For weeks, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been dodging requests from constituents to hold a town hall meeting. His refusal to speak to the people who he serves has become such a problem that Floridians have taken missing person ads in local papers, stapled signs to telephone poles and protesters are showing up at his headquarters every week until he holds a town hall. And it is those protests that led to his eviction from his offices in the Bridgeport Center in downtown Tampa.
The Tampa Bay Times reports:
Vocal crowds of demonstrators making weekly visits to the Tampa office of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio have gotten the Miami Republican booted from the building.
The owner of Bridgeport Center, a gleaming, nine-story office center at 5201 Kennedy Blvd., notified Rubio's office on Feb. 1 that it will not renew its lease. The reason: The rallies have become too disruptive to the other tenants and a costly expense for the company, said Jude Williams, president of America's Capital Partners.
Rubio's lease in the building expired in December and he asked for it to be renewed, but was denied. He has until Friday to remove all of his belongings from the property and he has no place to put them because apparently the other place he lined up didn't want him either.
The Times reports that more than 150 people have shown up to the Bridgeport Center to try to engage Rubio at times. And the management company had to place barricades on the property and set up security stations in order to keep the demonstrators away. Jade Williams said multiple tenants have complained about the angry voters, and his decision to evict Rubio is not political:
"It's not political. It's for no other reason than good office management. Our duty is to keep a good peaceful office building environment for our tenants and that's not what they bargained for."
Although Rubio's office has not released a statement about being booted from the space, they have whined about the demonstrators before. A spokesperson said the Tampa office has two employees and serves multiples counties,"yet they have met with dozens of these liberal activists."
"This is nothing more than a strategy outlined in an online activist manual to carry out 'mass office calling. Their goal is to flood offices with calls and emails and then go to the press and claim they aren't getting a response."
In other words, the staff is blaming voters for asking the senator to answer their concerns instead of taking responsibility and hiring more staffers. This refusal to acknowledge that they screwed up is typical of right-wing politicians.
The worst part about this is that it could have all been avoided if Rubio had just shown up to a town hall meeting and spoken to the folks he represents. If he had, throngs of angry constituents may not have felt the need to descend on his offices hoping to catch a glimpse of their elusive senator. But this is the same song and dance we have seen across the country; somewhere along the way Republican lawmakers forgot that they work for us, so many have done exactly what Rubio is doing. That's okay though, we have a long memory and voters will remember who didn't show up when we cast ballots for their reelection bids.