Palm Coast Mayor Eddie Branquinho’s sarcasm can be difficult to detect behind a Portuguese accent that lilts toward reminders that the 65-year-old’s English is not his first language: he didn’t pick it up until he was nearly 20, and learned it on his own. As with many an immigrant who came late to the “language that which none is sublimer,” as Ogden Nash described American speech, his syntax, his old-continent allusions, even his intonations can trip over his more textual, less imaginative New World listeners.
There was the story he told at an April 13 council meeting of his father’s vinegar and honey bottles–the huge honey bottle and the vinegar bottle “which is not that big.” It took a while to figure out the allegory of diminishing patience. There was the July meeting when, even as he was schooling fellow-councilman Victor Barbosa on his sarcasm–“I don’t know if I should kill you with kindness, or indulge you with my sarcasm”–he told an interrupting Barbosa that he’d give him “plenty of rope” when he meant to say “plenty of time” to speak–and did it twice.
Then there was the end of today’s meeting, which had not lacked its share of forked tongues. Branquinho lavished praise on Gov. Ron DeSantis’s visit at the opening ceremonies Friday of Palm Coast Little League’s hosting of the state championship at the Indian Trails Sports Complex. “This visit from the governor was phenomenal,” the mayor said.
Then he continued: “I didn’t like his last visit that happened about, maybe, in May, when he came to town, and he apparently told Melissa Holland that if she didn’t quit, he was sure–he was going to bring her some criminal charges. And then not happy with that, nonchalantly, I didn’t believe that he went to a, to Flagler Beach, and had lunch at the restaurant where Milissa Holland’s daughter was working as a waitress. Having that said, I don’t think I have anything else to say.”
It was of course vintage Branquinho sarcasm, dripping from that vinegar bottle of his, a direct reference to the bogus claim by fellow-Councilman Ed Danko that DeSantis had threatened Holland, the former mayor, either to resign or face criminal charges, a claim DeSantis’s communications director ridiculed as she refuted it, and that Holland’s daughter, who had a liver transplant in 2019, is not “that sick” and was waiting tables in Flagler Beach–a claim Holland’s daughter herself refuted today.
Branquinho, a retired detective, delivered his coda with the sort of poker face that could throw anybody. But if some listeners were briefly taken in by the first part, the clue to the obvious sarcasm was the DeSantis hop to Flagler Beach for lunch at Holland’s daughter’s workplace, which obviously didn’t happen, but couldn’t have happened without it having been blared in every news venue. Branquinho thought he’d been obvious.
Mayoral candidate Alan Lowe, who has the Midas touch of disinformation (see here, here, here, and here), couldn’t resist. Shortly after the meeting he posted on his Facebook page: “Wait…. What??!!!! 2:14 mark–Eddie Branquinho states that the Governor did come to town in May and talk to Holland?” The accompanying clip shows Branquinho’s minute.
Lowe’s eyebrow didn’t twitch alone: at least one commenter on FlaglerLive’s Facebook page raised the question about a DeSantis trip in May following Branquinho’s comment, and was corrected. If Lowe hadn’t been sure about the sarcasm, he might have checked with Branquinho directly, who would have immediately disabused him of the fantasy, as he did others, and made the post unnecessary. But Lowe’s intention appeared not to have anything to do with verification and much more to do with slinging attention away from himself, since he and Danko, who is running his campaign, had originated the lie.
“That was sarcasm, and to call Danko a liar,” Branquinho said this evening. “Now I got to call this guy a liar too, on his Facebook.”
Branquinho took the unusual step of addressing Lowe’s post directly to Low, in a comment on Lowe’s page: “Don’t usually comment on Facebook, but if you Mr. Alan Lowe could not see the sarcasm……… Then you are also ringing bells with the same lies that Councilman Danko is,” he wrote. “Shame on you for trying to take advantage of a sick child and using her for your political gain. Let me be clear, Governor De Santis did NOT come to Palm Coast, did not tell Mayor Holland that if she did not quit he was going to criminally charger, the Governor did NOT go to Flagler Beach and have lunch at Tori’s place of work. Once again SHAME ON YOU. By the way, if you filter or erase this post, I will brake one of my cardinal rules and post it on my timeline.”
As of this evening, Lowe had let the comment stand, likely because it had achieved its aim: it fueled sparklers of criticism of Branquinho, still allowed the bogus claim to be amplified, and deflected from Lowe’s and Danko’s responsibility as birthers of the lie, if only on his page: “IF that was sarcasm you need some pointers on how its done,” “absolutely disgraceful to mock a fellow council members!,” and from Jan Reeger, the former Bunnell city commissioner, writing in all-caps, “there is nothing in this clip to indicate sarcasm. It appears you validated the lie.”
And then a contribution from Barbosa, to whom irony is as foreign as his fellow-councilman’s sarcasm: Branquinho “should stop acting like a clown and start doing his job as acting Mayor City Hall is not the place for comedy hour. Klufas ran a better meeting.”
Or as the poet Fernando Pessoa put it, “it’s enough metaphysics to think of nothing.”
City council is a total joke. Sad.
John Stove says
W….T…..F…is wrong with these idiots? This is the best we have in our city to work for us? This is way worse than the cancelled Trump Clown show and now we have to endure these imbecilic morons?
How about we dont make any sarcasm, veiled innuendos, deceitful statements or ignorant comments AND refrain from posting your crap on Facebook, Twitter etc etc and FOCUS ON WORKING FOR THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE AND ADDRESSING THE ISSUES WE COLLECTIVELY NEED YOU TO!!!
If it wasn’t happening before our eyes, I would say….”nah, you are exaggerating”…….
Larry hunt says
I think the city council is like a circus right now. Here you have grown men who are acting like a bunch of clowns telling lies and laughing about it is that what you guys get paid for I don’t think so. Why don’t you all grow up do your damn job make Palm Coast a better city to live in. That’s all I ask grow up.
OMG our city and county are in deep trouble with the soap opera clown show that is going on with the loser in politics wanting to run the city and are county commissioners.
The dude says
Vote for sovereign citizen Lowe if you like lies and poo flinging.
Danko has announced publicly that Mr. Lowe is his lapdog, and will surely do as he instructs if elected.
I’d prefer a more independent minded mayor with backbone myself.
Mike Cocchiola says
Mayor Eddie Branquino’e sarcasm was lost on me and for that, I apologize to him. It has happened to me and I was raked over the coals,
But, I did learn that unless you preface your comments that this is SARCASM, you suffer the unintended consequences.
Sorry, Eddie. I take it back.
A mere preface for what is to be provided the outcome. These are the children in charge. Make each Vote count so as not to energize the do nothing name calling alternate Reality floor flushers who currently reside in Office. FPC is in a pickle, a tight spot Good Luck
Send in the clowns says
Your “sarcasm” sucks worse than your English
Couldn’t have come at a worse time right before this election
The common thread is that they are all brain washed Trump supporters. Just like Trump they display their low IQ, lack of ethics and morals. All they are missing are Communist Escort for wives. I’m sure if they where required to take an IQ test before for running for office the results would be the
some where below freezing (32).
Celia Pugliese says
Watching Tuesday July 20th meeting I first was in total agreement when Eddie Branquinho requested that a resident come up with his accusatory proof/evidence of council corruption in order to address it with sheriff and city administrators. I felt like applauding you Eddi. But then you replying to concerned resident for traffic volume and issues Mr Steven Carr of FPD situation stating that in your, Branquinho street, he has the same traffic issues and have endure it. Then please come up with the proof study done that that attest it please. Florida Park Drive FDOT traffic study on record reads that FPD unique 8.400 vehicles a day and is the highest volume of all the comparable roads of Palm Coast. If your own street explanation was to contest an elderly Palm Coast resident seating in innumerable city council long meetings for the past 10 years lobbying for his and his affected neighbors daily quality of life including health and safety road front in FPD was bit unreasonable. So far council have tried hard under Mayor Holland to address the FPD complex issue and yet all approved improvements are not completed yet, all of us including Mr, Carr are very appreciative so far. Then please Mr. Branquinho do not shadow it when in the future road humps maybe the only solution left solution to complete the task, do not close our door please. Some FPD outside residents users of FPD (probably the neighbors you referred too) may not like them but in the end what is more important some drivers convenience or a life saved?
Regarding the Cimmaron Drive neighbors request for a life saving walkway given the aggressive traffic they endure with no sidewalk. Can the city apply for a FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation Grant) like I understand funded our Florida Park Drive walkway over 15 or 20 years ago? Isn’t time that we request for another grant to address safety given one of the highest growth city in the state, if so? Those residents are enduring the results of the approvals for the developments at the end of Cimmaron what is that the Sanctuary? Didn’t their impact fees fund the problems to be created to the preexisting rights of those residents first before they developed the Sanctuary? Then why the funds were not used to build a sidewalk in Cimmaron? Why the skewed traffic study fail assessing the need of a sidewalk to preserve those residents safety before approval of that development? Cimmaron residents now enduring the consequences exactly the same with FPD. We need to have better traffic studies before we approve developments attached to single existing family communities minimal road etc. infrastructure ! This is becoming a problem allover the city now of putting the cart before the horse!
Mary Kay Hayward says
Thank you again, Celia, for being a proactive citizens speaking up for ALL residents. Mayor Branquinho, I personally accept your invitation to “check it out” (with you) on Eric Drive (per the July 20 meeting minutes 26:13) to evaluate your traffic AS LONG AS YOU ACCEPT MY INVITATION TO SIT WITH ME ON MY STREET to compare Eric Drive traffic to Florida Park Drive traffic. You choose the time and date, and I will be there. They are not comparable, nor is Eric Drive “just as bad.” You should not make comments as a matter of fact when you are totally, unequivocally incorrect. I empathize with the residents of Cimmaron as you are fast becoming a new mini FPD. Celia is correct. This city needs to perform Traffic Impact Studies as REQUIRED per Chapter 7 of the Unified Land Development Code BEFORE constructing new developments and businesses and again in the subsequent buildout stages, if applicable. These are public records and available upon request, people, FYI.
Willy James says
Looks like you are choking on those words. The best cure is to keep your mouth shut.
Klufas seemed to be the most mature out of these clowns. I’ve grown a new found respect for Klufas while watching the past few council meetings. Maybe he should’ve ran for Mayor. He’s certainly a LOT brighter and mature out of ALL the grown clowns on the dais. He seems to know what he’s talking about and doesn’t spew with lies and deception.