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The return of the Brooks Brothers Brigade?

Main2-0782009 Recalling the ghosts of the 2000 presidential recount, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs recently compared some of the protestors who have disrupted town hall meetings on healthcare to "the Brooks Brothers Brigade in Florida.''

"I hope people will take a jaundiced eye toward what is clearly the Astro Turf nature of  so-called grassroots lobbying,'' he told the Washington Times.

Gibbs was referring to the throng of preppies called in by Republican operatives to storm the Miami-Dade government building, bang on the windows and yell until the vote recount was shut down.

The groundswell over healthcare reform reached South Florida yesterday, when about 100 people packed the Lighthouse Point public library. One of them was 67-year-old Stan Bloom, who as you can see from the picture below, doesn't appear to shop at Brooks Brothers.

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In South Florida, it looks like Republican underdog candidates -- not conservative special interest groups -- are stirring the pot. Allen West, who is challenging Democrat U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, sent the e-mail around about yesterday's rally in Lighthouse Point during the congressional staff's office hours.

And Ed Lynch, who is running against U.S. Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler, is encouraging supporters to show up at his Aug. 20 town hall meeting on healthcare reform in Delray Beach. "We must tell our representative with one loud voice (that we) will not stand by and watch this happen!" says Lynch's campain manager in an e-mail.

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