Libertarians Rally in Live Oak

By: Caroline Gonzmart Email
By: Caroline Gonzmart Email

A small group of Florida Libertarians voiced their concern about a citizen who they say is being 'persecuted' by government officials.

Members of the Libertarian Party of Florida rallied near the Suwannee County Capitol building.

They say a citizen has been mistreated by government officials.

Says Libertarian Party of Florida Chairman Adrian Wyllie, "Basically, the only thing he's done is potentially collected evidence that could be damaging to those officials."

The man they're referring to is Suwannee County resident Bob Burton.

Burton says digging he'd done as a citizen watchdog set people off.

Explains Burton, "Our home was being shot at, we were getting death threats for our participation in government, and we could not get any help out of our legislative officials. They were dodging it."

Burton says he asked for help several times -- but officials ignored him.

In January 2011, Burton says his home was raided by Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

He says after 12 heavily-armed agents pulled his wife out of the shower and searched her, they took the evidence he had collected, as well as other, unrelated files.

Then, on June 5, 2011, Burton was arrested on wiretapping charges and served six days in jail.

Burton says his bond was a whopping $50,000 --- he says that's 50 times the normal price for his charges, which usually carry a $1,000 bail amount.

Libertarians at the rally say it looks like officials are covering up for themselves, as well as employing scare tactics.

Says Wyllie, "If we have government officials acting outside both the United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution, that's something we're going to take issue with."

Jarvis' offices are closed during the weekend, but we left a message asking about Burton's case.

We'll let you know what they have to say as soon as we hear back.

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  • by Anonymous on Jun 27, 2011 at 07:02 AM
    @Jack -- sounds good but you are a little bit in the dark -- my sheriff and police chief in my county both have informed me explicitly that _anyone_ can put surreptitious cameras/mics in my house and livestream the data to the internet and "no criminal law has been broken, other than trespass". If you own something valuable enough to confiscate, or are on their enemies list, these people are likely to invade your privacy in the most egregious manner possible on a simple fishing expedition, and pretend it is not illegal -- yet should you video a street incident, you will find out the hard way what the actual law is. In my view, public officials have no expectation of privacy when doing public business -- in their view, I (and you, unless you are well-connected) have no expectation of privacy, period. Wake up, man, it is late in the day...
  • by Jack on Jun 27, 2011 at 04:58 AM
    I consider myself a Libertarian but if you are secretly wiretapping people - you are breaking the law and it is a stretch to try and make that a freedom of speech issue. Also, if you are involved in a crime the police are going to gather evidence. If you don't trust the local police then call the State police. Taking the law into your own hands is rarely a good solution.
  • by Jack Location: Greenville, Mississippi on Jun 26, 2011 at 02:39 PM
    I'm an active Libertarian who lives in Greenville, Mississippi. Today, I'm very proud of Chairman Adrian Wyllie, and his Libertarian Party of Florida, for their aggressive action! This is a 'prime example' of common people and the media working together, to protect every citizen's civil rights under the United States Constitution. These civil rights are the following... 1st Amendment: Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. 8th Amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Here's an article, with two related articles, that will give you much background information about this very important story... If you're impressed by this political action, then I encourage you to learn about the Libertarian Party, because we work to protect you!
  • by Anonymous on Jun 26, 2011 at 06:48 AM
    Its OK to publicise drug sellers and users, (some)drunk drivers, robbers, murderers,child abusers and spouse beaters but Outlaw [I mean Suwannee]County will never tolerate any of its own "prominent" citizens or family relatives being mentioned much less get charged with any crimes as long as the group(s) in control stay in control like they have for nearly 100 years. Its such a beautiful place to live but it would be better if all laws were equally applied and all crimes and violations were properly prosecuted.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 26, 2011 at 11:24 AM in reply to
      I don't think you read the story. You went into a completely different tirade.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 25, 2011 at 05:10 PM
    So the whole basis of the story is one man's side. How about getting the side of law enforcement. It seems like we only have half the story, and maybe not the truthful part. Also gathering outside an office on a Saturday (non-business hours) will not accomplish a whole lot.
    • reply
      by wnettles on Jun 26, 2011 at 11:30 AM in reply to
      Most of the folks gathering outside of the office on a saturday are your working, middle class, taxpaying citizens, who, unlike non-working, welfare leeching, revenue absorbing deadbeats, must meet when they are not working for a living. It is the responsible libertarians who will stand up against jack-booted thuggery, abuses by the police power of the government, not the deadbeats that suck the life out of our society and nation. The deadbeats can protest any time, the responsible citizens are limited to non-working hours. Just remember that when you criticize those that would petition their government for a redress of grievances.
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