Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
Reeling from the backlash of sentiment questioning why liberals and Democrats were banned from a public town square meeting on Florida’s budget, Governor Scoot pulled an “Oops.” Apparently, it was all the work of a poor misguided staffer, Russ Abrams, a $60,000.00 a year special assistant to the Governor who has a serious First Amendment mental block. Despite newspaper notices that the meeting in the conservative retirement community was open to the public, Abrams told Sumter County Sheriff’s deputies that the event was private and that Democrats and liberals were not required. A reluctant deputy informed the banned folks that he was instructed to remove them.
“Not so” says Scott spokesperson, Lane Wright: “This was a public event. It was brought to our attention that the local authorities had removed some. We don’t know first-hand who was removed or why.” Ah, sweet mystery of life! Where is Inspector Clouseau?
See, just a case of an inadvertent denial of a constitutional protection fundamental to democracy — allegedly, of course. Who could conceive of doing it for purely partisan reasons? By the way, what need have the happy citizens of Florida for democracy, they’ve got budget cuts!