Joe, Is It True Your Wife Was Heard Bad Mouthing the Alaska Dispatch Just Before the Handcuffing of Mr. Hopfinger?

A letter to Joe Miller from Andrew Halcro

Dear Joe,

Wow. For the third week in a row you start off the week with really bad press. What are you thinking?

Two weeks ago the story broke that you had used government equipment to do some serious politicking. Last week you topped that by saying you wouldn’t be answering any more questions until after election day about your personal or professional history. And this week you start off the week by having your personal security force handcuff a journalist for asking you questions.

I’m holding my breath for next Monday.

But seriously, the events of yesterday leave me quite baffled. The town hall meeting you hosted was a publicly advertised event where you encouraged people to attend to ask questions. You even posted the event on your social networking site, which I assume was to encourage attendance.

But instead, the entire event is now known as the “throw handcuffs on a reporter forum.” I mean did you see the Anchorage Daily News website? Over 1,500 comments about yesterday’s activity and most all of them negative. Not good. Not good at all.

Look, I know how tough the media can be. All those reporters with their questions and the publics right to know and all, but seriously dude, you can’t have a bunch of rent a cops handcuffing reporters because they point a Flip camera at you at a public event.

I know, I know, it was a “private” event as your people have stated. But come on bud, this wasn’t the Miller Family Thanksgiving dinner, this was a town hall meeting where you invited….the public.

But my questions is, what gives with the security force?

Does a town hall meeting really necessitate the presence of private body guards? After all, you used this same firm two years ago when you tried to oust the Chairman of the Alaska Republican Party. Are you that uncomfortable around the same people who you hope vote for you that you need rent a cops?

Maybe you were worried that the crowd would get rowdy when they saw there were no refreshments. Or maybe you were just worried that there might be a soccer style riot of people pressing to get to the front of the room to hear you answer questions about how you won’t answer any questions.

Whatever the case may be, you hired this firm, you are responsible for their actions. And the pictures from the event…whoa boy. It looks like your personal Gestapo was threatening to arrest every other reporter there who was trying to interview Tony Hopfinger, the reporter they handcuffed.

In addition, your campaign manager Randy DeSoto…is it true he was laughing as he watched the handcuffed journalist being dragged down the hallway? And was it true your wife was heard bad mouthing the Alaska Dispatch just before the handcuffing of Mr. Hopfinger?

Again, not good. Not good at all.

Look Joe, here’s a bit of advice; lose the security force, they make you look like a fool. Worse, they make you look like a fool who has something to hide…which of course we know you do.

But seriously, leave the handcuffing of people to the real cops.

I’ll write again later.



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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cg
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 09:56:37

    The cop was wrong. He might have been the authority, but he was still wrong.
    It was not a private event. If it was, Joe Miller wouldn’t have met the criteria for the school district’s Facilities Use policy.

    Sarah Palin got away with that at the public facility up in Wasilla, with her “event security” of off-duty Wasilla police volunteering. But a school is a different matter.
    The school district doesn’t DO private event rentals. It is indeed a public facility. They have policies on “facility use”, not rentals.
    “Upon request, school facilities shall be available to non-school as well as school activities, in order of priority and under the terms and conditions specified below on individual Facilities Use Permits.”

    “Application for a school facility shall constitute acceptance by the applicant of the responsibilities stated and the willingness to comply with all rules and regulations as outlined regarding the use of facilities.”

    “Any other permits required from police, fire, health, or other governmental agencies must be obtained and copies presented to the Rental Manager prior to the issuance of any Facilities Use Permit.”

    Facility use categories:
    1 – District Educational Use
    2 – Community Schools
    3 – Non Profit Youth Organizations
    4 – Non Profit Adult Organizations
    5 – Educational Institutions (not for profit educational organizations including colleges and universities.)
    6- Commercial Use and Political Use
    * “This category includes activities where: Any political candidate or political party conducts a campaign activity.”

    This was not a “private” event. This is not private property managed under a rental agreement. You can’t just “rent” the school.
    This is a public facility that as a matter of public policy (municipal, state, federal), provides a meeting place for political candidates and campaign activity – specifically in the public interest of open elections process.
    The cop didn’t know what he was talking about.

    No private bodyguard has any authority to handcuff anyone on public property or remove anyone from public property. Only the police can.
    Joe Miller had a contractual obligation to ensure that his goons complied with rules and regulations and restrained themselves. Their actions and behavior caused the circumstances; not the member of the public.
    No private individual – even a properly licensed paid security guard – can handcuff/restrain/tie up another individual absent some very specific justifiable threatening criteria.

    The fact that people get away with it, doesn’t mean it’s legal. It just means they weren’t held accountable. Nobody filed a complaint.


  2. molinelobo
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 11:40:36

    Quit living in fear,fight back aginst these gangsters.
    This is how I did, start standing up. I sent this to Ft Richardson, forward on if you like.
    Consideration should be givin to severly discipline 2 of your unit soldiers for intimidation, kidnapping, violations of the Hatch Act, and detention without cause.
    During the public town hall meeting by Joe Wilson, Spc. Tyler Ellingbone and Sgt Alexander Valdez of the 3rd Bgd were working as paid bodyguards for senate candidate Joe Miller. These 2 soldiers decided to take the law into their own hands and detain an unarmed civilian in a public place.
    These actions bring total dishonor to the Army and its basic tennents. These 2 soldiers should be held to the highest standards of conduct. Their actions and assault on a civilian must not go without punishment.
    At no time did these 2 individuals have a legal contract with the serviced location,(school gymnasium), to provide security. While employed by an unlicensed waste hauler, they deemed themselves qualified to be personal protection agents and they failed miserably.
    As a result, they have disgraced the name and repect of the Army.
    Respectfully yours,
    Donald Stewart


  3. gkb
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 16:59:02

    I don’t live in Alaska(thank god). first Palin, then this jerk; then we have O’Donnell who can’t seem to understand the constitution. WHY, do the people in Alaska sit, still for the gestapo like actions?why??? Since when does a candidate have the right not, to answer questions? How are citizens, supposed to make a pure choice, if, questions are not asked, and answered.


    • Celia Harrison
      Oct 19, 2010 @ 22:01:41

      Corruption, incompetence, bullies, and lack of the public being educated are some of the factors. The Republican party tells people what to think and they go along with it. They don’t do their own research in selecting candidates, they just vote for whoever has an R by their name. Lots of people come to Alaska from places like the deep south and they bring their Republican ideologies and bigotry with them. There are also people who come here just becasue they can make a lot more money than in their home state and they could care less about Alaska as they plan to go home. Joe Miller would most likely be in the category of those who have been a problem somewhere else. Lots of people who have been run off from other places and include those who are incompetent, unethical, have personality disorders, and are workplace bullies end up in Alaska running from a past. I had to find this all out the hard way.


  4. renee
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 17:03:14

    I just called the public affairs officer at Ft. Rich and lodged my complaint that 2 army personnel were working for Drop Zone, whose owner is an open and proud member of the Alaska Citizens Militia whose website actively calls many of our governments functions Acts of War that they can use violent acts against. He was very courteous in listening to my concerns.


  5. Celia Harrison
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 21:51:47

    The police in Alaska are trained to side with business owners against the public. They are frequently in the wrong. I would imagine retaliation fears have a lot to do with their decisions. How can we have civil rights when we have radical right wingers running the governement and the DOL is essentially their’s.


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