- Associated Press - Monday, October 18, 2010

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The editor of an online Alaska news site said he was handcuffed and detained by private security guards working for Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller at a town hall meeting Sunday night.

Tony Hopfinger, editor of the online Alaska Dispatch, told KTUU-TV that security pushed him as he tried to question Mr. Miller. He said he pushed back and that guards then detained him, accusing him of trespassing at the public event in Anchorage.

The Dispatch is among the media outlets suing for access to Mr. Miller’s personnel record from his time as a government attorney.

Miller security guard William Fulton said Mr. Hopfinger was escorted away from the meeting after ignoring requests to stop putting a camera in the candidate’s face.

No arrests have been made, and no charges have been filed.

In a statement later, Mr. Miller said Mr. Hopfinger took “advantage of a Town Hall meeting to create a publicity stunt just two weeks before the election.”

In a report of the confrontation on his website, Mr. Hopfinger said he was attempting to pose questions to Mr. Miller about his tenure as an attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

The issue has become a campaign sore point, and Mr. Miller said last week that he will no longer answer reporters’ questions about his background and personal life.

Mr. Hopfinger told the Anchorage Daily News that after Mr. Miller walked away, he was surrounded by Miller supporters and security guards and felt threatened, so he pushed one of them away.

Tea Party-backed Mr. Miller is seeking Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s seat in next month’s vote after upsetting her in the August primary. He was thrust into the national political debate with an endorsement last June by Sarah Palin.

 

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