There is at least one unexpected result stemming from the St. Petersburg City Council’s controversial decision to vote against replacing traditional billboards with electronic ones: controversial Tea Partier Dr. David McKalip announced he is running for the City Council in 2013.
In what can only be described as a rambling screed in which he rails against “Big Government” and “extremists” like the Council of Neighborhood Associations (those evil neighborhood leaders!), Dr. McKalip says he will be running for the seat currently occupied by Leslie Curran, who is term-limited for running again.
Without naming who, McKalip says he will “face at least two candidates who have advocated higher taxes, less freedom, bigger government and backward policies that have hobbled our local economy.”
McKalip has a history of controversy, most notably he forwarded an e-mail image that portrayed President Barack Obama as a witch doctor in a loin cloth and headdress with bones in his nose. That incident became a minor, but national imbroglio which led to McKalip resigning from a leadership role at the American Medical Association.
McKalip said he had forwarded the image, captioned “ObamaCare, coming soon to a clinic near you,” to about 150 people. Several popular liberal blogs highlighted it, where he was blasted for racism.
As word of McKalip’s e-mail spread, leaders of prominent medical institutions distanced themselves from his actions, according to a story in the St. Petersburg Times.
In a statement, the Florida Medical Association said it found “the actions by Dr. McKalip to be hurtful and in poor judgment.” McKalip said he remains on its board.
“The Pinellas County Medical Association regrets and is appalled by the statements and act of Dr. David McKalip,” the group’s board said in a statement, accepting his resignation. “Dr. McKalip acted in poor taste and on his own accord when preparing and issuing his message.”
Before and after that controversy, McKalip was an outspoken critic of President Obama’s health care plan, specifically the proposals that call for mandatory insurance coverage and government committees dictating how doctors treat patients. “This health care bill is like the zombie bill,” McKalip has said.
Now McKalip wants to bring his penchant for controversy to the St. Peterburg City Council.
“The City of St. Petersburg has headed in the wrong direction for many years and it is time for a change,” reads McKalip’s statement (which can be viewed in its entirety here). “For too long we have seen hard working, middle class taxpayers soaked with high property taxes. Meanwhile our city wastes money on excessive government worker benefits, corporate subsidies, failed social welfare programs and in large bureaucracies.”
St. Pete is headed in the wrong direction?