Local Tea Party's Extreme Infighting Ends Meeting, Divides Group | Politics

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Local Tea Party's Extreme Infighting Ends Meeting, Divides Group

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. --  Just 23 minutes after it started, the St. Augustine Tea Party meeting adjourned.

Before the meeting even began, emotions were running high for the St. Augustine Tea Party, and after it started the fighting broke out.

From the audience, members screamed at the Board of Directors, and one man threatened to have people thrown out. 

"We're going to have an organized meeting from now on, or I'm going to have people removed," said one security guard.

While no one got kicked out in the standing room only crowd, some audience members left in disgust just minutes into the meeting.

Others complained that business was being conducted in secret.

The divide began this weekend when two board members were removed from service and replaced by a new board of nine.

Board members argue that the group needs more organization, and a clear direction.

"We're going to move forward and develop bylaws," said Chairman Eric West. 

But the ousted members argue there should have been due process.

"It's petty beyond my ability to accept," said Treasurer Lance Thate.

The meeting ended abruptly in a standoff, their party left without a united voice.     

"A house divided will not stand," called out one audience member.

The next scheduled meeting is for next Tuesday, but some members say they're already planning on starting their own branch.



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