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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott blocking taxpayers from watching him sign state budget

Gov. Rick Scott said this morning that he was going to The Villages to sign the state budget to give people a chance to "answer their questions." But Aaron Sharockman reports from Sumter County that some people aren't allowed into the event.

A group from The Villages Democratic Club was kicked across the street, told by Scott staffer Russ Adams that the event was private. The event space was leased by the Florida Republican Party and sheriff's deputies are escorting from the property people with Democratic-leaning signs.

The move raises questions about whether taxpayer money was used for the private event and why Scott would sign a budget that affects all Floridians at a private event.

"We came here to say what we support," said club president Lawrence Shipley, 68. "We support the police. We support public education."

The club claims 275 members and about 20 came to Scott's event.

"Signs that support the governor are allowed to stay, signs that don't are told to leave?" said Bud Webber, 73, of Orlando, who watched the event unfold. "Come on. That's ridiculous."

Story here.

[Last modified: Friday, May 27, 2011 7:58am]


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