The South Florida Tea Party, which has been trying to weasel its way out of paying for a Donald Trump rally in Boca Raton a couple of months ago, is trying to take a new angle on why it hasn't paid the bills -- it doesn't need to fork over the money.
In a statement from South Florida Tea Party Chairman Everett Wilkinson, he says that the teabaggers are "disgusted at the political attacks" over them not paying the bills and that reporting on it is just an attempt to "slander the good name of SFTP."
It has a few excuses as to why it won't pay the bill for extra cops and barricades used during the rally -- it went over its budget, it doesn't have to pay anything because it was practicing "Freedom of Speech," and because another group got to use barricades for free a few days after its rally.
Wilkinson says that it'll pay the bill, which it's said since it agreed to pay the private barricade company, Bob's Barricades, back in April.
"We will pay the bill regardless, but I'd like to sit down with the mayor on this issue," Wilkinson told the Sun-Sentinel. "It's an issue of use. We weren't the only ones using those barricades."
Also, the South Florida Tea Party says we shouldn't reference that this was a rally for "The Donald."
"Mr. Trump, nor any other speaker, is liable for any charges for the event," Wilkinson writes. "References to Mr. Trump are only an attempt to discredit his good name and character."
Therefore, the South Florida Tea Party is also nitpicking the actual charges for the he-who-must-not-be-named circus, in addition to its stance that it doesn't really owe anyone anything.
It says the barricade company set up too many barricades; it also believes it's being asked to pay for the barricades used at an unrelated event held by Moveon.org two days after the rally and that the city is overcharging it for the number of police officers it agreed to pay for.
Pete Becker, an organizer for that Moveon.org event, told the Sun-Sentinel that his group didn't need or use the barricades; they were just left over from the Tea Party.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The South Florida Tea Party still hasn't paid the bill, and city officials are looking into its claims, according to the Sentinel.