Lawrence Stone, the spokesman for the GOP coup attempt against GOP Chairman Vinny Reda’s party machine, says the Republican insurgency has signed up over 60 new potential committeemen. He also said he’s heard from dozens of existing committeemen and he believes over 100 are on the anti-Reda side.
The anti-Reda efforts have sprung forth from a loose-knit organization that calls itself the “Rockland Republican Academy,” a descendent of the “Republican Rebel Academy” started by political candidate Anthony Mele in 2011. (Full disclosure- Mele has been a part-time columnist for the Rockland County Times since losing to Eliot Engel in his run for Congress in 2010.)
Stone, a longtime conservative independent who only registered as a Republican in the past two years, said he wants to bring as many people into the GOP as possible during this busy presidential election season. He accused the party of being driven into “irrelevance” by Reda and accused Reda again of making “backroom deals,” that preserved his own influence instead of focusing on growing the party’s political voice.
Reda and his supporters have countered that the insurgency is just a cover for Anthony Mele, who they believe wants to be chairman, and who they have said has an axe to grind for failing to secure the party machine’s support during his 2010 run for Congress.
Reda and his loyalists have even secured the assistance of Anthony Mele’s former campaign organizer Lynn Teger, who recently penned a rambling letter to GOP committeemen, accusing Mele of being a power hungry fraud.
There is concern in Stone and Mele’s camp that Reda may use parliamentary maneuvers to minimize the influence of the new committemen or remove some altogether. The laws regarding internal party politics are very complicated.
Stone said, “The only reason they are going to fight us is to hang on to their power.”