has not violated the public trust;
4) There is no apparent pattern of reckless or illegal behavior;
5) He and his wife remain happily married;
6) I trust a man and his word until given a strong reason not to; and,
7) I am convinced he is the only candidate in the race who has the skills, maturity, and experience to reform the Republican Party of Florida.

Dave, thanks for putting your name and reputation on the line. Don’t let us down.

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.  

Please feel free to submit a comment on our blogs. By posting a comment you acknowledge reading and following our terms and conditions.  You may also submit a comment by e-mail. If you e-mail a comment you consent to your comment and name being posted on the Irreverent View website. If you wish to remain completely anonymous, please state so in your e-mail.

19 thoughts on “RPOF chair candidate endures mudslinging”

  1. Anybody who has ever faced a divorce knows this kind of crap happens. Lies, False charges, etc occur when one side seeks an advantage.


  2. Your have unbiased coverage. You slammed Debbie for the DUI but you are giving Bitner a pass on domestic abuse. Shame on you for attacking a tireless leader and worker. You are obviously not an unbiased journalist.


  3. Reply to 10:24 post:

    Actually if you go back and read my column about Deborah Cox-Roush it covered the host of problems/issues she has including her DUI, her inability to get along with people, and her sweetheart business deal with her own REC. It has since been disclosed that she also has issues with bankruptcies and possibly an eviction.

    It is also a FACT that she had a DUI.

    I do not condone abusive behavior.

    I spoke with Dave Bitner and his wife at length about this issue, and I believe both of them when they say that she did this during a bad time in their marriage to get an upper-hand in a civil (divorce) proceeding.

    Finally, I don’t present myself as being an “unbiased journalist.” While I do attempt to be fair, the opinions on this site are just that — OPINIONS. And they are irreverent ones at that.

    Look up the words “opinion” and “irreverent”. When you understand their meanings, I am sure you will have a better understanding of what this site is and is not and that you will come back with an apology for being so ignorant.

    Chris Ingram


  4. I have to say that the Bitner’s video was wonderful, courageous and forthright. There is no one who is clean, we all make mistakes. The most important thing is to learn from them and move on, which the 20th Anniversary shows the Bitner’s did.
    Although I have no vote, and parted with the REC for several reasons, as a Republican I want to see the best take over. Good luck to all the candidates; and, whoever wins, I certainly hope they take accountability of RPOF funds, don’t overspend, and don’t allow the other “leaders” to take funds out of the RPOF coffers and spend them making hit ads on other Republicans.
    Thoughtful article Mr. Ingram. Well done.


  5. Yes, shame on you Chris. “Your have unbiased coverage.”
    As for the DUI compared to this issue. Under the law, which is a great frame of reference for any past problem, evidence of a past act is admissible if such bad act occured within a specific time frame. Look up that time frame and you will see that the law recognizes the distant past and the recent past. This is an important consideration.
    And use your real name when you post. It shows that you have the courage to stand behind your words.


  6. Hey Paul…..good post. You got me thinking about the real name thing. I have previously been using ” Eagle”…..not sure why……probably something to do with the fire department career. So, from this point forward, I proclaim to be me….Ron Danner.


  7. They are still together and obviously have worked out their differences. It’s no ones business. Marriage is a roller coaster ride some of the time. That’s why I’m single.
    Let DB focus on doing a good job for all the good Republicans who got elected and who are trying to straighten out this awful mess our country is in. It’s actually sinful to gossip and hurt good people, just because you can.


  8. Let him who is without sin (or a record) throw the first stone. Or him who is running for chairman of the RPOF.

    Good grief…the way they are digging dirt you would think this gig pays big money. Does it? I have no idea. Why are these people so hot to be head Republican? So they can get on TV when the convention comes to town? Is it all ego? If so, lame lame lame.

    If I were ever misguided enough or delusional enough to consider running for ANYthing…the first thing I would do is fess up to every little thing that could come back to bite me in the keister. Like the time in first grade when I stole some drawing paper off Mrs. Hendry’s desk. And that time when…well never mind.


  9. Dave has been a friend of mine for over 30 years and I met Wendy about 22 years ago. I well remember those years when they had challenges and they are telling the truth about what did and didn’t happen. What is important is the fact that Dave is a strong Republican who can lead the Republican party in Florida over the next several years. I know how hard he has worked for the party over the years. He is a leader, a consensus builder and is extremely well respected by many people around the state of Florida. As a businessman in Charlotte County he was praised for his work with the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and other organizations all while he was working for the local Republican organizations. As a State Representative he fought hard for Southwest Florida and now works hard on behalf of the Panhandle counties. Dave will be a great chairman and has the right leadership skills to bring everybody together, raise the money needed to put more Republicans in office in 2012 and help Florida get Barack Obama OUT of office. He will be Obama’s worst nightmare and I support him personally and as an elected official from Charlotte County. Trust me, he’s a great guy!


  10. Chris, I used to take your articles seriously, now I have to take it down a notch. Honestly? You are “satisfied” with his explanation of his conduct? He beat his wife. Oh but wait, you did not care when Deborah Cox-Roush explained her conduct (for an offense that requires no intent unlike violence). Regardless, domestic violence and DUIs are both misdemeanor crimes in Florida. I’m not sure how you reconcile your “forgiveness” of Mr. Bitner but, simultaneously, bashing Roush and expecting to remain credible. OH wait again…it’s called biased reporting. Thanks for clearing that up, we can all just ignore you now.


  11. Reply to Jason,

    Your ignorance is only eclipsed by your inability to only see and believe what you want to.

    I spoke with Mr. Bitner and his wife about this matter several times. Without going into any more detail than I have, I believe her when she said she made up the charge to gain an advantage in a civil (divorce) matter. This kind of thing happens all the time.

    Your argument falls flat as it fails to address this or any of the other points I made.

    Ms. Cox-Roush has a pattern of poor decisions and other problems which I believe make her unfit to serve.

    In conclusion, this website/blog is all about OPINION. I am not a newspaper — I am an opinion columnist and if you don’t like my opinions, that is your right.

    So feel free to ignore me. But if you must post comments on here, try to use some grey matter before you do.

    Chris Ingram


  12. And lest we not forget Mr. Bitner’s issue involves a civil matter that was withdrawn. Ms. Cox-Roush’s involved a criminal conviction.


  13. Chris, is that the best you can do? Personal attacks and illogical opinion. I need not address all your points because the logic of your article fails on one: you forgive Bitner for some hairline difference you perceive between what he did and what Roush did. Do you really think you escape the utter fallacy of your “opinion” by saying one is civil versus one is criminal. Let me set you straight. I have defended numerous domestic violence cases and seen my fair share of civil injunctions. Mrs. Bitner’s dropping her civil injunction is the equivalent of a domestic violence victim filing an affidavit of nolle prosse because they fear the repercussions to the abuser. It’s the same old tired domestic violence story: the victim wants protection and then recants their story to save their loved one. Mr. and Mrs. Bitner is are no different. She’s there saving him, though he no less committed the act I would bet dimes to dollars. So, if you want to sit there and stick your proverbial head in the sand and say a DUI (and your other trumped up allegations) are some how more egregious than Bitner’s violence, so be it. That would be your opinion albeit a wrong opinion not worthy of print. Now’s let’s talk about these other allegations of sweetheart deals, supposed inability o play well with others and a bankruptcy. First your source on the sweetheart deal with the GOP needs reworking. In fact, go investigate it yourself and you will discovery that the reverse is true. Rousch took less money in leasing the premises out to monthly GOP meetings than the standard retail charge for private entities persons. Therefore, she’s not making any additional undisclosed monies that your somehow imply. Second, her tough stances and decisions that she has made makes her a leader. If somehow there are the minute few who couldn’t get along with Roush during their dealings with them, I will defer to the greater majority that indicates she is easy to get along with and leaders must make tough decision. The result of a tough decision is that someone always gets their feelings hurt. I say too bad. Third, I’m not sure what bankruptcy you are referring to, but even if it’s true how does that affect her judgment in relation to running the RPOF? I guess you are making the jump in logicl easy political attack that if one cannot run their personal or business finances they someone cannot run the multi-million dollar political machine for want of financial savvy Better yet they might steal from the kitty! Save it for the day it happens. Quit trying to be judge and jury of the pre-crimes division. As it stands right now, your article’s main theme was that somehow Bitner’s conduct is less egregious because his wife absolved him like the priest absolves a parishioner. You might be forgiven, but the fact that the act occurred still stands. You lambasted Roush for it; logic would dictate that you lambaste Bitner in the same fashion. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. What we got was the irrelevant view.


  14. …and before you mention it, yes, I think I realize that my response contains some grammatical errors, misplace commas and misspelled words. Nevertheless, the gist of the response is there and is no less clear and on point. So let’s stick to the issues and not attempt to point out of the obvious to provide a distraction from what we are discussing here.


  15. My recollection (unless there are 2 Jason Montes’) is that he is an attorney. Must not be a very good one if he thinks Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol is not an “intentional” crime. I think there is a huge difference between being convicted of a DUI and being accused in a civil matter of something which your accuser quickly retracted. I also think Mr. Montes should be careful making blanket statements that Mr. Bitner “beat his wife” — as Mr. Montes so boldly proclaimed. That sounds like a statement of fact, which I doubt Mr. Montes can prove and could easily be considered libelous. Maybe they don’t teach these things at NOVA law school…

    I think these people who defend Cox-Roush’s DUI are probably her few little minions who cannot see the truth.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s