|BuzzFlash News Analysis|
April 19, 2005
|NEWS ANALYSIS ARCHIVES|
White House Admits that It -- Not "Zealous Volunteers" -- is keeping American Citizens from Tax-Payer Funded "GOP Party Faithful Only" Bushevik Issue Rallies Across America. It's Positively UnAmerican.
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
On March 21st, 2005, at a town hall meeting about President Bush’s plan to privatize social security -- an official Presidential event paid for by your tax dollars – three Americans (Alex Young, 25, an IT professional; Karen Bauer, 38, a marketing coordinator and Leslie Weise, 39, a lawyer) were forcibly removed from the audience before the event started without any explanation.
The next day they were told by the Secret Service (in an unusual meeting) that they were removed because the car they drove to the event had a bumper sticker which read “No More Blood for Oil.” Young, Bauer, and Weise received tickets to attend the official event from Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez's (R-7th) office.
Previously, the White House dismissed the incident by stating an "overzealous volunteer" was responsible for denying three Americans their constitutional rights (an excuse they have used to justify similar blacklisting at Bush taxpayer funded events across America), but the White House did not identify the “volunteer” or his affiliation. And as FoxNews.com reported today, “Since the forum was considered an official event, neither the Colorado Republican Party nor its volunteers were involved, party officials said.”
Furthermore, Trent Duffy, a spokesman for the White House seemed to change his story and admitted in the article on Fox News.com that it wasn’t volunteers but White House staffers that were likely responsible. The FoxNews.com article stated, “Duffy said the White House sends advance teams to deal with logistics for any official event” – which the Denver town hall meeting was. “These teams typically handle the screening for speakers and audience members who will be sitting with or addressing the president during the event. They also keep an eye on the crowds for possible troublemakers.”
All indications are that White House staff, possibly in coordination with Secret Service agents -- and not “volunteers” -- are responsible for screening audience members with tickets to official presidential events and only permitting hand- picked supporters.
This isn’t the first time that critics of President Bush have been either blacklisted or removed from attending events and speeches by the President. In February, in North Dakota, 42 people were placed on a blacklist barring them from President Bush’s town hall Potemkin Village event – the majority of whom had connections to an organization called Democracy for America.
And the Tucson Citizen reported on March 22nd, “that a University of Arizona student was told he was a potential threat and was barred from President Bush's forum because of the T-shirt he was wearing. Steven Gerner, 19, said an event staff member told him that, although he had a valid ticket from Tucson congressman Raúl Grijalva's office, he could not enter the Tucson Convention Center.” During the 2004 campaign, a large number of people, including Veterans, were refused entrance to Presidential and campaign events alike because they wore "Democratic" T-Shirts or White House spies spotted anti-Bush or anti-Iraq War bumper stickers on their cars (we are not making this up). Some were even arrested, as was the case for a couple in West Virginia.
In an interview with BuzzFlash, Alex Young said that when he and Bauer and Weise went through security and showed their tickets and photo ID’s, Bauer and Weise were asked to step aside and told to wait for the Secret Service. Alex Young proceeded to take his seat without his two companions. Bauer and Weise were visited by a man who did not identify himself but minutes later, after the two took their seats at the event next to Young, the same man forcibly removed all three from the event without cause.
Clearly, it wasn’t a “volunteer” that forcibly removed Americans with tickets from attending an official Presidential, taxpayer-funded event as the White House previously claimed on numerous occasions, and Trent Duffy should identify the man whether he was a White House staffer or a Secret Service agent.
Also, the White House should be prosecuted for violating First Amendment rights and wrongful use of taxpayer funds.
The Busheviks love to preach about democracy abroad, while stomping on it in America.
The "sanitizing" of Bush public events goes as far back as the 2000 campaign.
There is no place for such tin-horn dictatorship tactics in a democracy.
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS