Note: The following story, by Tony Holt, was published in today’s Daytona Beach News-Journal. FlaglerLive is grateful to News-Journal Editor Pat Rice for granting us permission to reproduce it here.
Mark Richter, who narrowly lost in the Republican primary for Flagler County Commission in 2014, emailed a sexually explicit image to local media Wednesday and included a warning.
“This was sent to me this AM!” Richter wrote above the image. “I figure this is what happens when media crosses that line!”
The emailed image depicts Osama bin Laden engaging in a sex act with a camel.
During a phone interview later in the day, Richter offered no specifics regarding the origin of the email but said he had a “constitutional right” to send it to a News-Journal reporter, as well as to the publisher of the Palm Coast Observer and the founder and editor of FlaglerLive, a Web-based news site.
Richter specifically referred to a story posted Monday on FlaglerLive that was critical of the Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly of Flagler County, of which Richter is a member. The email calls on people to boycott FlaglerLive and its advertisers.
“This is out there,” Richter told a News-Journal reporter about the email he had forwarded. “Evidently, there are people out there who are very upset about what the media is publishing.”
FlaglerLive’s founder is Pierre Tristam, a Lebanese-American who was born Pierre [Fouad] Haddad. Tristam was the author of the story critical of the Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly.
Tristam said he forwarded Richter’s email to Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre and is contemplating what to do next.
“What are you supposed to do with a complete idiot?” Tristam said about Richter after being contacted by The News-Journal. “He could be a dangerous idiot, too. On one hand, I don’t want to play it up, but at the same time, I don’t want to ignore it.”
This isn’t the first time Richter has criticized Tristam. In August 2014, Richter wrote a letter to the chairman of the Flagler County Commission stating Tristam should not be allowed to walk unguarded through county government buildings. He said at the time that it was unacceptable for Tristam to “roam freely” during a “heightened alert state,” suggesting Tristam might have ties to Islamic terrorism.
Richter ran against Nate McLaughlin in the 2014 Republican primary for the District 4 County Commission seat and lost by 4 percent of the vote.
Richter said Wednesday he is the Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly’s “sergeant-at-arms.” But Bob Hamby, a former president and current second vice president of the group, said Richter has not officially been appointed to that position.
Hamby said he had not seen the email Richter sent Wednesday. He said that Richter has the right as a private citizen to send such material over the Internet, but added that he shouldn’t do so in the name of the Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly.
“I don’t necessarily agree with him sending emails that are offensive,” Hamby said.
He added that, too often, local media link the group with the behavior of its members acting outside the interests of the group.
“This whole guilt by association, I don’t appreciate it,” said Hamby.
Richter declined to identify who sent the image of Osama bin Laden and the camel to him, but said it did not come from another member of the Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly.
Manfre said Wednesday he told media members during the “last election cycle” that if they ever feel threatened by anyone from the Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly to contact the Sheriff’s Office.
“We’re not going to let mad men affect our elections process,” the sheriff said.
Manfre, a Democrat, wouldn’t comment specifically on the email forwarded to him by Tristam other than to say he’s “looking into it.”
Richter’s message in the email also referred to a stock photo Tristam posted Monday of two Middle Eastern women voting with their heads and faces covered and included the sentence, “Was that picture his sisters or family members on his site?”
Richter added in his email that he agrees Tristam “does deserve to be put out of business” and closed by stating he wondered what other “advertising rag” would be next.
Richter told The News-Journal he has no personal beef with Tristam, but added he doesn’t think people “should be talking about clubs that they don’t know anything about.”
He said he is tired of the media attacking the Ronald Reagan Republicans and he mocked those who suggested the club is made up of radicals.
“The radicals down there are about 70 to 80 years old,” he said. “They’re constitutionalists. If that makes you a radical, then the Constitution is radical.”
Disclosure: Mark Richter and the Ronald Reagan Republican group both had multi-month advertising contracts with FlaglerLive.
Or wing nuts?
John F. Pollinger says
So a member of the RR Group wants people to boycott Flagler Live and it’s advertisers. I just doubled my monthly contribution.
Thank you Chief Pollinger. We sincerely hope others will follow your example, and follow this link to do so.
John Pollinger for Sheriff in 2016
Lisa Mrakovcic says
I am all for John Pollinger , and completely against the RRR! Ronald Regan would be appalled!
Wow. Really. Immaturity at it’s finest. Does he believe he will ever have a position in politics again? Add this up with past antics of the Ronald Reagan Republicans and the circus continues. Be safe Pierre!
That Reagan group sounds like a bunce of wackos. They object to everything and try to sue the city etc.
So what is this Whack-job into, dromedaries or dudes with beards?
Westside Mayor says
This guy is PATHETIC!! For the lies he has spread over his life time, I wouldn’t let him in any club I was in.
He has nothing to do but sit in his house and think of someone to harass on our dime, because he clams he is disabled.
He has done nothing but live off of WC claims his whole adult life.
What a piece of crap!!
Rich Mikola says
Typical RRRA/TEA PARTY nut job. Where do people like this come from? They should be removed from the gene pool. To Pierre and Tony ‘keep up the good work!
Robert Lewis says
Mark Richter is a disgrace to humanity.
Westside Mayor says
Yes he is, Mr. Lewis, yes he is.
DW Ferg says
Another example of members of Republican Party here in Flagler doing a disservice to GOP of Florida, total dysfunction, in serious need of statewide Intervention. Their agenda is destructive and harmful.
Is it weird that I want to see the camel/Obama photo?
Only if you call the local zoo and volunteer to clean the camel cage.
Not at all. But this is from someone who wonders which of them was on Top. I’m betting it was the camel, ’cause being Republicans, the Black guy on top would have raise all sorts of icky gay thoughts in there repressive itty-bitty heads. As well it should. Because there have been a lot of people in their families who had sex with sheep, but never with men! Warning: Ah, nevermind, your kids will explain it to you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2UI22XPVFY
Nancy N says
Wow, if this is the way the guy treats people he has no personal beef with, remind me not to upset him.
And thank you Sheriff Pollinger for the reminder that my subscription had lapsed to Flagler Live. Must fix that today. I voted against Richter in the election at the ballot box and today my dollars will speak again.
Pelican: the story behind the name change: https://flaglerlive.com/69989/tristam-name-pt/
Mr Richter does seem to be a bit on the extreme side of things……………al;so………..just wondering why Tristain has changed his name? It is certainlyhis right to do so but there must be a reason………curious……..
Yes, Yes! Why did he change his name? We have a right to know!
Virgil F says
Another wonderful example of of the RRR leadership. He and those who would defend him are just nuts. He is or was their RRR sgt at arms and also sets himself in place at Republican Executive Committee meetings in a similar capacity. A scary presence. Hamby insists on disavowing the very monsters he and his bunch have created and unleashed on the rest of us. Hamby and Republican Party chair, Ann Shaffer: Please remove this fellow immediately from your organizations. VF
Ralph Belcher says
Mr. Tristam; the only thing I can add is a suggestion. How about a button tied to sound effect of continuous calliope music whenever this club or personality is profiled.
Good idea Ralph. But I got this:
I gotta admire the RRRA. Just when you think they can’t get any crazier, one of their more prominent spokespersons throws another crazy bomb over the transom. This guy Richter needs to be “Baker Acted” before he hurts someone.
The past president of the RRRA says that Richter’s views don’t represent the organization, but they do. We all know it and we emphatically reject all the ugly stuff the RRRA accepts from its members. This group is harmful to PC’s health!
Sherry E says
In a strange way, I’m quite happy to see the members of the RRR Club continue to act out in such ridiculous ways. Their credibility is and should continue to be eroding more and more with each asinine incident!
Those CLOWNS are unfortunately still deluded enough to not see their own grotesque images. May they continue to be the laughing stock of Flagler county!
If you want to have any respect at all as a Republican, run to the nearest exit away from this lunatic “fringe elephant” group called the Ronald Reagan Republicans!
It’s so sad that Flagler Co. voters have elected some of the RRR club to office.
I say stop voting strictly along party lines and look at the candidates.
Sherry E says
Also. . . FYI folks, Osama Bin Laden (as depicted in the cartoon mentioned in this article) and our twice elected President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, are NOT at all the same person!
This is true.
Don’t forget – ever -that the oil baron family of Bin Laden are personal friends and business partners of the Bush oil baron family, and that G.W. paid Pakistan (instead of justifiably going to war with them) over $1 billion a year of our tax dollars to ‘find’ Osama Bin Laden, which they obviously did, and hid him too…
Michael Randazzo says
Seriously? You people give more credit then is due. If you kept your mouths shut nobody would have known who this creep is. Now I do. I can’t undo that. Yes Pierre Tristam is a flaming leftist and I call him out regularly, but that’s free speech. But this guy is pretty stupid to do this. I am sure it offended people but hey you have a right not to give him the time of day too. Let it go people.
We also have the right to publicly shame this nutless bully to show him this is socially unacceptable in this community he chosses to live in. So he stops. It’s the least we can do for the poor bastard.
As a proud right wing nut myself, I begrudge the notion that this guy is representative of any of us, and certainly doesn’t even come close to emulating Ronald Reagan. However, if you are going to assume that we are all mentally unstable quacks like this guy then it’s only fair that I assume you are all liars like Obama and Hillary and enjoy sending pictures of your private parts to members of the opposite sex ala Anthony Wiener. Hey, what’s fair is fair.
Are you a “Wide Stance” Republican like the Famous Senator from Idaho Larry Craig? You remember, the anti-Gay and member of The Family Research Council who supported Wholesome Family Values, but got caught trolling for Pee-Pee in an Airport Bathroom? I mean, it must have been a really long layover. Good thing he didn’t get sentenced, the loneliness would have eventually led him to seek comfort from his fellow inmates. But he could have waited ’til he got out of the Holding Cell.
Derrick R. says
No dog in the fight here, but who offended by it the Camel 0r the Islamic Terrorist Christian Killers?
anyone who knows that not all Muslims are terrorists – and not all terrorists are Muslim
Well, that’s one way to call attention to oneself. What a proud American he must be.. Setting a great example to us all. And to think this guy proclaims to be X-Navy Seal.
Being free to say what you want is not always the wisest thing . .. . In this case it shows a severe lack of judgment and no character. Many people voted for this guy – wonder what they are thinking today.
Funny thing. Why doesn’t the RRRP publicly disavow people like this – and others so associated? Lack of character? Poor judgment?
Everybody: Become informed and remember to VOTE!
Ok, you’re correct the article did state it was Osama Bin Laden with a camel; not Obama. My assumption was that a right wing nut would have a picture of Obama and a camel. Still I want to see it.
R Strickland says
Hi Rick! I’m sure you can google it.
Edith Campins says
Let’s make sure this despicable individual never gets elected to public office in our town. We are better than this.
Okay, this is nuts. Also, leave the camel alone. Whew! Oh, the local fauna.
To say that to get respect walk away from this group implies we were ever standing with them
I never have and never will stand with them
I’m not pure enough
Respect me or not — your choice
Nancy N says
Well plenty of people apparently are standing with them because Steve Nobile and Janet McDonald managed to get elected in the last election cycle. So it’s a little hard for the GOP voters in this town to pretend that the RRRC are pariahs they don’t associate with. The vote counts say otherwise.
No liberals Allowed says
Gee, looks like the “Sargent -at-arms” got the attention he was looking for . And as usual, all the leftist progressive garbage jump on it like Taxpayer money in a bag ! Thank goodness for FREEDOM of SPEECH.
Nancy N says
I fail to see how calling someone out for sending racist threats to the media makes a person “garbage”. And frankly, if name calling is the best argument you’ve got…you perhaps need to do some thinking about the validity of your position.
Freedom of speech is a much abused and misused term. People seem to think it gives them the right to say willy nilly whatever they want without consequence or anyone talking back to them. But the legal protection of freedom of speech just means that the government can’t abridge your right to have a political opinion. It doesn’t say that you are excused from the consequences of those opinions in the court of public opinion.
“Thank goodness for FREEDOM of SPEECH.” But no liberals allowed. This very Liberal Viet Nam veteran would like to invite you to… well, you know. Blow me.
Under our legal system, first amendment rights do not allow people to harass and intimidate others or send offensive material through the mail to them. And for people of good will, common sense and decency triggers something in our brains to prevent us from wilfully harassing another person. Mr. Richter apparently lacks the brain, the trigger and both common sense and decency.
To Nancy N The only reason Nobile got elected was because he was running against someone who was sick, and past his prime. Shaeffer won because people were upset at Fisher because of what his wife did. Had there been better incumbents, it probably would’ve been a different outcome.
Nancy N says
But in both cases there were other candidates in the race as well. And yet after all was said and done, these candidates ended up on top.
Nancy the voting majority that voted for them is silent at own will, or silenced here. (This one probably won’t be published either).
“This one probably won’t be published either:” This from a commenter–Confidential–who, by our database’s last count, has had 1,349 comments approved on FlaglerLive, not including the 1,617 comments she wrote under the Palmcoaster handle in the first few years. No other commenter has used this space more religiously. The error of course is ours: we should be fact-checking or blocking her comments more responsibly.
Brad W says
The first thing is that the Ronald Reagan Assembly are not victims of anything. It is NOT “guilt by association” when a member of your group submits something to the press in defense of your group and identifies themselves as an officer of that group. The logical stance most groups would take when a ember of their group does something in that name of that group as cast a very bad light on all members is to denounce that person publicly. Yet, you are defending him. Perhaps, like any reputable organizations does, you should start standing up to your members and get them in line. Maybe, just maybe, you might be able to get worthwhile candidates to run for your group.
Rowdy Yates says
Republican and Tea Party wing nuts – vulgar and threatening.
Ever know a kind and gentle republican with Christ-like values?
I’m old-fashioned and conservative, but I’d rather have Pierre Tristam as my neighbor.
He won’t threaten me or my neighbors with violence.
Mark Richter isn’t fit to shine Pierre’s shoes.
Mark Richter: the gassy and foul culmination of the alimentary canal.
Commom Sense says
So if Mr Richter sends offensive correspondence, it is his right of free speech but if the rest of us comment on it Mr. No Liberals…calls us names. I see, it must be that free speech is reserved for the extreme right.
And by the way, Mr. Richter was never a Navy Seal. The injury he sustained overseas was from an accident when he was working as a contractor. If he is saying he was a seal he is lying.
Don’t worry Common Sense. There is NONE in republicanland. Besides, they are taking away our right of free speech whereever they can. Watch the news, read yahoo and other legit news sites to see what new witchery the GOP Congress and State governors and legislatures are cooking up to tax the people and ruin them economically while giving ALL to the very rich who neither deserve it or need it.
I am as responsible for all the stupid things Republicans do and say like each and every non- Republican is your responsibility.
What I’m looking for is someone to vote for who represents my views.
That people voted for the RRRs means to me that good alternatives weren’t out there. Keep demeaning Republicans that don’t ascribe to those radical views — it doesn’t help to cast stones my way. I don’t agree with the RRRs.
All I can say is that all of the RRR clan certain follow in the footsteps of old of Ronnie, all suffer from mental illness.
Thank you for the statistics.
All the thousands of comments mean that your articles are read daily and then because we all spend time reading and posting here whether we agree or not, is why y/FL is successful, correct?
We are fully aware that you only have the key to these post, not us and is only our fault if we are refused/censored here and there.
The “no other commenter had use this space more religiously” I find it difficult to believe as I see other’s posting even more often. But you only have the key to that data…
Commom Sense says
That’s right confidential, quibble on the details but not the substance. Do you think what Richter did was right?
Does he speak for your group or not? Have local politics not taken a nasty turn since you and your group have become active?
Have any of these newspapers ever published something that wasn’t true?
What was this guy thinking? Are you saying this to yourself Ms. Shaffer? What must the REC members think of this person, let alone the RRRA members? Mr Richter’s action displays a total lack of good judgment. Maybe it’s time to get rid of the ‘cancer’ that is bringing negative publicity, to your clubs and the Republican Party as a whole. Your REC club threw out Frank Meeker for a 3rd absence in March, even though he had a valid excuse of attending his Mother’s funeral. And now I hear you are going to elect another State Committee person to replace him…why? Don’t you think Mr. Richter’s action is far more damaging than an excused absence to attend a funeral? I think Mr. Richter’s actions definitely warrant his expulsion from both the REC and the RRRAs at the next meetings. Let’s see if this happens.
Robert Lewis says
It is time to write the Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and demand that Anne Marie Shaffer resign as chairwoman of the Flagler County Republican Party.
Since her taking office she has:
1) Denied access to over 30 prospective new registered Republicans
2) Uncharted (2) republican clubs in Flagler County
3) Removed the State Committeeman
4) Aleinated all major donors
5) Aleinated every Republican elected official.
6) Supports gay-basher Andrew Shirvell
7) Supports Racist Mark Richter
Since taking office she blantantly dismantled the Republican Party in 6 months. That is not Leadership.
Flagler County will elect Hillary Clinton thanks to Anne Marie Shaffer, Mark Richter and Andrew Shirvell.
“Flagler County will elect Hillary Clinton thanks to Anne Marie Shaffer, Mark Richter and Andrew Shirvell.” Sad as it is, you’re probably right about Hillary. But it will be due mostly to her opponent being Jeb Bush.
Flagler should elect Bernie Sanders for President instead. As Senator he has consistently looked out for all of US, and the veterans as well. He’s right about a lot of problems this country faces and he actually has solutions.
Frank Meeker says
Just to add some clarification, but this REC Executive Board’s most recent attack on me, besides soiling the last act grieving children could provide a deceased parent, accomplished nothing. Their vote to remove me as the Flagler County State Committeeman was meaningless and useless. Only the Chairman of the RPOF (Republican Party of Florida) has that power, and they (the RPOF) acknowledge that my request to attend my mom’ funeral should have been granted as was my request to miss the recent RPOF quarterly meeting. But wait, there’s more. Since they think that March vote mattered, this Thursday they believe they will meet to vote somebody in to take over the rest of my term. That won’t fly either. In order for them to removed me even if it was justified, which it is not, they would have had to follow the rules. They haven’t, they didn’t, and they can’t. I have it all documented (nothing recorded…..) and will present it that night. If they proceed further with the vote, well,…let’s just let them try, and see if RPOF will back them up. RPOF will not. They will either start backing off, or I’ll have to quit playing nice. What’s left of the REC is constantly being lied to. The damage to the Republican Brand is evident, even though some of us try to do the best we can for 100,000 people in Flagler County, regardless of party affiliation. If being right was a city somewhere on the planet earth, this REC Executive Board would be on the far side of the galaxy in a spiral arm somewhere, thankfully well out of transporter range.
And when I write something, I don’t hide behind a cutesy name.
Frank J. Meeker
Flagler County Commission
Republicans, they’re so cute when they eat their young.
LOL. Looks like the RRRP and the REC are made up of tea party ultra right wingers – and angry ones at that.
a tiny manatee says
Well lookie there, the gauntlet has been thrown.
Sherry E says
Please note that my comments are always directed to society/political figures in general, unless otherwise specified. I mean no offense to individual readers or those that take the time to care enough to comment here. There are those that keep putting on “the shoe that fits”. If it does, you can choose not to wear it, as I am not making customized shoes here.
Norton Smitty and Nancy. . . you are both fabulous! See, that’s specific. . . have a blessed day everyone!
Rich Mikola says
Double secret message to all RRRA/TEA PARTY MEMBERS: Be on the lookout for black helicopters, arm yourselves in preparation for attack by Oboma’s secret TSA army, and don’t forget to wrap your heads in tin foil to ward off CIA brain probes . The position for Village Idiot has been filled.
Pretty much standard actions you’d expect from a “Reagan Republican “, Saint Ron would be so proud.