- Posted November 3, 2012 by
jensen beach, Florida
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Election 2012: Your stories
Allen West Police State in Martin County, FL
MY GOD, WHAT HAS MARTIN COUNTY BECOME?
I just had an emotional night, so forgive me if this is an emotional post.
As many of you know for the past year and a half I've been down here full time, caring for my dad, who last month we had to put into a nursing home. This has all been emotionally draining for me and my family -- but to be honest, it's been nothing compared to what I just experienced, just trying to meet up with Kelly Funston (for the first time since high school) at the Kona Beach Cafe in Jensen Beach.
I left the Palm Gardens nursing home to meet Kelly at Kona at 8pm. The Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival is going on down town Jensen Beach, so I had to park up the hill , and when I got to the Jensen Beach circle to head down to Kona, I had to pass through what appeared to be an Allen West Tea Party campaign booth. All of the people at the tables were wearing yellow Allen West for Congress t-shirts and were collecting money. Needless to say, not being a Tea Party radical, I walked on by.
To my surprise, I was stopped by a police officer and was told I needed to pay to get in.
I told him I was just going down to Kona Beach Cafe, but said I didn't mind paying to get into the Festival and asked him where I was supposed to pay. He pointed back to the Allen West booth.
I told him, "No way am I giving money to the Allen West campaign. I have a father in a nursing home and Allen West not only has voted to end Medicare and Social Security, but has voted twice for cuts to funding for nursing home care. I'm not giving money to his political campaign.
The Jensen Beach police officer told me if I didn't like it, I was welcome to leave.
I was trying to find a happy medium. I wanted to see Kelly and was willing to meet him half way. I told him I'd contribute to the festival, but only if the people at the Allen West campaign booth took off their t-shirts and put on regular non-political shirts -- at least the person that I personally had to give money to.
He told me I was making trouble and should leave.
I told him I just wanted to walk down a public street to go to Kona -- whose owners grew up here like I did. I told him it was his job to ensure I had safe passage to walk down this public street and that it was illegal for him to stop me.
His posture became more hostile and he told me that if I wanted to get to the Kona Beach Cafe I had to pay the people wearing the Allen West t-shirts -- or that I had to leave.
Ya'll know me. I don't take crap from anyone. Jensen Beach is not the Soviet Union where you have to tow the party line if you want to walk the city streets.
I went back to the booth, took out my iPhone and started taking pictures of all the people wearing the Allen West t-shirts. The same police officer told me I was causing problems and that I had to leave. At which time I snapped one last picture of him. (see uploaded pictures).
I know I'm not an important person here. After UF, instead of coming back here to make a local difference, I moved to Washington DC to make a national difference.
But I have to ask all of you who've been here the whole time ... what happened here? Sure, when we were graduating from MCHS in '82, Maggie Hurchalla was stepping down from the county commission and the Sewalls Point Republican families were taking over. But when did those families become radical Tea Party radicals? When did Jensen Beach and Martin County become a Tea Party occupied police state?
When did it become impossible to walk down a street in Jensen Beach if you didn't endorse (and give money to) the most radical Tea Party candidate in the country?
My God, my God, what have you done to Martin County?