What some current Congress people are doing during these final days of the 2006 election campaign in their home states is, if possible, more shameful that the nothing they’ve done in Washington for the past two years.
Melissa Hart, R - Pennyslvania
A week or so ago, 40 elders, members of the Alliance For Retired Americans, gathered in front of the office of Rep. Melissa Hart in Allyson Park, Pennsylvania, to protest the “doughnut hole” in Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) which she had supported. To be certain that no one missed their point, these rabble-rousing voters wielded weapons so dangerous to the congresswoman that her staff called the police.
Here is the local news story from KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh:
Did you catch that lame excuse in the statement from Rep. Melissa Hart? This is only one reason incumbents must be defeated on 7 November.
Marilyn Musgrave, R - Colorado
At least one of the politicians who believes she had a right to interfere in the family tragedy of Michael and Terri Schiavo also has a fetish for police intervention where none is needed.
Last Tuesday Mr. Schiavo attended a debate between Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado’s 4th District and her challenger in this election, Angie Paccione. Here’s how Mr. Schiavo explained what happened in a story on Daily Kos:
“About twenty minutes before the debate started and after speaking to several reporters about how Musgrave had voted to transform her values into our laws, I took a seat in the front row. As it turned out, I was seated next to the timekeeper who held up yellow and red cards to signal time to the candidates.
“But just minutes after taking my seat, I noticed a flurry of activity around my seat including about four uniformed police officers who were - I would learn later - called in by Musgrave staffers and asked to remove me from the building.
“At this point, I had made no speeches, I had no signs, had made no attempt to disrupt or cause any commotion. I only came into the auditorium, spoke to a dozen or so reporters and took a seat.
“To their credit, the police refused the Musgrave campaign's appeal to have me removed.
“If you need to re-read that again, it's okay. A member of Congress who took to the floor of our Congress to speak about my wife, my family and my values made the debate timekeeper move so she wouldn't have to look at me.” [emphasis added]
- - Daily Kos, 26 October 2006
There is even more to the story and you should read the whole thing.
Both of these elected officials, in the same week in different parts of the nation, called out the police to remove citizens who were peacefully expressing their constitutionally-protected right to take part in public debate. Fortunately, the police in Pennsylvania and Colorado have a better understanding of those rights than the officials elected to represent the people they wanted arrested.
And by the way, anyone who believes women politicians are any more honorable and principled than men, please note the gender of these two representatives.
[A big hat tip to downwithtyranny]