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Published On: Tue, Jun 26th, 2018

Organize Florida tells Pam Bondi after public shaming incident to ‘review her policies’

A group of protesters confronted Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi outside the screening of the new documentary about Mister Rogers at the Tampa Theatre on Friday night, questioning her about her recent actions on health care policy and her stance on immigration. At some point Bondi says their spit landed on her and/or her boyfriend during the frenzy.

Photo/Florida Office of the Attorney General

“Now I can’t say that was intentional because he was yelling so loud – I don’t know if it was just him spewing out of his mouth,” Bondi told Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends” on Monday.

“We were in a movie about anti-bullying and practicing peace and love and tolerance and accepting of people for their differences,” Bondi said in interview. “That’s what Mr. Rogers is all about. We all believe in free speech, but there’s a big difference there.”

The incident was filmed by an Organize Florida employee/staff member and the group issued this statement.

“Over the weekend, it was drawn to our attention that one of our employees recorded Attorney General Pam Bondi while activists asked her questions, some times in a heated way. This interaction on Friday evening was not an Organize Florida event,” explained Stephanie Porta, Executive Director of Organize Florida in a statement.

“Let’s be clear, Pam Bondi’s legacy has been one that has consistently undermined affordable health care, promoted intolerance, and intimidated voters from participating in democracy, a legacy that stands in stark opposition to the lessons and teachings of Mr. Rogers. Organize Florida is committed to Mr. Rogers legacy and as such have taken action to initiate a formal review of our staff’s behavior. Our organization encourages Ms. Bondi to do a similar review of her policies and behavior.”

Protester Maria Jose Chapa was quoted in some outlets and identified as the woman yelling: “What would Mr. Rogers think about you and your legacy in Florida? Taking away health insurance from people with pre-existing conditions, Pam Bondi!” Chapa hollered.

One outlet asked Chapa if the documentary’s star would have handled the situation the same, she replied, “I’m not Mr. Rogers. I don’t have the poise or temperament of Mr. Rogers.”

This corresponds with the statement from Bondi’s office.

“The video they are choosing to share is of the least aggressive portion of the attack that transpired after police arrived to control the scene. What they are not sharing publicly are several previous encounters involving large men getting in the Attorney General’s face, spitting and blocking her exit,” the spokesman, Whitney Ray, said in an emailed statement. “The Attorney General tried to have a conversation with these individuals, however, when it became abundantly clear that they were not interested in a constructive dialog but were only there to cause a scene, the attorney general tried to leave the volatile scene.”

According to LinkedIn, Chapa is a Labor Organizer for SEIU, with a resume of community organizing over the last few years. Chapa’s twitter page has been taken down, but a quick review of the cached version reveals a left-leaning, anti-Trump series of posts, dating back to a March 2017 ACLU for “Resistance training.”

This is from the “About Organize Florida” section on their site:

Organize Florida is a movement of community leaders coming together to fight for real, lasting change across the state of Florida.

Organize Florida’s dedicated members are building the community one conversation at a time. We’re committed to finding and training the next generation of great leaders.

Our local issues are larger than just one person or one cause. Organize Florida is formed by a long line of people who stand up and take on the big fights for social justice, basic fairness, equal rights, and expanding opportunity.

This means racial justice, economic justice, social justice, reproductive justice and latino justice are all at the forefront of the work we do every day.
And we believe that anyone who works hard and plays by the rules deserves a fair shot at the American dream.

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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