The chairman of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County is demanding the resignation of a local elected official after her “shameful comments” against a military veteran.
Michael Barnett slammed the vice chair of the Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation Board of Supervisors in a statement posted on Facebook Monday, calling out Patricia “Pat” Edmonson who “viciously attacked a US military veteran using derogatory, divisive, and unprofessional language on social media.”
“Such behavior by a public official cannot be tolerated,” said Barnett, the vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida as well as chair in Palm Beach County – the home of President Donald Trump’s Winter White House.
Differences in political opinion should be discussed with more diplomacy and mutual respect than Ms. Edmondson displayed towards Mr. James Plowman, a military veteran. In her public dialogue with Mr. Plowman, Ms. Edmondson belittled him, calling him a “traitor” several times, cursed at him using the f-word, and insulted his service by suggesting that he “didn’t receive proper treatment for that traumatic brain injury.”
No one, whether a veteran or a private citizen, should ever be treated so contemptuously by an elected official.
A screenshot of the comments was posted on Facebook as well.
A 2016 candidate profile of Edmonson in The Palm Beach Post indicated that she lost a 2009 bid in the Democrat Primary for Lt. Governor in Virginia, was listed as a Board Member of the West Palm Beach Democratic Club and was a volunteer leader in the Palm Beach County “Hillary for America” campaign.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms Ms. Edmondson’s assault on a retired member of our armed forces,” Barnett continued in his statement, calling for the Democrat’s resignation as well as asking local leaders to “disavow” the comments she made.
“In addition, Ms. Edmonson should apologize to all veterans who have faithfully served this country – the men and women who sacrificed so much deserve better,” he concluded.
Rob Long, supervisor of PBC Soil and Water Conservation, responded in a lengthy statement on Facebook Tuesday.
“None of her views or opinions were presented to or discussed with the Palm Beach Soil & Water Conservation District and in no way reflect the views or opinions of this elected board or its employees,” Long wrote.
Noting that while Edmonson has a First Amendment right to say what she chooses, she also should “be held responsible for the views that she expressed,” and that “all criticism and responses should be directed to her individually.”
Long went on to opine about the current rhetoric in the nation and how it “has become overly extreme and damages reasonable dialogue.” He contended that “accusing individuals of crimes because you disagree with their political methods weakens our democracy.”
While the Democratic official sparked controversy with her disrespectful remarks, the president was miles away showing America once again how much he values and respects the U.S. military and the men and women who have served.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 25, 2018
There was no mention of Edmonson facing any disciplinary action for her unprofessional and public comments. Facebook users duly raked Long over the coals for his “sidestepping” of the issue.
“I think many people believe that you as the Supervisor of the District has some control over what goes on with the other members,” one user said.
“I understand and agree that you or the district have no control over someone’s personal views. However, the content that was published publicly by Pat Edmonson is vile and disgusting. There’s no place for her in any public office and she should be removed from her duties immediately,” another wrote.
“She chose this limitation to her speech when she ran for office just as I did when I enlisted,” one Marine veteran wrote. “The fact you will not regulate or attempt to control your office reflects poorly on you as a leader.”
Edmonson can be watched in the video below talking about her job:
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