tampabay.com

Giuliani coming despite dispute

Sun City Center protesters fail to derail his Sunday appearance.

By ANDREW MEACHAM, Times Staff Writer
Published January 19, 2008


SUN CITY CENTER - Rudy Giuliani is coming to Sun City Center on Sunday after all, despite a last-ditch effort to derail the candidate's appearance.

Giuliani will appear at 10 a.m. at the area's community hall, 1910 S Pebble Beach Boulevard. The event is open to the public, but doors will close when the hall reaches its 800-seat capacity.

At an emergency meeting on Friday, dissenting board members of the Greater Sun City Civic Association argued that renting the hall for a political rally would jeopardize the association's tax-exempt status. That effort failed, 5-3.

"This has always been our right," said Janet Wilson, who rented the hall as a private individual. "Democrats are not happy, but they are invited to come."

The Republican hopeful has packed his schedule tightly on Sunday, with a live interview in Ybor City's Columbia Restaurant by George Stephanopoulos at 9 a.m. At noon, Giuliani travels Spartan Manor in New Port Richey, then heads to Polk City and other spots along Interstate 4.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at ameacham@sptimes.com or 813 661-2431.