After Carol Shea-Porter, New Hampshire Democrat, was elected to Congress in 2006 she started denying she was hauled out of a town hall meeting in 2005 by the police. But now New Hampshire police officers have gone on the record saying, yes, they did eject the then-anti-war activist from an event for President Bush.
Patrick Hynes, a New Hampshire activist and GOP political consultant, filed a Freedom of Information Act request to New Hampshire police to get the bottom of things. No formal police report was filed, but Capt. Tim Brownell responded to the request by telling Mr. Hynes that Detective Sergeant Michael Ronchi and Detective Tom Grella removed Ms. Porter and Susan Mayer from the Pan Am hanger of the Portsmouth International Airport where the event was held after being asked to do so by a representative of Pan Am.
Mr. Hynes said that Capt. Brownell told him: “Basically [Ronchi and Grella] were asked by the property owner to remove Ms. Shea-Porter and Ms. Mayer from the building, not by name, but they were asked by the owner of that private property to remove them. They did leave. There were no significant incidents and no reports were done.”
Mr. Hynes blogged about this exchange on NowHampshire.com.
Inquiries made to Ms. Shea-Porter’s congressional office about the matter have not been returned.
But, as recently as last weekend she was denying she had been hauled out of an event with President Bush. She told the Portsmouth Herald ““[T]here were no disruptions and no rudeness and I wasn’t removed. If it happened, don’t you think there would have been photos or video or news stories from that day? There aren’t because it didn’t happen.”
This contradicts reports from several news sources documenting the event that even quoted Ms. Shea-Porter, a well-known demonstrator, at the time. Take, for example, this account from the Denver Post written by Diane Carman. “Carol Shea-Porter and Susan Mayer had tickets and were admitted to the event staged in an airplane hangar,” the article said. “They even were allowed to stay through the entire show, despite the fact that they sat near the TV cameras and removed their sweaters to reveal red T-shirts that said, ‘Turn Your Back on Bush.’ But when they left their seats to join the crowd on the floor as the president left the hangar, two burly guys grabbed them and gave them the bum’s rush. ‘We were there for the whole event, and they knew darn well that we didn’t disrupt anything,’ said Shea-Porter. ‘We never opened our mouths the whole time.’”
Jeb Bradley, a Republican who represented the seat Ms. Shea-Porter claimed from him in the 2006 elections, remembers Ms. Shea-Porter’s protests well.“I had 128 town halls and she came to a lot of them,” he told the Washington Times. “She was always challenging me and was confrontational. She was boisterous and that is just the way she was.”
Mr. Hynes told the Washington Times the story was “relevant” because Ms. Shea-Porter has “attacked tea party protesters as ‘tea baggers’ and has refused to apologize even after learning the gross sexual connotation of that phrase.”
He added, “In her defense, rumors about how ‘disruptive’ she was appear to have become slightly overblown over the years. Nevertheless, she was removed and it was the police who removed her. This directly contradicts what she said to the press this weekend.”