In 2019, former Republican Arkansas Governor turned Florida Panhandle Man, Mike Huckabee, filed a bar complaint against Florida attorney and activist, Daniel W. Uhlfelder, in an attempt to silence him for speaking out against Huckabee’s attempts to privatize public beaches.
The complaint, widely panned as frivolous in a very-special-snowflake kind of way, has had the most opposite of likely intended consequences, however, as Uhlfelder saw his online following mushroom and has been emboldened to form a new Super PAC which will aid others targeted by high profile bullies.
“It’s important to stand up to bullies,” says Uhlfelder. “Weakness just invites further aggression.”
Huckabee’s bar complaint was officially made in retaliation for Uhlfelder posting tweets to his 400 or so followers which were critical of connections between the former governor’s role in the Florida customary use battle that has radiated outward across the state from the panhandle’s South Walton County where Huckabee owns property on the Gulf of Mexico.
Calling him a #BeachThief, Uhlfelder had been highly critical of the many documented connections between Huckabee and the passage of the bill. Known locally as the Huckabee Law and the #BadBeachBill, HB631 was signed by former Governor Rick Scott despite his office having received 8 to 1 calls against it.
Huckabee, who bought beachfront knowing people would walk across the sand behind his home, has waged a well documented effort (covered extensively by Florida reporter Steve Bousquet and Stephanie Mencimer of Mother Jones) to thwart multiple local rules and customs.
Uhlfelder, a graduate of Stanford University and University of Florida College of Law, is the owner and founder of Daniel W. Uhlfelder, P.A., Attorneys at Law. He currently represents two clients in the Customary Use lawsuit. He had significantly raised awareness of the issue when video of him being confronted by Walton County law enforcement on the sands of Santa Rosa Beach went viral in 2018.
While in law school and as an undergraduate, Mr. Uhlfelder served as a law clerk, summer associate and staff aide in the White House, the United States Attorney General’s Office, the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and at various law firms in Florida and Washington, D.C.
After graduating from law school, Uhlfelder served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Donald M. Middlebrooks, United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of Florida in Miami, Florida. After completing his judicial clerkship with Judge Middlebrooks, he spent two years as a trial attorney with a top trial law firm, Colson, Hicks, Eidson in Miami.
Never one to back down from a fight, Uhlfelder released the frivolous bar complaint online rather than being bullied into silence. His Twitter following increased exponentially as he connected with others who had been similarly bullied by high profile political figures willing to use the legal system to silence critics.
Uhlfelder has now decided to use his new social media presence to help other Americans fight back against bad actors such as Huckabee. This week, Uhlfelder is launching the Make My Day PAC, a hybrid Super PAC organization.
“The Make My Day PAC is an organization dedicated to the Americans who refuse to be silenced by bad actors,” Uhlfelder explains.
According to Uhlfelder, the PAC will focus action and support three primary concerns:
- Supporting those who refuse to be silenced by bad actors.
- Lifting up victims that bad actors want to silence.
- Using social media and contributions to do good.
“It’s important to recognize allies to speak out against the powerful,” Uhlfelder added. “Weakness just feeds aggression and we are stronger together. It is important to keep fighting back.”
- Mike Huckabee’s outrageous attempt to silence a Florida critic | Sun-Sentinel
- Mike Huckabee complained about mean tweets – and it backfired spectacularly | Raw Story
- Meet the Florida man who triggers Mike Huckabee | Pensacola News Journal
- Find Your Perfect Beach: A Tale of Poor Planning for Customary Use on 30A | Florida Squeeze
- Mike Huckabee’s fight to throw the public off “his Florida beach” | Arkansas Times
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