What is truly peculiar about Leary’s article are the specific activists he selected and quoted from potentially hundreds of Tea Party Leaders throughout the state. Danita Kilcullen of Fort Lauderdale is a devout Tea Party activist who started the longest running Tea Party in the country. Kilcullen’s initial claim to fame was the time that she heckled then unannounced Senate candidate Marco Rubio as he addressed a Republican group in Fort Lauderdale back in February of 2009. The heckling was in reaction to the fact that Senator Rubio, while in the Florida House of Representatives, did not help push through (6) illegal immigration bills that would have addressed the illegal immigration problem in the state of Florida. Like many Tea Party groups, the Fort Lauderdale Tea Party finds itself at a cross-roads of sorts, and there are those activists within this group that are questioning Kilcullen’s bizarre behavior and are looking for new leadership for the group.
The Times also cites George Fuller of Sarasota, Florida. Mr. Fuller has long been an anti-illegal immigration advocate, but has not been able to gather much support or respect due to the fact that Fuller has occasionally made very insensitive ethnic and racially-charged comments about Hispanics and the Hispanic community. While his stance on illegal immigration is the correct one, Fuller’s derogatory references to Hispanics in general and racial slurs directed towards myself and Senator Rubio marginalizes himself to the extreme “outer-fringe” -someone hardly representative of the Tea Party. Fuller’s referencing Hispanics with ‘banana republics’ and ‘swimming back or going back where you came from‘ calls into question the level of hatred he has towards all Hispanics – this he did on Redcounty.com, who booted Mr. Fuller for making these very same racially insensitive remarks.