Young Republican thugs start early
This is a tactic that will do serious damage to Congressman Mark Green's candidacy if it continues.
Consider the context. This was not a Doyle campaign event. He was being interviewed on an E. coli outbreak that has already claimed at least one life.
"Dump Doyle!" and "Liar!" seem just a tad inappropriate.
Denials are nice, but if Green's campaign doesn't get this under control, he will pay a price.
Green backers disrupt Doyle press eventUPDATE:
A group of unidentified protesters disrupted a news conference by Gov. Jim Doyle today, drowning out some of his comments on an E. coli outbreak and on reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange.
Chants such as "Dump Doyle!" "Liar!" and "State for sale!" continued throughout Doyle's comments.
The Democratic governor's aides immediately blamed the disruption on the campaign of U.S. Rep. Mark Green, Doyle's Republican opponent, but the Green camp denied responsibility.
The protesters, less than a dozen in number, were armed with homemade signs and at least one megaphone. They appeared at the Watertown Plank Road park-and-ride lot in Wauwatosa before the start of the news conference.
Doyle tried first to wait them out, then started and stopped his comments a few times before finally deciding to ignore the protesters and press on.
Some of the signs referred to a University of Wisconsin tuition increase. Other chants included "Travelgate!" and "Tax freeze fraud!"
The protesters finally disbanded when Doyle turned the microphone over to Jim Elliott, chairman of the Milwaukee County Research Park Board, to discuss the economic impact of Zoo Interchange reconstruction. Elliott said the protest was just an example of democracy at work in a free society.
This was the first time a Doyle news conference was disrupted in this way, Doyle spokesman Dan Leistikow said. And although the governor jokingly referred to the protesters as "my fan club," Leistikow said it was "pretty appalling" that Green supporters would interrupt a public health announcement about an outbreak that had killed someone.
Luke Punzenberger, a spokesman for Green, said the GOP nominee's campaign did not organize the protest.
"It wasn't from us," he said. "It's not something we organized. It's not something we condone... If Mark was there, he would have walked right up to them and told them to cut it out because it is not the way we want a campaign run and it is not something we want to be associated with."
Doyle campaign spokesman Anson Kaye said he did not buy the Green campaign's denial.
"A handful of goons show up at an event, regurgitating an ad Congressman Green just put up this morning," Kaye said. "It's pretty clear where they came from and it's consistent with Congressman Green's desire to put his personal ambition above the welfare of Wisconsin."
Charlie Sykes says of the story:
DUMB AND COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. This is just stupid. The grownups are going to have step in.