Congressman DeSantis' coffee clutch turns into a town hall meeting
On August 22, 2013, Congressman Ron DeSantis addressed his constituents at the City Coffee Company at 1280 N. Ponce de Leon Boulevard, St. Augustine Florida. The Republicans promoted the event of as “Coffee with Congressman DeSantis” The coffee shop selected had seating for about 35 persons. This reporter, who is on the GOP mailing list, received very light mailing announcing the event. It appears that they were planning for a small intimate group. It had been reported that, across the country, members of Congress have been avoiding holding town hall meetings. One can only speculate that the members are fearful of meeting the electorate. It was disclosed that Congressman DeSantis’ local office in Saint Augustine received numerous requests for a town hall meeting. A spokesman for the Saint Augustine Tea Party (SATP) reported that in conjunction with the Putnam County Tea Party an extensive mailing was sent. It was noted that the Republican Liberty Caucus sent several mailings. Other liberty minded groups in Jacksonville also promoted the event through social networking. The result was a showing, according to the owner of the coffee shop, of between 125 to 150 people, including the people outside. This good showing was in spite of fact that the meeting was scheduled, between 11 AM and noon, when many people were working.
Congressman well received
After expressing his surprise at the turnout, The Congressman highlighted priority items that he would be addressing.
• First item, was a constitutional amendment he proposed, which encumbered members of Congress to accept the conditions of the legislation they enact for the general public. Currently Congress legislates for the public, but more often exempts themselves.
• The second item, defund Obamacare.
• The third item, proceeding with the IRS hearings and holding the IRS accountable.
• The final major point, was a discussion of the Middle East and the relationship between Arab countries and Israel. He made his comments based on a recent visit to the area.
During a question and answer session that followed, Maureen Michelle, addressed the issue of constitutional free zones as proposed by the Department of Homeland Security. [See TCC Article August 9, 2013] Linking on to Michelle’s issue, Susan Pai, an attorney from Jacksonville, made an emotional plea for immigration reform insisting that doing something is better than doing nothing at all. The Congressman rejected that concept and the audience showed their rejection of the Obama style of pushing legislation with shouts of “out of order”. Later, another attempt at immigration reform was made on the basis that it was the Christian thing to do. The audience rejected that approach as well. During the course of the meeting it was apparent that a great deal of frustration and anger resided in the people present. It was not so much that they were upset with the Congressman, but were very upset with Washington in general. It’s the same frustration that the Town Criers experience from the public in the historic district of Saint Augustine, Florida. The Town Criers engage the visitors in Saint Augustine, Florida each week. The Town Criers are a committee of the Saint Augustine Tea Party. All in all, it appeared that the audience was still receptive to the new Congressman who manages to show a determination to do the right thing.
Anger and frustration erupts outside the coffee shop
The anger and frustration erupted outside the coffeehouse when a young man appeared, wearing a T-shirt with Mao Zedong prominently displayed. It was reported that the young man began claiming that the meeting inside was a KKK meeting. Two older veterans took issue and an altercation took place. The young man pictured with the Mao T-shirt claims that he was pushed to the ground by the older men. The veterans claimed they were trying to help him up after he fell down. The police were called but no charges or arrests were made. “It is hard to understand these young people respecting such an evil man. Aren’t they aware that, in the name of communism, that SOB killed 60 million people?”, an anonymous person said.
The officers of the Saint Augustine Tea Party meet with DeSantis
On August 22, 2013 the officers of the Saint Augustine Tea Party met with Congressman Ron DeSantis. The meeting took place at the Congressman’s office on Louis Speedway in Saint Augustine Florida. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the petition that was tendered August 20, 2013.[See TCC article August 20, 2913 Ed] The petition called for a Congressional hearing and investigation of the Department of Interior concerning first amendment violations. As a first step, Congressman DeSantis suggested that he obtain a copy of the regulations that encouraged the Park Rangers to restrict the right of assembly and free speech. As a member of the Oversight Committee, the Department of Interior would be obligated to comply.