When Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring: The Self-Disqualification Of Rep. Louise Frankel (D-Fla.)

Now THAT was a freak-out…and a particularly telling one.

Richard Kline, owner of City Diner in West Palm Beach, Florida, dared to display the campaign poster above, promoting Rep. Louise Frankel’s Republican opponent in the upcoming November election. Frankel has eaten at the diner for many years, and made it clear that this obligated the owner to support her re-election campaign, or at least not to oppose it. When someone told her about the presence of the poster in the diner, she stormed into Kline’s establishment and began berating and threatening him. Of course someone caught it all on cell phone video, and posted the scene on YouTube.

What did she think would happen? In addition to indicating that the Congresswoman has no self-control, believes she is entitled to power, and has no respect for a constituent’s right to support whatever candidate he or she chooses, the outburst demonstrates that she’s not smart enough to be entrusted with lawmaking.

Richard Kline expressed shock at “a congresswoman in the United States House of Representatives having a meltdown because one of her constituents is voting for or supporting a different candidate— who by the way hasn’t even won her primary yet.” That different candidate, Deb Adeimy demonstrated a far firmer grip on American values and standards than her opponent. She said,

This goes beyond politics. I find it appalling that a sitting member of Congress would intimidate or threaten anyone for supporting me or any reason. This is inexcusable behavior. I want to wish the Kline family all the best and thank them for their continued support. No American should be verbally attacked by their own Congressperson, have their workday interrupted to defend themselves for their American right. It is time for Frankel to retire: she does not represent this district well. I will be a Representative that treats everyone with dignity and respect. I have heard too many stories like this from my hometown voters about Lois Frankel.

Well, one such story is plenty: this is signature significance. A competent, rational member of Congress doesn’t act like that, not even once.

Kline, meanwhile, has responded to Frankel’s bullying in the time-honored all-American manner of William Barrett Travis (“I answered with a cannon shot…”) and Gen. Anthony McAuliffe (“Nuts!). After Frankel left his diner vowing never to return, the owner placed this sign outside his establishment:

Translation: “Bite me!”

24 thoughts on “When Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring: The Self-Disqualification Of Rep. Louise Frankel (D-Fla.)

  1. She’s not smart enough to be licensed to operate a motor vehicle. This would be a bad look for someone running for student council in ninth grade. I guess these are Democratic norms.

  2. At least she didn’t call him retarded or a “fucking dipshit.” Unfortunately she’s not in a city where she can make a backup call and have the guy’s establishment trashed.

  3. I read this story this morning and I thought, Jack will definitely be picking this one up.

    She has every right not to want to go to an establishment that doesn’t support her, though I don’t think she should exercise that right, kind of like freedom of speech allows me to say horrible things. I shouldn’t say them even if I have the right to say them.

    It’s not good for freedom of speech or general political goodwill if public officials refuse to frequent an establishment solely because the establishment doesn’t support that public official.

    She does not have the right to use her position as a public official to try to softly intimidate a business owner who doesn’t support her candidacy. I hope this guy doesn’t get backlash because of her temper tantrum.

    • I’m surprised she didn’t play the “I thought we were friends” card and the “I’m so disappointed. After all these years, you’re not going to vote for me?” card. A good Yiddish guilt trip would have seemed a more likely response. I assume this is a Jewish deli and Richard Kline is a fellow re-located New Yorker like the Congresswoman. This is clearly tribal betrayal.

      • That could explain the anger. You can also like things about a person and still not want them to be a public official. Maybe she thought their friendly relationship meant he supported her ideas?

    • Not only is it wrong, but it’s stupid as well. Obviously, she’s never heard of the Streisand Effect.

      As well, people tend not to like bullies, especially ones that invoke their official status.

  4. And who is a fifth generation Floridian? Did her forebears come down with Andy Jackson? Is she a Seminole? Most everyone I grew up with in Florida in the ‘sixties had parents who had move to Florida. Very few “natives.”

      • You’re right; St.Augustine is approaching 500 years now…longer than any of the European-established cities in the northeast. Florida has been a state for almost 200.

        • The colonial Spanish left once the sale went through. Florida is a mosquito infested shithole, certainly before air conditioning and DDT. Old families are extremely rare.

          • In any event, five generations in a Florida family is extremely rare, maybe in north Florida, but Palm Beach County was a pit prior to the railroad going through in the ’20s. Nobody lived there a hundred years ago. And it’s irrelevant in any event. I’ve always hated those “Native” license plates. Really dumb. “So, you’re saying your family had never had the gumption to move to better themselves?”

  5. I’ve noticed that Deborah Adeimy is the one who posted the video on YouTube. I’ve always believed politicians shouldn’t attack their opponents’ character, just their policies. I agree that Frankel’s behavior is signature significance, but I wonder if Adeimy should be the one to call attention to it.

      • It just feels like an “ick” factor to me; if I was the civilian who recorded it, I’d post it. If I was a talk show host I’d certainly bring it up, but if I was Adeimy herself, it would feel like mudslinging for personal gain.

  6. I’m not sure it matters much, but Adeimy still has a primary to get through on august 23. She’s not even Frankel’s opponent yet, but I suspect this incident helped her campaign. I have no idea how the 5 republican candidates are polling, and really can’t bring myself to care enough about another state’s primaries to find out.

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