Former teacher Karen Ball was living in New Hampshire when she decided it was time to downsize and sell her four-bedroom home.
“I had always spent my summers in Maine, so I thought I’d go there,” the 56-year-old told The Post. But when COVID hit, things changed. “I didn’t like what was going on. There were riots over the summer and I didn’t want to go to work and have to be quiet about my thoughts. Due to the political climate, I knew I had to get out of the Northeast.”
A conservative, she felt alienated in New England, where she’d lived her entire life. So in the fall, the mother of three joined the ranks of people fleeing Northern blue states — because of crime or COVID mandates — to what Gov. Ron DeSantis like to calls “the free state of Florida.” She bought a condo near Fort Lauderdale, and booked a moving company but was disgusted when they doubled their quote after she put down a deposit.
Then she saw an ad on Facebook for Florida-based Blue Line Moving, who are becoming famous among conservatives who want to move to red states. The guys in the photo were wearing “Let’s Go Brandon” T-shirts (a viral dig at President Biden). Ball said it was serendipitous.
“I knew right away I wanted to support them. I was proud of them for speaking up. And when a business is veteran-owned, there is a code of conduct and values already instilled in them,” said Ball, whose daughter is former military.
She was delighted with the service. “I was very satisfied. My stuff was here in a week and after the guys brought my stuff in, we were chanting, ‘Let’s go Brandon.’”
Rourke’s rising star
Owner John Rourke, a 16-year Army veteran is openly supportive of law enforcement — thus the name of his business, which is a reference to the “thin blue line” of the police. But this fall, he formally outed himself as a conservative on Fox News after witnessing the humanitarian crisis at the border.
In September, Rourke, 43, made a trip to Del Rio, Texas, with an annual trash clean-up he organizes. There, he saw migrants being pulled from the river and swarms of Haitians living under the bridge, and recorded video of the scene. The footage landed him spots on Tucker Carlson’s show and “Fox & Friends.”
He said business has been booming ever since.
“People call and say I saw you on ‘Tucker,’ I want to use you if you are in my price range,” Rourke told The Post. “Last January I brought in $58,000 and [this year], I am already at $130,000 for the month,” said Rourke, adding that he had a woman specifically request that his crew wear the “Let’s Go Brandon” shirts.
In November, Donald Trump Jr. hired Blue Line to transport a piano and his fiancée Kimberly Guilfoyle shared a picture with the movers on Instagram — wearing the same T-shirts that Ball liked. That’s when business really ramped up. He’s since moved Congressman Brian Mast and Sean Hannity.
“I want to angle my business to be the mover of the Conservative party,” said Rourke, whose trucks feature an American flag with the blue line — a symbol of support for law enforcement officers.
But of course that comes with blowback. Rourke now regularly gets prank calls and fake one-star reviews from trolls targeting him because of his vocal political leanings.
“I am good with it. If it’s that important for you to call me an a–hole, that’s fine. I will still ask if you want me to move you. I don’t care,” said Rourke.
‘We felt like we were pushed out’
He only gets high praise from Carl David. Last year, David and his wife Arlyn moved to the Palm Beach area, after uprooting his fourth-generation fine art gallery in Philadelphia.
“It was really time for a change, but we felt like we were pushed out,” David, 72, told The Post of Philadelphia. “The criminal element is running the city. And it’s terrible. A lot of our clients have moved.”
David said using Rourke’s company to go to a more ideologically aligned area of the country was “symbolic. We have the same systems.” And he’s happy with his choice. “Florida is wonderful. This is America. It’s business-friendly, politically friendly and the weather is great.”
Rourke’s bold recipe of mixing business and politics has inspired realtor Rob Saake, 46, to also come out. He’s about to launch Conservative Property Group (which is a part of Sandals Realty Group).
“I was disheartened by the fact that I was being instructed to put my personal and political views aside because it was bad for business,” Saake told The Post, adding that he believes in free speech, the Second Amendment, small government and American exceptionalism.
“It’s about transparency, not division. If you are a liberal, you might hire me to sell your home and I might use that commission to make a donation to the NRA. You probably aren’t going to like that … If I am not your guy, I encourage you to find someone who is,” said Saake, who plans to donate a part of each commission to a law enforcement charity.
Fellow realtor Aaron Scanlan, who is also a retired cop and Air Force vet, has used Blue Line twice and recommends it to friends, regardless of their political bent.
“The workers do a great job and they don’t care what my views are,” Scanlan said. And he’s rooting for Rourke: “It’s great to see a conservative being so vocal and winning.”