City of Boca Raton Charges Tea Party $6,000 for Police & Barricades But MoveOn.org Gets Free Pass
Donald Trump spoke at the Boca Raton Tax Day tea party rally in April. The Donald hammered “make-believe” Obama, the “worst president in American history” during his speech. The tea party crowd loved it.
Property magnate and reality TV star Donald Trump speaks at a South Florida Tea Party rally in Boca Raton, Florida, April 16, 2011. (REUTERS/Joe Skipper)
But, the tea party crowd didn’t love the bill the city sent them after the event.
The City of Boca Raton charged the South Florida Tea Party twice as much as they anticipated for police and barricades, nearly $6,000. But the city did not charge MoveOn.org a dime for an event they held just three days later.
The Palm Beach Sun-Sentinel reported:
STATEMENT OF EVERETT WILKINSON,CHAIRMAN-SFTP
(West Palm Beach, FL) South Florida Tea Party (SFTP) is disgusted at the political attacks on SFTP regarding charges for the Tax Day Tea Party in Boca Raton, Fl. Very early on SFTP worked with the city to assure public safety on the event and has committed to pay for its share of charges. Unfortunately, various elements in the city are trying to politically attack SFTP by using the press and outstanding bills to slander the good name of SFTP. SFTP has a good history of paying bills. This is just an example of baseless political mudslinging.
First, due to the unanticipated large turnout and success of the event, SFTP went over budget. SFTP had initially budgeted $3000 for the event which was the approximate amount spent in past years. The 2011 Tax Day Tea Party exceeds $12,000.
Second, SFTP was practicing its right under “Freedom of Speech” and was not legally required to pay anything. However, SFTP has always paid and intends to pay the city of Boca Raton for seasonal charges. It should be pointed out that the City of Boca Raton did not charge anything to Moveon.org for police or barricades for an event on April 18th which was only a few days after the event with SFTP.
Third, SFTP does not charge speakers or participants to attend. Mr. Trump, nor any other speaker, is liable for any charges for the event. References to Mr. Trump are only an attempt to discredit his good name and character.
Fourth, SFTP is disputing the actual charges for barriers for the following reasons:
1. Barriers were set up on both sides of Federal Hwy adjacent to the event. Despite the specific request to have participants to the event on both the East and West side of Federal Hwy, participants were only allowed on the East Side of Federal Hwy. SFTP believes they should only be responsible for one side of the Federal Hwy. because the city would not allow participants be on the West side.
2. Barriers were set up on April 15th and removed April 19th despite the fact the Tax Day Tea Party was on April 16th. The city of Boca Raton set up the barriers for both the Tax Day Tea Party Event and a unrelated event on April 18th by Moveon.org. Why should SFTP pay for barriers for Moveon.org?
Fifth, the number of police officers and actual bill remains unclear. SFTP has requested a breakdown of the charges. Initially SFTP agreed to pay for 4 officers at $33 for 4 hours. Later, SFTP agreed to pay for 8 officers at $33 for 4 hours. The final bill for police should have been around $1200 not $3000 which the city is billing. SFTP intends on paying the bill as soon as it gets a reasonable response on the over charges.