Jose Oliva rejects complaints from Nikki Fried, Democrats over Sabatini AR-15 post

by | Jun 2, 2020


Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva issued a lengthy statement on Twitter Tuesday afternoon explaining his decision not to take any action against State Representative Anthony Sabatini for a tweet which included the image of an AR-15 rifle. The tweet warned that the weapon would be a “common sight upon illegal entry at any Lake County business.”

Several Democrat elected officials, including the state’s highest ranking Democrat, Nikki Fried, wrote a letter to Oliva complaining that Sabatini’s post “encouraged those who encountered protesters in Lake City to brandish weapons.” But in her letter, Fried deliberately ignored the fact that Sabatini’s post contained quotation marks around the word “protesters,” obviously implying a reference to looters and rioters as opposed to real protesters.

“It is my conclusion that the wording of the tweet does not constitute a direct or preemptive threat to any specific person, organized group or entity. The tweet represents a stated and implied reaction to a potential threat,” wrote Oliva. “Representative Sabatini’s comments were no doubt provocative, as for their wisdom, I will leave that to the public at large. However, they were directed specifically at a hypothetical party who would engage in an unlawful act.”

Fried has a history of misleading the public (see also: here, and here) and amping up political rhetoric and false statements since she was elected, most recently accusing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of “deliberately undermining public confidence” in state health data in the Rebekah Jones case. Even after Jones’ allegations of data manipulation were debunked, Fried has continued to push the false conspiracy theory.

In the Sabatini case, Oliva issued a statement roundly rejecting Fried’s complaint after careful consideration of the underlying facts. Read his full statement below:

I am in receipt of a few letters regarding a tweet by Rep. Anthony Sabatini. The imagery notwithstanding, it is my conclusion that the wording of the tweet does not constitute a direct or preemptive threat to any specific person, organized group or entity.

The tweet represents a stated and implied reaction to a potential threat. The specific threat being the illegal trespass of private property. The rules governing the actions of members of the house are in place to maintain order and decorum consistent with the traditions of the House. The rules do not and should not grant presiding officers the power to determine the wisdom of member’s speech. This is a truth I think we all can agree on.

This is especially important to prevent the abuse of power that could result when the majority is offended by the views of the minority. During my time presiding over the House there have been several occasions on which the public remarks of members have struck me as offensive.

On every occasion I have sought to isolate my personal view of an action or statement in order to preserve and protect members rights as duly elected representatives and citizens.

Rep. Sabatini’s comments were no doubt provocative, as for their wisdom, I will leave that to the public at large however, they were directed specifically at a hypothetical party who would engage in an unlawful act. I therefore do not feel it is within my authority to take official action.

7 Comments

  1. Barney Bishop III

    House Speaker Jose Oliva is absolutely right…Nikki and the Dem’s are just trying to make hay out of nothing…in fact, her attention should be directed at weak Democratic Governors and Mayors who are allowing looters, Antifa, arsonists, and others committing violent acts on legal businesses that deserved to be protected just like peaceful protesters deserve to be protected…the sooner that Nikk stops trying to make everything political and truly work to get along with her fellow Cabinet members, the better relationship she will have…otherwise she’ll be a one-tern Cabinet member just like the last Democrat on the Cabinet

    Reply
  2. Brian Burgess

    The last Democrat on the Cabinet ran for governor. I think I see a pattern developing!

    Reply
  3. Barney Bishop III

    Well, good point, Brian…but whether Nikki runs for guv or not, I believe she will lose the seat to a strong Republican candidate for Agriculture Commissioner

    Reply
    • jerry

      From what I’ve seen she is doing a great job for the farmers, ranchers, public. Better than Opie. It was pitiful watching him going from a decent person to far right, selling his soul to be governor is what your party does.
      A public official with a post like that has no business making laws. He knows exactly what he meant and you do to and approve. And don’t tell me you don’t know a dog whistle as I’m an old Florida boy myself.
      And after the corona fiasco and the unemployment insurance fiasco, waiting for Trump to give him permission to shut down, is not going down well.
      And sacrificing older voters to restart the economy too quickly as the second wave assuming the first one goes away, especially if they bring the repub convention here may just elect Fried, Biden in Florida.
      DeSantis, Trump are about the only ones dropping in approval vs most govs have been way up.

      Reply
      • Barney Bishop III

        Jerry, I’m a Democrat…DeSantis has done fabulously as Governor and his numbers are up, not down…but Dem Governors and Mayors are allowing their states/cities to be ransacked by hoodlums, arsonists, looters, Antifa just about anybody…they also sacrificed businesses which only provide many of the jobs in the USA…as for the elderly, I’m elderly and no one has sacrificed me at all…I do not fear death nor COVID-19 like many liberals do…y’all stay in your homes while the rest of us bring our economy and jobs back to the present…

        Reply
  4. Jim

    Fried needs removed from office immediately….she is in violation of the 2nd amendment as of right now and not a thing is being done…. time for her to be toppled…she stole her election as it is and the corruption keeps following her….Easter weekend she demanded all Floridians stay in the house do not go outside….she flies to Atlanta to do a trump and desantis bashing on MSNBC…she’s a scumbag Democrat that needs removed.

    Reply
  5. Ricky Cooper

    Fried , died and layed to the side

    Reply

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