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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A 'Cuban invasion' in Tallahassee




Three busloads of frustrated South Florida residents left Hialeah at 4 a.m. on Wednesday to join a growing chorus of taxpayers demanding lower insurance rates -- and property tax relief.Their early afternoon arrival at the Capitol caused quite a scene.

Led by Miami City Commissioner Joe Sanchez and radio talk show host Tomas Regalado, they filled the big basement-level Cabinet room to overflowing. Nearly 200 strong, they waved signs and copies of their tax bills in the faces of politicians and cameraman.

"This was the first Cuban invasion of Tallahassee," Regalado joked.


"It's overwhelming. The people," Gov. Charlie Crist told the group. "That's what happens when the will of the people is listened to."

Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Hialeah, said it was the largest Tallahassee showing of grass-roots activism by people from Miami-Dade that he could remember, and he could not resist comparing the response to the insurance mess by two governors.

"It's taken Charlie Crist a few weeks to do something that Gov. Jeb Bush couldn't do in eight years," Garcia said.

Times photos: Scott Keeler

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:26pm]


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