The tea party's dirty underbelly is showing, and it isn't pretty. If a picture paints a thousand words, this one of the editor of Alaska Dispatch with handcuffs on is about as ugly as it gets, especially when the reason for those handcuffs is fully explained.
Just for perspective, here's how it ended. The Anchorage Police made Miller's thugs take the handcuffs off editor Tony Hopfinger, took statements and left. ADN's report:
Anchorage Police freed Alaska Dispatcher editor Tony Hopfinger from Senate candidate Joe Mlller's body guards at Central Middle School early Sunday evening. Sergeant Mark Rein of the Anchorage Police Department said Hopfinger is not in custody or under arrest.
Hopfinger had been trying to ask Miller questions when two or three guards told him to leave or risk being charged with trespassing.
When Hopfinger continued to try to ask questions, one of the guards put the reporter in an arm-bar and then handcuffed him.
Hopfinger was released after police arrived.
The reporter was on public property where a public event was being held at the time of the incident.
Miller has been adamant about his desire to avoid talking to the Alaska media, but no one in the working press in Alaska has ever before seen a candidate go to this length to avoid questions.
But wait! There's more. Here's a look at the handcuffing thugs' office windows. Nice guys, eh? Infowars.com is Alex Jones' site where he pimps truther theories and Glenn Beck wingnut ideas about George Soros and every other wild conspiracy out there. It's no surprise to see his URL on those photos.
But wait! There's still more. Here is the official Joe Miller campaign response to this incident -- one where the police had to actually rescue the dude in handcuffs from his captors. Here it is, and I kid you not:
The Miller campaign was required by the facility to provide security at the event. Even though Joe had spent nearly an hour freely answering questions from those in attendance, the blogger chased Miller to the exit after the event concluded in an attempt to create and then record a 'confrontation' with the candidate. While Miller attempted to calmly exit the facility, the blogger physically assaulted another individual and made threatening gestures and movements towards the candidate. At that point the security personnel had to take action and intervened and detained the irrational blogger, whose anger overcame him. It is also important to note that the security personnel did not know that the individual they detained was a blogger who reporting on the campaign. To them, the blogger appeared irrational, angry and potentially violent.
I cannot possibly add anything to the audacity of their claims. Even if Hopfinger was shouting out his questions, that doesn't make him a threat. But this is what they do. They instigate, then claim they were threatened. They do it all the time -- it's a standard tactic intended to give them an opening to play the victim.
Even for a wonk like me, I'm amazed at the people the Republican Tea Party considers legit. Here's Miller, who didn't seem to have any problem using computers at a public agency where he was employed to try and oust the local Republican party chairman. When confronted, his answer was to say there would be no answers. No denials. No explanations. Just one response: "I won't answer you."
It's not just Joe Miller. Allen West seems to be running with biker gangs. Most of the so-called Young Guns are thugs who don't seem to have a problem victimizing women in one way or another. And Joe Miller hires "personal security guards" who just happen to be fans of Alex Jones and have a thing for putting people asking questions in handcuffs?
I guess Joe Miller respects the Constitution as long as he ignores the 1st, 4th, 10th and 14th amendments. What does that leave? Oh yeah...the second amendment. That one, he loves.
Welcome to the teabagging mafia. Or, as reporter Shannyn Moore reports, Joe Miller's militia.