Ken Welch, tea party engage in "clone" wars
Amid a technicality filled dispute over affordable housing money, a tea party leader has complained to Pinellas County about being called a "clone" and "crazy" during Wednesday's Internet "town hall" forum on transit, according to county emails.
Here's the comment in question:
"Comment From Amanda : ] You tea-party clones are crazy. Improved transportation system enables greater opportunities for business and economic development to prosper. This has been proven in many areas around the country and world. Its about time we got our heads out of the sand and realize what our communities could be by making improvements like these. "
(Aghast!) Upon reading the comment, Pinellas Patriots member Kris Gionet recounted her actions: "Upon reading this comment, I immediately blogged that I found this comment to be offensive and requested that Amanda be asked to rescind her comment. The facilitator of the Blog sent me a message that indicated that the post was on topic and would be allowed to stand. "
"Again I asked that Amanda's remark be rescinded or removed as the Tea Party was not scheduled to be a topic of the session's discussion. The facilitator then sent me a message that indicated that comment would not be edited and as long as participants adhered to the Terms of Participation.
"I posted another blog message with the exact verbiage of the Terms of Participation of which Amanda clearly violated, which states, and I quote: Blog entries may not contain any abusive,obscene, inflammatory or racist language in accordfance with FCC regulations. And I once again requested that the comment be stricken. I received no further response."
Commissioner Ken Welch, the only Democrat on the commission and subject of the housing money debate, referrred her to county administrators. While the clones and crazy comment isn't necessarily an Federal Communications Commission violation, it's worth noting the Pinellas Patriots web site discussions lack a lot of the stereotypical vitriol connected to tea party groups, though not without exception. One recent poster suggested President Obama would celebrate Ramadan.