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FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - Since identifying himself as the one responsible for the Mitt Romney “47 percent” video, Florida bartender Scott Prouty has felt the highs and lows that come with sudden celebrity.
“After going public, I’ve received a flood of physical and legal threats in e-mails and tweets. People have found my address and have shown up at my door. It’s possible I may have to move. And I’ve had to contact several lawyers and have incurred legal expenses,” Prouty told journalist David Corn with the liberal magazine Mother Jones.
Corn and Mother Jones released the 47 percent video, shot by Prouty at a Romney fundraiser west of Boca Raton, Fla. The video showed the GOP presidential candidate describing 47 percent of Americans as people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and believe they’re entitled to health care, food and housing.
Since the big reveal last week on “The Ed Show” on MSNBC, a cable network favored by Democrats, Prouty has received a job offer. United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard announced Thursday night, also on MSNBC, that Prouty is going to work for his union, but didn’t say what he’d be doing.
Gerard called Prouty “a hero in this election and God bless him because I can’t imagine what we’d be doing now if Mitt Romney had been able to fool the American public.”
Prouty accepted the job offer via Twitter: “Proud to be part of the USW! Thank you Leo Gerard. I’m honored.”
Appearing on yet another MSNBC show on Friday, Prouty said he was heading to Washington to meet with Gerard. He said Friday’s appearance would be his last on TV and said online he hopes to go “back to normal life.”
It’s not Prouty’s first time in the public eye. In 2005, he and two others were honored by a local town council for “valiant and swift lifesaving actions in the face of an emergency without thought to their own safety, which ultimately saved a woman’s life.” A car had plunged into a canal and Prouty went into the water and cut through a seat belt to free the victim.
Besides TV appearances, he’s been busy this week online. Public Twitter messages to Prouty have been filled with praise — “Prouty deserves more than 15 minutes of fame,” a promise to “vote for ScottProuty in a heartbeat,” and a “Thank You, Scott, for saving America!!” — as have comments on a fundraising website he set up to collect money he said he needs for legal fees. He’ll use any leftover money to go to law school, he wrote.