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  #31  
Old 06-06-2011, 06:48 PM
Taj44 Taj44 is offline
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Originally Posted by collie1228 View Post
The politicians are all going to blame the man "of apparent authority wearing an earpiece and suit" for this fiasco, except for those who will blame Lauren Ritchie (the messenger). This situation is a disgrace, and any American with a conscience should be asking for answers.
The voice of reason!..thank you Collie.
  #32  
Old 06-06-2011, 07:58 PM
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So what you are essentially saying is that members of the Villages Democratic club wearing Democratic tee shirts are a dangerous security risk and should be segregated from the general public that was allowed to be there without any security restrictions at all. Y'all know darn well that these people were not a security risk. These were mainly retirees, members of our own community that wanted to voice their opinion about the budget cuts that Scott was signing. This was not about security - and please don't insult our intelligence by implying it was. This was about public relations, pure and simple. Scott wanted a friendly format in which to try to polish his image and ideas since his approval rating in Florida is so pathetically low, and people who disagreed with him just didn't fit in. If the shoe was on the other foot, if there was a Democrat campaigning in The Villages, and Republicans were led away from the scene, I bet all of you would having a fit. The bottom line is, this has made the national news, and it certainly doesn't put The Villages in a very good light - that embarrases me.
Amen...
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  #33  
Old 06-06-2011, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Taj44 View Post
So what you are essentially saying is that members of the Villages Democratic club wearing Democratic tee shirts are a dangerous security risk and should be segregated from the general public that was allowed to be there without any security restrictions at all. Y'all know darn well that these people were not a security risk. These were mainly retirees, members of our own community that wanted to voice their opinion about the budget cuts that Scott was signing. This was not about security - and please don't insult our intelligence by implying it was. This was about public relations, pure and simple. Scott wanted a friendly format in which to try to polish his image and ideas since his approval rating in Florida is so pathetically low, and people who disagreed with him just didn't fit in. If the shoe was on the other foot, if there was a Democrat campaigning in The Villages, and Republicans were led away from the scene, I bet all of you would having a fit. The bottom line is, this has made the national news, and it certainly doesn't put The Villages in a very good light - that embarrases me.
By all accounts that I have seen, it was Sumter County deputies who moved the members of the opposing political party, upon being told to do so by someone who looked official. According to the link Whalen provided, that someone has been identified as Russ Abrams, an employee of the governor, not The Villages.

I agree that the incident is embarrassing, but The Villages itself shouldn't be getting a black eye for it.
  #34  
Old 06-07-2011, 05:28 AM
Taj44 Taj44 is offline
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Pturner, I agree with you 100%. The Villages was not at fault here. Unfortunately, I don't think it really comes across that way in the media and I hate to see The Villages cast in a bad light in the media. In this case, TV did nothing wrong, we just got caught up in the Governor's PR campaign.
  #35  
Old 06-07-2011, 06:45 AM
collie1228 collie1228 is offline
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I just read this quote (from Lauren Ritchie's blog): The Governor accepts responsibility for decisions by his staff. Governor Scott requested and received assurances from the employee, the employees supervisor, and his entire staff, that this confusion and the results it created will not happen again. Funny, there was no mention of an apology from the governor to the citizens who were denied their basic rights of assembly and speech due to the actions of a staffer on his behalf.
  #36  
Old 06-07-2011, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Taj44 View Post
So what you are essentially saying is that members of the Villages Democratic club wearing Democratic tee shirts are a dangerous security risk and should be segregated from the general public that was allowed to be there without any security restrictions at all. Y'all know darn well that these people were not a security risk. These were mainly retirees, members of our own community that wanted to voice their opinion about the budget cuts that Scott was signing. This was not about security - and please don't insult our intelligence by implying it was. This was about public relations, pure and simple. Scott wanted a friendly format in which to try to polish his image and ideas since his approval rating in Florida is so pathetically low, and people who disagreed with him just didn't fit in. If the shoe was on the other foot, if there was a Democrat campaigning in The Villages, and Republicans were led away from the scene, I bet all of you would having a fit. The bottom line is, this has made the national news, and it certainly doesn't put The Villages in a very good light - that embarrases me.
Thank You ----- That sums it up perfectly
  #37  
Old 06-07-2011, 07:58 AM
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Once again, I just have to say, if you were not there to see what went on firsthand and just rely on the secondhand postings and/or the column of Lauren Ritchie - you did not get the truth.

This was blown out of proportion completely by a hater (Ritchie) of The Villages and the developer.
  #38  
Old 06-07-2011, 08:45 AM
Taj44 Taj44 is offline
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Here are links to some videos which portray and/or comment on the event. The first one is quite humorous:

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1qmPjzQ2Us&feature=related[/ame] Governor Removes "Liberal Looking" seniors from Town square

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7-8fKQHcBA[/ame] Rick Scott Budget Signing
  #39  
Old 06-07-2011, 09:49 AM
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It is not standard operating procedure to "segregate" protesters. In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to keep a sidewalk, street, or walkway clear so people uninvolved in the protest have room to pass by. In the case of the President of the United States, there are understandably security issues as well.

From Wikipedia: First specifically guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, freedom of assembly has since been recognized throughout the world as a fundamental human right. It was included in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, Article 20 of which states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association." Numerous other human rights conventions throughout the world have also included freedom of assembly.

Freedom of assembly, however, is not absolute. Most constitutional or legal provisions regarding this right specify that only peaceful assemblies are protected. Permits are sometimes required for assemblies in public places, and noise and traffic issues also limit the exercise of this right. Police are often authorized by law to disperse any crowd which threatens public safety. However, bureaucracies can abuse this power to prevent or disrupt assemblies that express unpopular political views or unorthodox religious ideas.

In this case, you had a small group of 60+ year olds wearing "Vote Democratic" tee shirts, and a few of them had some signs. They were not blocking traffic or disrupting the public in any way, nor did they constitute a security risk. This was clearly a violation of First Amendment rights and an abuse of power. Many of us in The Villages find that embarrassing, particularly when it was recorded by the media and printed in a variety of media outlets.

This is not about "politics" or whether you like Scott or not, it is about our basic right of assembly and free speech, something that is part of the fabric of our nation's history. To have The Villages look like some medieval police state is embarrassing.
NJblue has it right. While the police have an obligation to protect First Amendment Rights, concurrently, they also have an obligation to ensure public safety and orderly assemblies. SOP generally calls for a meeting with the protesting groups at the first evidence of such a gathering. It is SOP to define the ground rules in order to facilitate legitimate peaceful protest. It is not inconsistent with operating procedure to establish assembly areas for the protesters that will not impede the ingress and egress of vehicular or pedestrian traffic or create confrontation opportunities that would threaten the protesters or those who do not share their views. Freedom of speech and assembly does not mean protesters have carte blanche and can march onto the speakers platform or the gazebo with their signs during an address while seeking cover under the First Amendment. Ground rules need to be established and the courts consistently uphold police decision making in these circumstances. Further, in some cases minor details such as no signs on any type of stanchion may be defined as a ground rule for obvious reasons.

The copious reporting focusing on the protesters gives direct evidence that their rights were not trampled, crushed or suppressed. In fact, they arguably got more coverage than the Governor's message. "Abuse of power"? I think not. "First Amendment violation" ? Only through the prism of those with predisposed bias.

I am surprised at some of the narrow minded, agenda driven criticism of law enforcement and the handling of security at this event. Then again..........it is absolutely your right to express it..........as it is mine to take exception to it.

Last edited by cabo35; 06-07-2011 at 10:55 AM.
  #40  
Old 06-07-2011, 03:30 PM
Taj44 Taj44 is offline
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Originally Posted by cabo35 View Post
... While the police have an obligation to protect First Amendment Rights, concurrently, they also have an obligation to ensure public safety and orderly assemblies. ... Freedom of speech and assembly does not mean protesters have carte blanche and can march onto the speakers platform or the gazebo with their signs during an address while seeking cover under the First Amendment. ..I am surprised at some of the narrow minded, agenda driven criticism of law enforcement and the handling of security at this event. Then again..........it is absolutely your right to express it..........as it is mine to take exception to it.
I agree that if there were security risks or impedement of public traffic in some way, that it is the perogative of law enforcement to take reasonable steps. In this case, the Village members of the club offered to put down their signs, and sit in one place and were refused. Of course it was okay for Scott's people to be walking around with signs in support of his agenda. In addition, security did not make the decision to oust the village residents (from their own square). Scott's PR people made the decision, and law enforcement followed along.
  #41  
Old 06-07-2011, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Tbugs View Post
Once again, I just have to say, if you were not there to see what went on firsthand and just rely on the secondhand postings and/or the column of Lauren Ritchie - you did not get the truth.

This was blown out of proportion completely by a hater (Ritchie) of The Villages and the developer.
Scott had all kinds of media there. There were rows of reporters and cameramen from all over Florida. They filmed and reported what they saw. They had been invited by the Scott organization. Ritchie had nothing to do with those reporters or cameramen or how they reported the story. And yes I was there.
  #42  
Old 06-08-2011, 02:24 PM
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when I saw the title "Alternate Reality" I thought it was going to be a discussion about string theory!
  #43  
Old 06-10-2011, 07:34 AM
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Default Readers chime in

Readers chime in on governor's 'private' budget-signing ceremony in The Villages
Lauren Ritchie COMMENTARY

Quote:
Gov. Rick Scott acknowledged late last week that his staff erred when they demanded that Sumter County deputy sheriffs throw protesters out of an event featuring the governor signing the state budget. SNIP
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/...0,23072.column
  #44  
Old 06-17-2011, 12:05 PM
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This is an interesting link which describes how members of the Florida House are asking the Attorney General to investigate the removal of the Villagers that were protesting on May 26. http://www.dailycommercial.com/local.../061411removed

They state that removal of the Villagers from the event appeared to be soley or primarily because of their political views, which is an infringement of their rights as taxpaying Florida citizens.
  #45  
Old 06-17-2011, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Taj44 View Post
This is an interesting link which describes how members of the Florida House are asking the Attorney General to investigate the removal of the Villagers that were protesting on May 26. http://www.dailycommercial.com/local.../061411removed

They state that removal of the Villagers from the event appeared to be soley or primarily because of their political views, which is an infringement of their rights as taxpaying Florida citizens.
More great use of taxpayers dollars,and you wonder why we are broke.
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