Thursday, 29 October 2020

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G Government Affairs

Elected officials skip rally for ‘blue lives’ at Seminole courthouse in event linked to hate-group supporter

By By CRISTÓBAL REYES and GRACE TOOHEY, For Orlando Sentinel, On 14 September 2020, Read Original
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More than 100 people gathered Saturday at the Seminole County courthouse in Sanford to support police officers at a “Back the Blue” rally — an event from which one elected official scheduled to speak dropped out after concerns were raised about an organizer’s connections with a designated hate group.

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One elected official dropped out of the event after originally being listed in the rally’s lineup when he was informed that Alan Kornman, an organizer, has ties to United West, designated a far-right anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and CAIR Florida.

All four invited elected officials were sent a letter by CAIR Florida ahead of the rally urging them not to attend, saying their presence “lends legitimacy to such extreme organizations and their views.”

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Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine said he originally planned to honor police officers and firefighters at the rally, especially because it was scheduled the day after the 9-11 anniversary, but he didn’t feel comfortable going after looking further into Kornman’s background.

Rep. David Smith (R-Winter Springs) also declined to speak, but told the Sentinel in an email it was because of other events he had planned to attend earlier.

Two others reached by the Sentinel — Trettis and Oviedo Mayor Megan Sladek — spoke at the event. Sladek, who made clear in her speech that she was only there to support law enforcement and not for any political objectives, said Kornman’s intentions with the rally were in line with what she was comfortable with, so she wasn’t concerned with his other affiliations.

Read Full Article: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/seminole-county/os-ne-back-the-blue-rally-sanford-20200912-72sc6a7fgrdstjgecsnd7xmcxq-story.html