PBC Dem Party boss ‘steps aside’ over anti-Christian tirade

Facing a barrage of criticism over his anti-Christian tirade at the Democratic National Convention, Mark Alan Siegel, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Palm Beach County, resigned on Friday.

Florida Rep. Joe Abruzzo, D-Wellington, called for Siegel’s resignation, while former Florida House Majority Leader and Republican congressional candidate Adam Hasner called Siegel’s remarks “ignorant, intolerant and insulting.”

The Florida Democratic Party moved quickly to contain the damage, according to an account by George Bennett of The Palm Beach Post:
Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel has rejected a call from Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith to resign over Siegel’s statement that fundamentalist Christians want to see Jews “slaughtered.”
Siegel instead will take an “indefinite leave of absence,” Smith said after huddling with Siegel and Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon and state Rep. Lori Berman for about an hour this morning at the Florida delegation hotel.


“Today I asked for Mark Alan Siegel’s resignation. He has declined. He is embarrassed and humiliated by his inappropriate comments and has requested an indefinite leave of absence, which I have granted. Effective immediately he has been removed from his responsibilities,” Smith said in a statement. “We condemn in the strongest possible manner his comments which are not reflective of the Democratic Party.”


County Democratic Vice Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo will take over Siegel’s responsibilities.
Politicians from both sides of the aisle had continued to criticize Siegel. The disgust with Palm Beach County’s Democratic leader was universal.
“Ignorance is not unique to a party or a religion. It’s a function of misinformed individuals,” Democratic operative Andree Fladell said. “The statements made by Mark Alan Siegel are a clear example of that.”
Wellington Mayor Bob Margolis agreed: “I’m absolutely appalled by Chairman Siegel’s outrageous comments, and as a Democrat, I disavow them completely.”
Calling Siegel’s comments “ridiculous,” Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor echoed many others’ thoughts by asking, “What was he was talking about ?”
Republicans were quick to weigh in on the controversy.
Florida Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton: “Having formerly served on the Board of Directors for the National Conference of Christians and Jews, I am utterly disgusted by Mr. Siegel’s comments. This ignorant, hateful, intentional rhetoric has no place in America. I condemn the words, and I condemn the man. “
Broward County Republican Party Chairman Richard DeNapoli: “What a shameful, appalling and insulting statement to make. Whether Democrat, Republican or independent, everyone should condemn these hateful remarks.”
“I don’t know what’s more incomprehensible, that a political leader would make such a statement, or that he thinks that way,” Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams added.
Facing withering criticism and mounting pressure from all sides, Siegel resigned.


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