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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hecklers at picnic



At a Miami Dade DEC labor picnic, Rod Smith gave a short speech, ending on the issue of Davis vote against compensating Pitts and Lee, contrasted with his work on Martin Lee Anderson. As he began, two Davis supporters who work with Democracy of America started yelling out: "Don't go there!" And the group's president, Wendy Sejour, who is black, yelled, "Don't race bait!"

After Smith answered "I am going there," group spokesman Simon Rose yelled, "You lost my vote." Rose later said he was a Davis supporter. Sejeur, who was wearing a Davis sticker, again yelled during Smith's speech that "racebaiters don't get votes."

And Smith answered, "I never meant to quote Ronald Reagan, but this is my microphone right now." He invited her to talk with him afterwards and explain "why you wouldn't support compensating Pitts and Lee."

Sejour was unwilling to talk to reporters after the episode, saying she was "too emotional, too angry."

Smith disagreed that the issue was race baiting and called it a legitimate issue that contrasted the two candidates.

-- Jennifer Liberto

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:43pm]


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