- The Washington Times - Friday, October 2, 2009

In denial

After Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, New Hampshire Democrat, was elected in 2006, she began denying that police removed her from a town-hall meeting in 2005.

Now New Hampshire police officers have gone on the record saying they did eject anti-war activists from an event for President Bush.

Patrick Hynes, a New Hampshire activist and Republican political consultant, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the New Hampshire police to get to the bottom of things.

No formal police report was filed, but Capt. Tim Brownell, responding to the FOIA request, told Mr. Hynes that police Sgt. Michael Ronchi and Detective Tom Grella removed Mrs. Shea-Porter and Susan Mayer from the Pan Am hanger of the Portsmouth International Airport where the event was held after a Pan Am representative asked them to do so.

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 Mrs. Shea-Porter’s congressional office were not returned.

Last weekend, Mrs. Shea-Porter again denied the incident in 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,” she was quoted as saying.

Her statement contradicts reports from several news sources that quoted Mrs. Shea-Porter, a well-known demonstrator, at the time and documented the event.

Take, for example, an account from the Denver Post written by columnist 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.’ ”

Mr. Hynes told The Washington Times that the story was “relevant” because Mrs. 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.”

Forming a PAC

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican whose term expires in 2010, announced on Thursday the creation of his powerhouse political action committee, Freedom First.

He told bloggers on a conference call in announcing the PAC that he was focused on the 2010 elections.

“Nobody, including me, should be focused on 2012,” he said.

Running the PAC is a bevy of veteran campaign consultants who worked on President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign and Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid.

Rising to the top

On Thursday, Hot Button reported that former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin’s forthcoming memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life,” was listed as the No. 2 most popular book on Amazon.com.

By Thursday afternoon, the book climbed to the No. 1 spot. It also is No. 1 on Barnes & Noble.

The memoir will be released on Nov. 17.

Mrs. Palin, a Republican who was Mr. McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential election, stepped down as governor in July.

Another challenger

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, on Thursday got another Republican challenger for his 2010 re-election race.

Mr. Reid’s seat recently was declared a tossup by polling specialist Charlie Cook, and Republicans sense an opportunity.

Sue Lowden, a former news reporter and chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, declared her candidacy Thursday, running on a small-government platform that opposes raising taxes and government health care expansion plans.

“Government-run and rationed health care will not improve privacy, access and affordability for Nevada patients,” she said. “And trillions of dollars of new debt will prevent future generations from discovering the same opportunities and dreams many new and longtime generations of Americans have enjoyed thus far.”

Several other Republicans have declared their intentions to run in the primary, including, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Danny Tarkanian, former state Assembly member Sharron Angle, state Sen. Mark Amodei, Reno lawyer Chuck Kozak, physician Robin Titus, and investment banker John Chachas.

For the children

“We need all of our children to be exposed to the Olympic ideals that athletes from around the world represent, particularly this time in our nation’s history, where athletics is becoming more of a fleeting opportunity. Funds dry up so it becomes harder for kids to engage in sports, to learn how to swim, to even ride a bike.”

- First lady Michelle Obama, lobbying members of the International Olympic Committee to select her hometown of Chicago as host of the 2016 summer games.

Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@ washingtontimes.com.

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