VENICE (FOX 13) - Tempers flared today in Venice during a visit by Governor Rick Scott. Supporters wanted to hear what he had to say about the ongoing red tide disaster, but protesters shouted him down.
Venice has become one of the hardest hit areas by the ongoing red tide bloom -- turtles, dolphins and manatees have washed up on beaches, along with dead fish. Shops have even had to close up as tourism plummeted.
Before Governor Scott – who’s running for Senate – arrived at Mojo's Real Cuban Restaurant, protestors lined the street and sidewalks.
“It’s been very bad for our tourism, for our health of our people, for our mammals, it's been terrible,” resident Birdie Clark complained.
Protestors Clark are upset with Scott’s actions while in office. They say his rollbacks on environmental regulations and funding cuts at offices that monitor water quality are making the naturally occurring red tide worse.
“The biggest thing that he and his administration has done is roll back regulations that control some of the dumping and chemicals, and he's just been in la-la land about it for a long time."
Once Scott arrived, he used a back door to get into the restaurant. Protestors ran to the window yelling "coward" and overpowering his meet-and-greet inside.
His supporters bounced back with cheers of "Rick Scott, Rick Scott!”
"I agree that we need to protest things at times, but at other times we need to hear what he has to say especially since this is such an important issue and we need a solution, not dagger throwing," Amy Hurlebaus offered.
In the end, no one got to hear what Scott said because the protestors drowned him out and he left before answering any questions on the environment or red tide.