Blasts Spy Cameras
Compiled By GayToday
At 9 A.M. he was prepared to lock horns with the City Council in Tampa over what he considered the city's mishandling of two police-related matters: their mistreatment of the life partner of a lesbian policewoman, Officer Lois Marrero, recently killed in the line of duty, and the installment of spy cameras on the city's streets.
The first matter, he said, demands that the city "start looking into an equitable way for all Tampa employees to be properly compensated." Following the murder of the policewoman, Kunst said he'd been appalled that her life partner had been bypassed for benefits by a city which otherwise provides compensation to the surviving spouses of heterosexuals killed in the line of duty.
"My first and only fight of the day," Kunst told GayToday, "was a verbal tryst with a black minister who for 'moral' reasons was opposed to the council's actions as in any way approving of same sex relationships.
At 11:30 A.M. he attended another City Council hearing where he critiqued 'spy cameras' stationed in public locales in Tampa's Ybor City.
Kunst, who was first at the podium, introduced himself as President of the Oral Majority and a gubernatorial candidate for Governor in the Democratic Primary. The members of the Council appeared to be jolted by this news, he observed.
"I delivered a three minute tirade as to how we got rid of the cameras in Miami Beach, cameras that didn't work, accomplished nothing except to create an atmosphere of fear, making big buckaroos for the camera business, while, at the same time, every other business on the route suffered until those spy cameras were removed.
"Also," Kunst continued, "I said that Florida had passed the Privacy Rights constitutional Amendment, in 1980 and I reminded the Tampa officials that these video-cameras were in violation of that amendment."
Finally, Kunst drew for the officials what he called the "big picture" which includes Florida's stolen election; Tampa's violation of Oral Majority and gay protesters' first Amendment Rights when they attempted to display anti-Bush sentiments, a violation that included "physical abuse; false arrest; denial of rights and now spying on the people a la Big Brother, and not giving pensions to the life partner of a slain policewoman."
"How much more bad press does Tampa want?" asked the earnest veteran activist and gubernatorial candidate.
And, he reminded the Council, "this is not just about Tampa, but it reflects on the state of Florida, already the laughing stock of the nation which is scapegoating us as a bunch of idiot voters."
Local cable TV carried Kunst's statement live. After other speakers aired their views, the Council tied in a 3 to 3 vote as to whether the spy camera contract should be kept. The city officials said they'd return to the issue on August 2nd.