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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Rick Scott's unusual budget venue suits him to a 'tea'



The main hall of First Baptist Church of Eustis -- capacity 800 -- is rapidly filling up with tea party activists and others eager to hear Gov. Rick Scott's budget recommendations. The event was moved inside because morning rain made it risky to hold the event at an outdoor park in the rural community about 30 miles north of Orlando.

As Scott held a private lunch with tea party activists, people streamed into the church hall for more than two hours. People came from several hours away, such as Jennifer Grant and her mother, Barbara Burkett, who drove three hours from Venice and wore identical red-and-white Venice 9/12 T-shirts.

"We're thrilled," Burkett said. "He knows who got him elected -- the Patriots, tea partiers and 9/12 groups."

"We're thrilled with the governor's ideas for cutting waste," her daughter said.

Dozens of people waved miniature American flags. The church's broad stage features a huge custom-made backdrop that reads "Reducing State Spending & Holding Government Accountable," with the American flag on one side and the state flag on the other.

Warmup speakers extolled U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, who in Pensacola last week ruled President Obama's health care proposal as unconstitutional. 



[Last modified: Monday, February 7, 2011 3:41pm]


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