Libertarian Party of Pasco County Comments on Raid of Poker Tournament
Source: Libertarian Party of Pasco County
Dated: Oct 31, 2012
Libertarian Party of Pasco County outraged over Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverage and Tobacco raid on Pinellas County business
New Port Richey, FL- This week a Pinellas business was raided with agents in “full riot gear” and weapons drawn. They continued the raid by arresting at least 5 employees and threatened possible charges of third degree felonies for running a “gambling house.” The inherent problem with this raid? It was a local restaurant running a poker tournament. A tournament where not one dollar was ever wagered. This scenario had patrons buying a product from a business and in return were entertained while they consumed that product. There was no gambling as the customers in questions were buying only food and beverages from a restaurant. The fact that the poker tournament was there was an added bonus of entertainment. The Libertarian Party of Pasco County sees this raid as another example of egregious missteps and continued overreaching of government authority into the private lives and businesses of the citizen.
Our elected officials are elected to represent the people. They are public servants and are to protect the rights and welfare of the citizens. Whose welfare was protected? The patrons, who were raided by a para-military force pointing deadly weapons at them over playing cards? The business owner, who will no doubt loose business and spend countless dollars on a legal defense? The employees, who may not be able to continue their employment? Or the public, who will loose another business in an already anemic economy? When has it become acceptable for our officials to terrorize the citizens of our state?
The Libertarian Party of Pasco County is calling for the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco to drop all charges against these individuals immediately and end this absurdity. We are also calling for all legislatures in Tallahassee to amend the vague wording within this legislation and put an end to the interference of government into the private lives of the citizens. This flawed legislation, left as written, could bring armed agents into not only our businesses but into our homes. It is time the people are protected BY the government and not needing protection FROM the government.
“This type of government overreach has become the status quo for the legislators in Tallahassee. Isn’t the
Florida Legislature controlled by the party of ‘small government?’ It is time we see a real change in our
elected officials and not talking points.” Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Pasco County, Michael