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Brevard County: Why Lober’s Comments Are Not Only A Party Issue.

(image courtesy of Florida Today.)

As with many things, it started small….a spark….a bad “joke” and stupid comments on Facebook.

The comments made by Brevard County Commissioner Bryan Lober has left many scratching their heads.

Then this one:

The comments were picked up and published by the Florida Today.

County commissioner Bryan Lober is once again under fire for comments he made on social media.

Lober often posts critical pictures and comments about Democrats to his page and argues with individual commenters. This time he appeared to joke about targeting protesters with a snow plow and advocating for abortions for liberals, most notably Brevard County Democratic Party chair Stacey Patel.

The story then went regional, with an article by the Orlando Sentinel:

A Republican Brevard County commissioner jokingly responded to Facebook comments about running over protesters outside President Donald Trump’s rally in Orlando, writing he “wouldn’t recommend using a snow plow.”

Bryan Lober, who represents District 2 on the Brevard County Commission and has an office in Merritt Island, added he’d “look the other way” if Brevard Democratic Chair Stacey Patel had an abortion because “her litter” would have no work ethic.

Lober was posting in comments in the public “Political Voice of Brevard County” Facebook page under a post by Vic Luebker, the director of community affairs for Brevard Commission Chair Kristine Isnardi.

“Rumor Brevard Dems led by free stuff,” Luebker wrote Wednesday. “Stacey Patel need [sic] donors to pay for bus to protest trump [sic] #socialism cant [sic] even fund a protest.”

The comments referred to planned anti-Trump protests near the president’s 2020 campaign kickoff rally at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando on Tuesday.

Now it is a national story as posted on The Hill:

A Florida Democrat hammered a local GOP politician on Friday over a Facebook post suggesting she seek an abortion and others that included him joking about using a snowplow to run over protesters.

Brevard Democratic Chair Stacey Patel told the Orlando Sentinel that conduct from county commissioner Bryan Lober (R) on Facebook was “unacceptable” after Lober reportedly wrote it would be acceptable for Patel to get an abortion because her “litter” of children would supposedly not be raised with a work ethic.

You can already see the battle lines being drawn over this being a “Republican vs. Democrat” issue.

It’s not. It’s more than that.

In response to a request to talk to the Florida Today, Lober declined:

Lober refused to be interviewed about the posts.

“I do not participate in interviews with (FLORIDA TODAY) as my comments may be taken out of context,” he wrote in an email.

Lober did speak to the Orlando Sentinel:

In an email, Lober wrote, “First and foremost, my comments on Facebook are made in my individual capacity, not in my capacity as an elected official. Moreover, it would be a mischaracterization to claim that either post was intended to be anything but facetious as should be evident by both the content and from the context in which they were written.”

Regarding his snowplow joke in response to the comment about hitting protesters, Lober said he was referring to an incident in February in which anti-Trump protesters in Falmouth, Mass., were splashed with slush and snow by a snowplow driver.

That driver was later charged with assault and disorderly conduct, Boston.com reported.

“As to the snow plow, my reference was to the Falmouth, [Mass.] incident which took place several months ago,” Lober wrote. “If you are able to find a snow plow in Brevard County, please let me know as it would be a shock to me.”

[….]

Patel added, “It’s also deeply troubling that our community has elected a county commissioner who believes it’s appropriate to joke about the murder of those exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Lober responded that Patel “has continually engaged in objectively dishonest and hypocritical attacks against me — many pertaining to my level of respect for the first amendment. … It is telling that Patel continues to act as though elected officials have no first amendment protections.”

Lober often plays the victim in situations like this where he says something and then people react.

However, there are two things to note:

1) We agree that Lober has the First Amendment right to say what he wants. We have not seen anyone dispute that even though he trots it out periodically.
2) The First Amendment does not shield one from criticism of what they say or write. If Lober is going to put such comments out there, people have the legitimate right to complain and criticize those statements.

Lober said while running for office was that he has a “thick skin.”

We wished he’d show it and just walk away from some things as it doesn’t benefit anyone.

When it comes to the political side, elected officials and the Brevard Republican Executive Committee (BREC) has been publicly silent on this. They have not made a statement that we have seen. As one of the major groups that promoted and endorsed Lober, their silence over what Lober has said now and in the past appears to us to be a tacit approval. The fact that many “on the street Republicans” are against the conduct of Lober indicates to some that BREC is more interested in party than in what people want and expect from elected officials. The same holds true for the other members of the County Commission. Their silence is telling as well. When they sit on the dais as they have and talked about decorum from the audience and citizens, and yet don’t address this, that shows the disconnect that many feel between the average citizen and elected officials.

We were always taught and believe that leaders lead by example and not “do as I say and not as I do.”

Apparently that is not the case in Brevard County.

Yet while this is playing out as party politics, (and to some extent it is,) there is another side that must be looked at.

To us, “Brevard County” is the real issue.

The County Commission through the Tourist Development Council and other entities spends hundreds of thousands of tax dollars, (which obviously add up to millions of tax dollars) promoting Brevard County.

“Come visit us!” the ads and promotions scream.

Travel writers are wined and dined to write nice things about Brevard County in order for people to spend vacation and business dollars here.

A great deal of that goes out the window when you have County Commissioners who act like petulant children.

Who wants to relocate a business in that atmosphere? Who wants to vacation in a place where the local governments are corrupt (Palm Bay) or have churlish elected county officials?

In short, the work that the tax payer funded agencies do to bring people and businesses into the County goes down the drain because of incidents like this.

This is not the first time this has happened either.

In February, Lober wrote an attacking email to a citizen that is so over the top that it indicated to us that Lober’s temperament was not fitting for a County Commissioner.

This latest incident confirms that.

This really is a two pronged issue.

First, Lober is hurting the Republicans in the area by reinforcing the stereotype that Republicans are unfeeling, ignorant bullies. If BREC and the Republican Commissioners won’t address that, the people will.

Secondly, Lober is hurting Brevard. While the first issue must be addressed by Republicans, the second issue must be addressed by the citizens of Brevard, regardless of political affiliation.

There is so many positive things going on in Brevard and we don’t need this type of negative publicity.

Elected officials and party officials have a choice: address this, or the people will.



4 Responses to “Brevard County: Why Lober’s Comments Are Not Only A Party Issue.”

  1. Scott Hannon says:

    Unfortunately, this is not the first time Mr. Lober has shown himself to be less than worthy of the lofty office which he holds, and I suspect it won’t be the last. You’re right though, this isn’t a D or an R issue. It’s an issue of class, honor, and the esteem to which an elected official holds toward his or her office and the people – all of the people – in their district. Either he can’t seem to get out of his own way or he’s of the believe that any publicity – even bad publicity – is good for his image. He seems to hang his hat on the fact that Brevard’s conservative leanings will give him impunity to act irresponsibly in public and on social media. He has also taken steps that put him near the edge of unethical conduct. His legal representation of Mr. Isnardi, husband of the county commission chair, veers dangerously close to an unethical conflict of interest, jeopardizing the loss of Mr. Lober’s law license. I’m sure there are many competent criminal defense attorneys who would have likely handled the case as or more adeptly than Mr. Lober. Bar counsel in many jurisdictions in this country would have opened an investigation into the matter at the very least. All this is to say that Mr. Lober’s antics don’t make for good publicity – on himself or this county. He’s not fit to be in the office to which he has been elected, no matter how much he plays the victim. Wearing the cloak of victim is often a trait those like him would normally attribute to Democrats, but he seems to wear that mantel comfortably.

  2. Bob Chadwick says:

    “First and foremost, my comments on Facebook are made in my individual capacity, not in my capacity as an elected official……”

    Obviously Mr. Lober does not realize that the minute he started to run for office his “individual capacity” went circling around the porcelain. As a political figure, every time he opens his mouth his words become public and define his character and integrity, or lack thereof.

    He is but one of a thousand examples of the crummy, low-class politicians that we seem to be electing to represent us. Or that have been voted in by gullible, poorly informed voters.

  3. Dee Jay says:

    What a message this class act clown sends out to the nation. Classic example of grandstanding using the tactics of previous circus clowns to gain support to move up the chain of his socialist welfare check, he receives from, “We The People”. In the famous words of another like minded animated idiot, Bugs Bunny, “What a Maroon”!

    • AAfterwit says:

      Dee Jay,

      Thank you for your comment.

      In the famous words of another like minded animated idiot, Bugs Bunny, “What a Maroon”!

      Do NOT insult Bugs Bunny. Some things are sacrilege and that is one of them. 😉

      Actually, if you watch the Looney Tunes, Bugs was always pretty smart in thwarting Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd to name just a few. 😀

      Thanks again.

      A. Afterwit.

  4. […] In an article in Florida Today, some County Commissioners have commented on Commissioner Lober’s recent comments and spats on Facebook. […]

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