Some 35 to 40 people stretched along State Road A1A in Flagler Beach this morning, between Old Moody Boulevard and South 2nd Street, waving Trump 2020 flags and signs in what proved primarily to be a rally for the president, with with signs calling for the reopening of the beach and businesses as an afterthought. The small rally looked like a version of regular such pro-Trump rallies held along State Road 100 for months, slightly adapted to the occasion.
“Hell all it turned to is a Trump rally over there, that’s all it is,” Flagler Beach City Commissioner Rick Belhumeur said later this morning.
“The message I got was not about the beach,” fellow-commissioner Eric Cooley said after observing the event. “What I attended today was a Trump rally. I saw maybe two signs about the beach, then I saw two signs about Trump and signs that were disparaging to Democrats, so I don’t know what the message of today was. If you only walk around with signs and get people to honk their horn and don’t do any follow up and go to meetings, the entire rally becomes moot.” (There were, in fact, a few more than two signs about reopening the economy.)
The demonstration was organized by Mila Logunstova, who works closely with County Commissioner Joe Mullins–who has been making far more aggressive calls for reopening businesses and society than his own county commission, undermining the county’s more cautious approach–while he has been encouraging people to attend, though he did not. Mark Phillips, who considers the coronavirus a conspiracy, also described himself on social media as an organizer.
In exchanges on Facebook after announcing the rally, Logunstova was asked if it was to be a politically partisan event. “Nope,” she had replied. Mullins was not there, though he was busy with insults on social media this morning: when former Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks told him to “open our beaches back up to full unlimited access,” he replied, “only if you promise not to come on the beach in a bathing suit.”
There was no permit for the event, and though it contradicts current state and local orders against gatherings of more than 10 people, the city went on the assumption–proven correct by today’s turnout–that it would be a minor affair best handled as a free-speech matter (“the police chief doesn’t think it’s going to be as big a deal as they think,” Flagler Beach Mayor Linda Provencher said Friday).
“They have the right to assemble, they have the right to freedom of speech,” Police Chief Matt Doughney said this morning as the demonstrators gathered. He sat a distance away, on the Veterans Park platform, in civilian clothes. A Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy in full armor would later join him, but both remained well away from the demonstrators. “Just want to make sure everybody is safe. No issue at all.”
The demonstrators at first clustered in two groups at either ends of the park’s two corners along A1A, but then social-distanced appropriately along the block and across the road, which also enabled them to give the impression of having larger numbers than there really were. A boom box played Lynyrd Skynyrd or Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” ubiquitous in times of plagues, while demonstrators ambled along the block, waving flags and signs– “Trump 2020,” “Women for Trump,” “Trump Pence,” “Move the cones open beaches businesses land of the free,” “Time to open parks and beaches public spaces no restrictions,” and so on.
There were epithets too, starting with a Trump campaign truck adorned with “Demacraps suc,” “Cuomo Blows” (a reference to Andrew Cuomo, the New York governor whose daily news conferences have contrasted with Trump’s for their sharpness and empathy), a middle finger flicked at China, “no more bullshit” and others signs, with Sheriff Rick Staly’s name the only local one, appearing as a Staly campaign sign near the obscenities. The truck, with a commercial license plate, appeared to have parked illegally: it was in a handicapped spot. Further on, demonstrators yelled epithets at a reporter between poses for his camera. A demonstrator briefly humped, to the rhythm of the music, one of the an orange cones the city lines along the boardwalk to prevent parking, either as a protest against the parking restriction or as something else that couldn’t immediately be determined.
On the whole the demonstration was calm, the music and occasional beeps from passing cars the loudest sounds as bikers and walkers navigated the sidewalk to went their way between the placarded. One or two demonstrators wore face coverings.
“I’m not sure it’s necessary considering the beaches are open even with limited hours,” Provencher said, referring to the beaches reopening this week, with 7 to 10 a.m. hours and additional evening hours in the unincorporated part of the county. “I’m not quite sure why it’s in Veterans Park and not up in the county, because at the county all their parking is closed, so unless you live by the beach there’s no way to access it.” (In Flagler Beach, only the boardwalk is closed.)
While the county and Flagler Beach partially reopened beaches this week, the governor’s stay-home order, which includes restrictions on businesses, is set to expire on April 30. There is no local authority–or desire–to outlast the governor’s order, but opponents of business closures, including Mullins–who has accused local governments of treating residents like “children” and of turning their homes into “cells”–have blamed local officials for the state order. When the demonstration wasn’t rallying for Trump, its “Make Amerika work again” message today (as one sign had it) was similarly mis-directed at local officials, and likely inspired by Mullins’s near-daily calls on local governments on his Facebook page to reopen.
“He is undermining every single PSA that’s being put out from the county, from Palm Coast and from Flagler Beach,” Cooley said, referring to local governments’ stream of public service announcements stressing the importance of complying with the governor’s orders and public health directives. “Every single PSA including his own county, he’s undermining,” claiming local governments are not allowing local businesses to open. “He’s misinforming citizens.”
Local Guy says
Stay with it, We love your reporting. Trump will triumph over the creepy guy who cannot keep his hands of young aides but regardless as far as local news in Palm Coast goes, You’re it.
To Local Guy I don’t know about Biden and an aide, but in comparison to what Trump has done to women and the degrading way he treated them, including cheating on Melania when she was pregnant, also making “friends” with Putin and Kim Jong un and other vile dictators, Biden is a saint. No one is perfect and Trump is the most imperfect president and person ever.
Rich H. says
What about “slick Willie?” He was a piece of work.
Eva M Mowry says
You mean the non-creepy guy running against the “[email protected]@@ssies guy? Your Mama would not be proud!
Name (required) says
This town is full of zealots. You fruitcakes can take to the streets and intersections all you want, but you still look like idiots. Your political BS driven fervency is just that. Your delusional crusades, all for the sake of self satisfaction. Pat yourselves on the back. You’ve made your kind look like asses even more than yesterday. Seriously, take you sanctimony and that phone of yours and throw it in the toilet before you sit. The world is already full of know-it-all’s. You people are confoundingly irritating in the big scope. FU*K YOU!
Lance Carroll says
Very eloquent. Thank You.
Name (required) says
Gotta speak the native tongue, Lance. At least it’s not IN ALL CAPS. Lol.
slick fidy says
oh the Grab Her by the Pussy guy is your GUY?
Your creepy guy can’t keep his hands off women’s private parts! He admits it and laughs about it. You probably do not have daughters.
heidi gerth says
Yes when it comes to women our president prefers to “Grab them by the pussy.”
“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
Everyone seems to leave out this line in all of it. I wonder why???
Exactly Bill! They make it sound like he walked down the streets and grabbed random women by the pussy. Well, there are all different types of women, as there are men. There are the church choir types, the Madonna types, and everything in between. Ask any rock star, celebrity athlete, and maybe even some billionaires and they will tell you there are women who throw themselves at them in hopes of maybe scoring with a rich or famous person, maybe just to say they did it, or maybe hoping to become a significant other. If these people didn’t exist, how would Michael Jordan, or whoever it was be able to claim he slept with 1,000 women? Heck, I have a guy friend who was propositioned by a very famous and very beautiful female singer. Unfortunately for him, he got stuck working at the agreed upon date time, and she told him too bad, he would have had a great time. So spare us the bullshit that every woman who Trump had sex with was some sort of puritanical virgin unwillingly accosted by some dirty old man.
I have seen pictures of Ms. Tara Reade when she was unfortunately assigned as a government aide. it seemd to me like she was the one hanging physically all over everybody else–not the other way around. Given her ecstatic praise for all things having to do with Russia, I fond it ironic that so-called “Conservative American patriots are now making her their opportunistic poster child. Considering Trump’s predatory and derogatory behavior towards women his entire life, I find such hypocrisy to be blinding.
Ah, yes….the character assasinatiin begins. What happened to “Every woman should be believed?” BTW, I’ve seen pictures of Joe Biden “hanging all over” women, and some of them are little girls, who look very uncomfortable.
Mike Cocchiola says
“Creepy guy”? “Can’t keep his hands off young aids? What the hell, Local… is there any proof like having his boasts on tape? How can any conservative raise the issue of morals or even ethics? Trump has lowered the presidential bar to the ground.
Gary R says
Mike Cocchiola – Tara Reade accuasted Joe Biden of sexual assault. There is more evidence against Biden then Christine Ford’s case against Kavanaugh. You will not see CNN, MSNBC, MeTo, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Democrats or The Believers question Biden like the Democrats did against Kavanaugh.
Well, Joe Mullins was already a piece of work and has stepped into the deep end of the sewer in the last several days…..You didn’t get our vote last time and you won’t next time.
Somebody should have offered them a drink of bleach and a huff of Lysol. There leader thinks it might be good for them.
Im an American Party member so one can only consider the source. Blind rabid foaming take it personal our way or the highway brainless followers. Spewing false fruth narrative fed to them daily by the Conman in charge who couldnt find his ass with both hands. Hows that response to the pandemic workin for ya. Check those 401k values cuz this next selloff gonna be gut wrenching. POTUS and his followers own it all no matter how you dice it or slice it. Worst Employment record, Stock Market drop, Consumer sentiment, CPI, GDP, and response to Global Crises in History . And there you have it. RALLY LMAO
Marilyn Cichocki says
Great Rally if it turned out President Trump!!! this country can’t begin to thank him for his quick and intelligent response to this horrible Coronavirus! I thank God every day he is in charge!!
Edith Campins says
Really? Our own intelligence agencies briefed trump in November as did the American scientists working with WHO. He did nothing unril January 31st. His travel restrictions still allowed 43,000 + to come into the US from China. He kept lying about the virus. Since January he spent his time holding 9 rallies and golfing 6 times. He pushed an untried malaria drug until study after study said it didn’t work and would actually endanger people. And just yesterday he was promoting a dangerous combination of injections of bleach and ultraviolet light. How many Americans have died needlesly because of his actions?
I recall Dr. Fauci saying there was no need to do anything during that time period. He said go on a cruise if you are healthy. I could only imagine if Trump actually called for a shutdown of the government in January. We know you Democrats would be screaming that Trump ignored his own experts and wagged the dog to shut down the impeachment of himself. Come on, you know it’s true. Which brings another question to mind: How can you spend three years viciously attacking this administration, doing everything in your power to disable it, and then claim it’s Trump’s fault the government didn’t work as it should have? You can’t have it both ways.
Gary R says
Edith Campins – ultraviolet light is being researched and tested inside the body to check for viruses.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but Biden cannot beat Trump. Won’t happen.
Eva Mowry says
You go hang out with those 40 out of 110000 and keep chanting with the cult. :)
Edith Campins says
So 50,000+ Americans dead and this is your response? Read this and dispute the facts.
Wake up says
I think they may be a bit confused. If they were to look deep into their souls (and possibly a dictionary), what they’d see is fear. Fear of anyone or anything different from themselves and what they’re familiar with. Minds closed, mouths open. They may also be afraid their emperor will soon be ousted as should have happened long ago. He is unfit to lead a parade, let alone the USA. It is embarrassing.
Yawn. These people are the minority. They don’t represent the majority and do not deserve the space they take up on the news. Palm Coast and Flagler county, based on their analysis, are doing the right thing. I don’t know who these people are that would rather gamble with their live for a possible paycheck since one isn’t guaranteed if people don’t show up. On average COVID is killing people 13 years before they may die. That’s a lot of years I’d like to keep living. For someone my age, it’s more like 40-50 years too soon. I’ll live through these hard times if I can live 40-50 more years full of good times.
2 deaths in the county…….I’m pretty sure your odds are good to survive. While I truly feel sad for those who have become ill, I also accept that the percentages are extremely low and that life has to go on…. we can’t live in our homes or a bubble forever.
CB from PC says
Sounds like a totally unfocused, absent-minded gathering of people who forgot the reason for being there in the first place. Are you sure Joe Biden was not sponsoring it?
John R Brady says
these are my comments from a previous article and I will add some additional remarks
As a candidate for mayor I cannot sit on the sidelines and take a coward’s choice. I will be brief and to the point.
• I agree with the ultimate decision to keep the lockdown in place, but it should be a day-by-day decision.
• I disagree with the way this decision was made. A well-advertised emergency virtual meeting of City Council should have been held before a unilateral decision was made.
I have read the positions on both sides and find myself agreeing with points made by both sides. What we do here should be based on the higher rights of citizens in Palm Coast. This situation sounds like a hypothetical example debated in ethics classes in colleges and universities. unfortunately, this is a real-life situation. the overriding and prevailing right is the right to life. A person’s right to life trump’s every other right that exist.
Again, being brief
• The reopening decision should be fluid and changeable with short notice
• All members of City Council should weigh in
• The decision should be based on the most up-to-date science
• The model of what happened in South Korea should be studied and duplicated
• A call should be made to people in our community who by their training and expertise have knowledge on this subject to come forward and share that knowledge.
The worst-case scenario would be that the restrictions be lifted, and the number of cases increases and that must be avoided at all cost. If that means shut down continues so be it.
Finally, Palm Coast connect must be functional. I have made several attempts to sign in and the screen freezes.
How here are some random thoughts of measures to be taken when the the opening occurs.
It should be gradual and the first places should the ones who were unable to keep the held on and paid. All employees should be tested at no cost before allowed to work and every 2 to 3 weeks after that. The openings should be done in such a way minimizing harm. Which means hairdressers and others where there is one on one and few people standing or sitting around would be in the first group the last group would be moving theaters and the like. The last group allowed to open only if no significant out break from first group
This process start to finish should take 3 weeks and continues as long as there is no eruption locally or nation wide.
Mr. Brady, to which City Council are you referring? Flagler Beach is governed by their City Commission. They make decisions about demonstrations like this and whether or not to open their beaches. And they will make the decision about when or how Flagler Beach businesses open. This article was about Flagler Beach.
It is amazing to me how few understand the jurisdictions of the local area governments.
I understand your concerns about Palm Coast. However, I wonder how many there realize that over half of Palm Coast was exempted from shutting down? The ABC stores, Dollar stores, all grocery stores, all CVS and Walgreens, all gas stations, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Pet stores were never closed. The only businesses who have been treated unfairly are the small businesses and salons. Why the panic now about reopening?
Most of Palm Coast was never closed. Sound fair?
Eva Mowry says
Excuse me, we are discussing the beach, not Palm Coast. If you wish to be mayor, you need to realize the role that Palm Coast plays in the COUNTY, and in neighboring towns.
No bleach drinking? I’m disappointed.
I drove by this mess earlier this morning and I bet the majority of people were Palm Coasters. Keep your crazy ass on that side of the bridge. It was the same Trump group that’s been invading our city over the last couple of months. Nothing more than another Trump Rally. Had nothing to do with opening the beaches or your civil liberties. Garbage. Total wack jobs!!
Go home a gargle Lysol.
I really feel sorry for the trumpets as they will believe anything that comes out of his mouth. Have they been buying up all the bleach and UV lights?
Eva Mowry says
Bravo to Mr. Peters knowing what is really important! And bravo Commissioner Cooley! I live here 2 blocks from this nonsense, it is maddening to have a couple dozen silly adults in the middle of my town. Do they live here? I doubt it!
Hey, don’t be too quick to question the presidents judgment. That whole “light wave” virus cure just might work… worked for Spock on Star Trek didn’t it?
Keep up the work !!!! The old time democrats who are worried about losing their position, and the new wave progressives are willing to turn us into another Venezuela or Cuba. This isn’t just about the effects of the corona virus…… but the loss of our way of life as we once knew it.
Required reading which considers both sides. From Forbes
Mike Cocchiola says
Well, Flaglerites and Americans, Commissioner Joe Mullins held his pro-Trump, anti-science, and anti-Flagler County Board of County Commissioner’s rally at Flagler Beach this Saturday. The message seems to have been “Support Trump – Drink the Clorox!”.
I am so proud that Democrats did not rise to the bait and confront the crazies. The fact that there were anti-Democrat signs clearly showed the community just who are the adults in the room. We stand firmly with medical science and Flagler County BOCC guidance to wear masks, practice social distancing, and use good common sense to help curb this deadly virus. It has not yet been defeated here in Flagler and more will sicken and perhaps die because of the irresponsible and somewhat bizarre behavior of the Trumpers. They have always been carriers of stupidity, and now they probably carry the COVID-19 virus.
WARNING! Do not approach anyone wearing a MAGA hat. Toxic stupidity is an airborne disease!
Most of them are Jerry Springer alumni !!!!! What has 8O legs and one tooth – The t-rump supporters in Flagler Beach !!!
@Worshipers of trump the talking pig, maga flakes, etc, and et. al.
Now we know who is on the death panels you bleat about – YOU.
Furthermore, you’re still in uncomprehending shock. Mother nature nuked the planet with a neutron bomb that is still exploding. You’re very nonchalant in the safety your privilege provides you. It turns out old fools are the same as young fools, “It won’t happen to me.” You think the all clear will sound momentarily. That’s not a receding tide of destruction – it’s the tidal wave coming in. It’s nothing, apparently, that you can even imagine. When billions of people go broke, the people they owe will join them – and quickly.
The human race – not the world – is still in the first moments of a disaster it (the human race) has blindly invited and even now doesn’t actually see and/or understand.
“…Nunc lento sonitu dicunt, Morieris…” (Now this bell tolling softly for another, says to me, Thou must die.)
“…No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee…”
Donne, John. The Works of John Donne. vol III.
Henry Alford, ed.
London: John W. Parker, 1839. 574-5.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Mullins having the chutzpa to call our home jail cells probably is a dream he has of where he knows he could eventually wind up himself!
Shamefully one commissioner organizing this Trump rally and allowing that truck parked in a handicap spot and the FB police didn’t give them a tkt…ooops maybe do not want to piss the organizer FCBOCC commissioner? That was a real show of vulgar, crass and bully display of support for our currant totalitarian in the WH!
Everyone knows that Flagler county is TRUMP COUNTRY!
Gary R says
@Brian – You are correct. https://www.politico.com/2016-election/results/map/president/florida/
D. Trump 58.9%
H. Clinton 38.3%
Maybe we need a good virus to wipe out all the partisan hate in this town. Reading the comments here, I cannot imagine why anybody in their right mind would more here.
You are not Democrats, or Republicans, you are Americans. Most seem to have forgotten that.
To Layla, Kohls, Bealls, Belks were also closed, so that wiped out department store shopping and there was a sign in the Walmart dressing room area that the dressing rooms were closed, so if somebody had an article of clothing they wanted to buy, they would have to guess at the size and hoped it fit when they got home. Also the library, restaurants and indoor banking, dentists, etc. I had my dentist appointment cancelled, but if I wanted to buy booze, no problem. Couldn’t even drop things off at Good Will after doing a productive chore like cleaning out closets and drawers. So a lot really was closed, even Ollies next to winn dixie.
Vote trump and Mitch out of office Nov
Wake up says
Couldn’t have said it better. It’s past time to tell trump “you’re fired.”
I am appalled Joe Mullin went through with his demonstration in Flagler Beach which had nothing to do with opening businesses it was obviously a Trump rally. Mullin is nothing more than Trump’s shoeshine boy who needed some brownie points and this is so obvious.
For the County Commissioners to allow him to do this and he didn’t even get a city permit, are you going to continue to allow Mullin to be a negative official for this county or are you going to discipline his obvious love for Trump.
And Local Guy stop spreading false about Joe Biden because you are narrow-minded and obviously only watch Fox News the most propaganda news station that shouldn’t even be allowed to air.
Those who trust Donald drink some chlorine bleach when you get the virus and let us know how you made out.
What you are seeing is a more vocal segment of the silent majority. If you don’t believe me check the Flagler County 2016 election results. As far as the virus goes, regardless of when we re-open the economy, it’s going to come back. What it boils down to is do we want a decimated economy with a Coronavirus rebound, or do we want a vibrant economy with a rebound? If you want to stay home, stay home. If you want to go to work, go to work and assume the risks. The overall mortality rate is similar to the flu, but of course much higher in certain demographics. Get healthy, take zinc, and get on with life. The healthcare system is as ready for this as it will be. In fact, if we don’t let the hospitals get back to normal business, they won’t be in a financial position to help. No one is more able to determine your own vulnerability factors and what is the best course of action for you, than you.
Trump is history. So all you sheeps need to find a new Shepherd!!
Vote out of office trump and Mitch 2020