Back in April, the South Florida Tea Party (SFTP) held a Tax Day rally in Boca Raton. The turnout was unexpectedly large, prompting the city of Boca Raton to bill the grassroots organization for over $6,000 in barricades and police services.
The SFTP disputed the charges, asking for an itemized bill, since their own calculations showed the hourly wages for the eight police officers at the event should have come to about a third of the fee they were charged. They also pointed out that leftist group MoveOn.org held a rally three days later, which used the same barricades provided for the Tea Party event, but only the SFTP was billed.
In a press release, SFTP chairman Everett Wilkinson said he felt “various elements in the city” were trying to “politically attack” his group by insinuating they were deadbeats, not to mention draining their modest treasury with the hefty fees.
Fortunately, a guardian angel appeared, in the form of one Donald J. Trump.
Trump, who spoke at the Tea Party rally, stepped in to settle up with the City of Boca Raton, paying all of the outstanding bills.
“Mr. Trump was honored that the Tea Party event orchestrated by Everett Wilkinson generated more than 5,000 people to come hear him speak,” said Trump’s executive vice president and special counsel Michael Cohen. Furthermore, Trump “does not want any citizen’s group to be disparaged or burdened for exercising their First Amendment rights, and he has agreed to personally cover the cost to the city of Boca Raton.”
The tea is on Trump! Perhaps the City of Boca Raton will send him a souvenir police barricade, inscribed with the First Amendment. That would be a lovely gesture.