Thursday, May 24, 2018
Politics

Florida House candidate Joshua Black calls for hanging of President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — As Americans honored the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, a Republican candidate for Florida House District 68 said President Barack Obama should be hanged for war crimes.

"I'm past impeachment," Joshua Black wrote on Twitter. "It's time to arrest and hang him high."

The tweet caught the attention of Chris Latvala, a Republican candidate for House District 67.

"You aren't seriously calling for the killing of Obama are you?" Latvala replied. "I know you are crazy but good heavens. U R an embarrassment."

Latvala added: "I make it my business when so called GOP candidates become an embarrassment to my beloved party."

Black, 31, of Pinellas Park moved to Florida in 2007 after practicing street evangelism in St. Louis and works as a taxi driver. According to his campaign website, Black entered politics in 2012 when he tried influencing the presidential primary.

The website says: "Republicans have a serious communication problem. Everything we say sounds like spears."

Hours after the tweet, Black defended his comment. Obama should be held responsible for ordering a drone strike that killed a U.S. citizen overseas, he said.

"He should be executed for treason," Black said. "I think the appropriate punishment is death. They killed Benedict Arnold. (Obama) shouldn't be allowed to kill Americans without a trial."

The political newcomer said he doesn't fear U.S. Secret Service agents showing up on his doorstep. Many voters might agree with his position, he said, adding: "I guess they're going to call me a racist now."

After talking to a reporter, Black posted a lengthy message to supporters on Facebook.

"I make no apologies for saying that the President is not above the People. If ordinary Americans should be executed for treason, so should he."

Pinellas GOP Chairman Michael Guju said Black doesn't know the secret details of the drone strike. "It is impossible to accept this statement," Guju said. "This is wholly unacceptable and unduly provocative."

Black's opponent in the House race, Democratic state Rep. Dwight Dudley, said Black has the right to disagree with Obama's decisions. But he shouldn't call for Obama's hanging. "It's dangerous and unbecoming for someone who wants to lead to call for such violence and extremist action," he said. "Wow. I'm stunned."

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

Comments
Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

President Donald Trump’s decision to block his Twitter followers for their political views is a violation of the First Amendment, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying that Trump’s effort to silence his critics is not permissible under the U.S. Con...
Updated: 9 hours ago
All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

TAMPA — All those public watch parties during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s postseason run? And how about the rally at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park with the big white Lightning logo spray-painted on the grass? You need police to prote...
Published: 05/23/18
Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Explain this to me: In the world of partisan politics, how is being an independent thinker a bad thing? When it comes to general elections, we seem to like rogues and mavericks. We want outsiders and swamp scrubbers. Folks appreciate a good finger-...
Published: 05/22/18
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help...
Published: 05/20/18
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Published: 05/20/18
China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

WASHINGTON - China offered to boost its annual purchases of U.S. products by "at least $200 billion" Friday as two days of talks aimed at averting an open breach between the two countries ended in Washington, a top White House adviser said.Larry Kudl...
Published: 05/19/18
Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

TAMPA — A concert organizer is accusing Hillsborough County Commission candidate Elvis Piggott of falsifying a contract and prompting the headline act to pull out of a gospel show.In a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Corey Curry claims h...
Published: 05/18/18
Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Gina Haspel as the next CIA director after several Democrats were persuaded to support her despite lingering concerns about her role in the brutal interrogation of suspected terrorists captured after ...
Published: 05/17/18
GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

WASHINGTON — Republicans are pushing for a speedy confirmation vote as early as Thursday after the Senate intelligence committee endorsed President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel to lead the spy agency. But opponents concerned about Haspel’s ...
Published: 05/16/18
Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to lead CIA, wins support of Senate Intelligence Committee

Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to lead CIA, wins support of Senate Intelligence Committee

WASHINGTON - The Senate Intelligence Committee moved Wednesday to recommend Gina Haspel for CIA director, setting up a floor vote that her opponents say will signal to the world whether the United States condemns or condones torture.The committee vot...
Published: 05/16/18