Friday, February 19, 2010

Everett Wilkinson/South Florida Tea Party, Inc. Rejects Compromise: Files Suit Against Florida Tea Party

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 5:55pm | Edit Note | Delete
Below is a reprint of a press release issued today. The undersigned are leaders in various Florida tea party movements. Their statement tries to persuade Everette Wilkinson, a leader of South Florida Tea Party, Inc., to cease and desist from filing a lawsuit against the Florida TEA Party (recognized by the Florida Division of Elections as an official political party).

Wilkinson declined to withdraw the lawsuit which was filed by him and a couple of others on January 19, 2010.

While many of the undersigned do not agree with the Florida TEA Party operating as a political party, all agree that taking this to court is not helpful to the movement. When offered a compromise that would make clear that NO ONE had exclusive rights to the name 'tea party', not only did Wilkinson reject it, he would not even show it to membership.

It is obvious that Mr. Wilkinson is spoiling for a fight. This is all the more evident when the compromise clearly stated Fred O'Neal, Chairman of the Florida TEA Party, agreed not to take legal action over use of the name 'tea party.'

This is a statement by Robin Stublen on the lawsuit...

Over the past two weeks Nick Egoroff and I have been working behind
the scenes to find a compromise between the political party Tea Party
of Florida and several Tea Party groups who had filed a lawsuit
against the political party. While I do not know Nick personally, I
would like to thank him for working with me on this issue. Hopefully,
we can get this behind us and work on slaying dragons.

Disclaimer: I am not a plaintiff in this lawsuit. I did not at the
time and do not now agree with the suit and have always believed we
could work something out. The agreement below proves that this is
actually the case.

The three defendants in the suit have all agreed to the agreement and
are willing to sign a formal written agreement as stated below. Tom
Gaitens and I have attached our names only to show support for this
agreement and believe this is the best course of action. We have no
legal standing.

I have given this to the primary plaintiff in the case (Everett Wilkinson) and have asked
him to forward it to the other plaintiffs. He has refused to forward
it to them and has told me not to speak to any of them.

Robin Stublen
Punta Gorda Tea Party


Below is a copy of the press release:

Nick Egoroff
Director Communications/
Florida TEA Party
(321) 228-9761


Recently Florida Tea Party was registered as an official political party through the Florida Division of Elections. As a result, many misleading and misinformed emails and unfounded allegations have circulated over the Internet. This has resulted in threats of legal action over the phrases "tea party" and "Florida Tea Party." It is agreed by all concerned that individual Tea Party groups in the state of Florida shall continue to use "Tea Party" in their group or organization name and activities.

We the undersigned wish to put a halt to the miscommunication. In no way do we support or condone ANY group seeking to own the name Tea Party. Any individuals or groups that have taken actions or made threats are asked to rescind them for the betterment of the tea party movement.

The power and force of the tea party movement in Florida should continue to grow with each tea party entity taking separate paths and doing what it does best.

Let this be an example of how misunderstandings can lead to serious consequences and how communication can result in positive action.

Nick Egoroff
Communications Director
Florida TEA Party

Robin Stublen
Punta Gorda Tea Party

Tom Gaitens
Freedom Works (Florida)

Fred O'Neal
Chairman: Florida Tea Party

Doug Guetzloe
Chairman: Ax The Tax


About: Florida TEA Party is an officially recognized political party by the Florida Division of Elections. It has no affiliation with movements using variations of the phrase 'tea party.'

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