After settling in the state of Florida, former Arkansas governor and current Fox News personality, Mike Huckabee, built a $7 million beachfront house in Walton County, throwing him in the midst of a legal battle over people’s access to public beaches. When one of the lawyers on the public side of the legal fight tweeted a few sarcastic jabs at Huckabee on Twitter, the former pastor and conservative media personality responded by filing a formal complaint with the Florida Bar.
As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports, Huckabee’s complaint accuses lawyer Daniel Uhlfelder of “vile and unprofessional attacks” and “repeatedly posting disparaging information about me,” which he claims is a violation of Bar rules.
Uhlfelder, who had just over 422 Twitter followers when Huckabee’s complaint against him was filed, is on the legal team fighting for the doctrine of “customary use” that protects public beach access in the state of Florida. In 2018, former Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill that upended the doctrine. Huckabee was a huge fan of the new law, and soon after is was passed, no-trespassing signs started popping up on the beachfront where his home was built. He even reportedly complained about beach-goers walking onto his property.
One tweet shared by Uhlfelder featured a political cartoon drawn by Andy Marlette that depicted Huckabee as an entitled beach hog. Huckabee also reportedly took offense to Uhlfelder liking a tweet that read: “I’m trying not to picture Ol’ Man Huckabee slathered in Noxzema, clad in a Fox & Friends T-shirt, khaki shorts, calf-length black socks and sandals, wandering along the beach with a metal detector.”
According to Uhlfelder, Huckabee isn’t simply taking issue with his right to express himself on Twitter — it’s a direct attempt to threaten his livelihood in order to get him to shut up about public beach access. “Bar rules are not supposed to be used as a weapon,” he said.
The Sun-Sentinel suggests that there may be another reason driving Huckabee’s campaign against Uhlfelder.
Huckabee’s complaint is dated Oct. 15. That was four days after Uhlfelder retweeted a tweet that showed Huckabee in a photo with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the Ukrainian men and Rudy Giuliani associates facing criminal violations of campaign finance laws. The original tweet was posted by Chip Hinkleman, who identifies himself as a “joke coach” for Huckabee.
STATEMENT: As to the photo of Mike Huckabee w/ @RudyGiuliani associates Lev Parnas & Igor Fruman, I would just say who among us HASN’T, on occasion, spent time with individuals scheming to funnel foreign money to U.S. politicians in an effort to influence US-Ukraine relations. pic.twitter.com/KjtqZrfNVn
— Chip Hinkleman (@ChipHinkleman) October 11, 2019
The timing of the photo and the Bar complaint does appear more than coincidental. Huckabee did not respond to phone and email messages.
Since news of the complaint against Uhlfelder broke, the lawyer’s Twitter following has rocketed to over 40,000 followers as of this writing.
Huckabee recently promoted a documentary produced by conservatives titled No Safe Spaces. Turns out, the self-styled free speech warrior is looking for a pretty big safe space himself.
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