Speaker Weatherford on Peter Schorsch: “He’s never been a consultant for me. Ever.”
By Chris Ingram
Friday kudos to the Republican Party of Florida’s Communications Director, Matt Moon for calling a spade a spade.
I am referring to the RPOF’s Memo of today to national media outlets warning them of the dangers of dealing with, or taking “as credible” anything that rolls out of the cave of one Peter D. Schorsch. Schorsch of course is the blowhard blogger who fancies himself as a journalist when it is convenient, and claims he is not a journalist when it is not. Publisher of the website St.Petersblog, his ego generally arrives about 30 minutes before he does. Schorsch it has also been well documented by multiple media outlets plays loose with the facts, typically ends up being the story for people whom he consults for and has a lengthy criminal background (including Grand Theft, Scheme to Defraud). Bottom line is, he is bad news from his head to his toes.
Several political candidates and elected officials have told me over the years they advertise on his site because their consultants have said if you do, Schorsch is less likely to write nasty things about you. This is apparently a heck of a way to make a living which Schorsch is fond of bragging about.
So today, the RPOF took on Schorsch with a memo (see below). In response to the memo, and once he got over being excited when he realized he would “be the news” again, Schorsch published on St. Petersblog the following:
“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.”
(Note how Schorsch labels himself as blogger/consultant and then lists people. He tries to suggest these are clients whom he consults by the term “works for.” But that is doubtful. No more than your local paper “works for” any of its advertisers.)
I spoke to Speaker Will Weatherford today, and here is what he said on the record about Schorsch, “He is not on my payroll. All we have ever done is paid for ads on his website. He’s never been a consultant for me. Ever.”
I placed calls to several others Schorsch named including Jack Latvala and Dana Young late today, but as of this publishing have not had the chance to inquire with them about Schorsch’s role on their campaigns.
Needless to say, any Republican (or Democrat for that matter), who thinks employing the services of this man — who has such a checkered past, a penchant for lies and vindictive behavior — not only ought to have their head examined, they don’t deserve to serve in public office.
Republicans should also be asking themselves, “Who is this guy? And what party/philosophy does he support?” He claims he is a Republican, but see for yourself. Here is a link of him standing behind Charlie Crist at an Obama campaign rally in Tampa last year. (Schorsch is the vertically challenged guy next to Chuckles). Link to video here.
Now, I am a firm believer in patterns. As such, I predict, I will one day get more photos of Mr. Schorsch from Pinellas County. I also know he’s going to come back and write nasty things about me, my hair (or lack thereof), my finances, my clients (or his claims of lack thereof), my wife, my dog, how bad of a writer I am, how boring I am, how lousy I am on Bay News 9, etc. This is what people who have zero facts do. They get personal, and they make stuff up. That’s what Schorsch will do, because that is all he has. And like I said, life is about patterns and Peter Schorsch is a one-trick pony.
So now with that said, here is the memo from the RPOF.
FROM: RPOF Communications Director Matt Moon
TO: National Media Outlets
RE: Charlie Crist, Peter Schorsch and SaintPetersBlog.com
DATE: Friday, November 1, 2013
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 Times noticed 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 Scorsch 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.
Republican Party of Florida
Nice job Mr. Moon. It would be nice if more Republicans in Florida grew a pair and stood up to this bully. He’s bad for the system, and most everybody knows it.
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.
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