Griffin's town hall tactics | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Griffin's town hall tactics

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 10:28 AM

A handout offered to town hall attendees at Rep. Tim Griffin's event in Little Rock last week is turning a few heads. Blue Arkansas first reported on the issue yesterday. The pamphlet is a cut-and-paste job that combined parts of a brochure with pointed questions to ask activists critical of Republican politicians. You can see the whole thing here. One activist who was specifically named in the handout, Tamecka Pierce, president of Organize Now, says the pamphlet is aimed at intimidating citizens who show up to town hall events. From the Huffington Post:

"It seems clear that the presentation of these materials is intended to encourage harassment of these citizen activists and to intimidate other citizens from speaking out across America by attacking those who have already spoken out," she said in a public statement from the organization. "This behavior is unfitting for any member of Congress or their Congressional staff and represents a threat to the First Amendment rights of all citizens. This type of state sponsored intimidation, is a troubling, direct danger to our democratic process"...

One local activist in Griffin's district, who did not want to be named for fear he would "end up in the next handout," said Griffin's District Chief of Staff, Carl Vogelpohl, along with two other staffers, were manning the sign-in table where the "watch list" was being distributed, and staffers were instructing attendees that it was their "homework."

A spokesman for Griffin said "the document was prepared by an outside group with the goal of interfering with town halls across the county. It advises folks how to disrupt. I reference it and say that our town halls will be civil and the Arkansans I have spoken with appreciate that."

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