Friday, October 26, 2007

What is Mark Udall afraid of?

Question for Mark Udall: Is the number of law enforcement officers present to protect you at a public meeting an indicator of how poorly you know you are doing your job to represent the public? The more cops, the more you know you have failed to represent your constituents?

I was present at a town meeting of Rep. Mark Udall's in Thornton on Sept. 12. I was amazed at the 25 uniformed and estimated 3-5 plainclothes police officers that were there to protect Udall.

The District Attorney for the 17th Judicial District, Don Quick, set the tone for the meeting by saying that he knew some of the issues that people wanted to discuss with Udall would be contentious, and he hoped he wouldn't have to charge anyone with disorderly conduct, but he would if he had to. Between the chief prosecutor of the district running the meeting and the 25-30 police officers surrounding the room, we all felt real welcome! But the question started to creep into my mind, "Mark, what are you afraid of?"

There were only about 150 citizens there, most of them over 50 years old, with a good percentage of senior citizens. That's 1 police officer for every 5 citizens. I hope Udall felt secure, because everyone else felt intimidated. But I guess that was the point.

Both Rep. Mark Udall and Sen. Ken Salazar have had protesters arrested in the past few months for peacefully visiting their offices. Udall had one woman arrested after she was only there for 10 minutes. The protesters had been reading the names of people killed in the Iraq War in a normal speaking voice. They were not disruptive, only determined.

At Udall's town meeting, he was asked about this. He said that the protesters were disturbing the neighbors and that the landlord had complained. When further asked how they could have been disturbing the neighbors or landlord when they were inside his office, Udall did not respond, and the District Attorney stood up to shut down further questioning.

Also at the town meeting, at least one attendant was threatened with arrest after he made some grumbling remarks when Udall refused to call on him during the entire meeting, even though he had his hand raised for the whole time. How scared is Mark when he considers "grumbling remarks" cause for arrest and prosecution? What was that First Amendment again?

I have been to a number of contentious town meetings in my life. Actually, I would venture to say that most public meetings are contentious for one reason or another. That's how our republic works, after all. Often, there have been one or two law enforcement officers there, but never 25-30 for 150 citizens! One officer for every 5 people is unprecedented!

But having citizens arrested for visiting your office or grumbling at a town meeting is also unprecedented.

I can only surmise that Udall knows how badly he is selling out his constituents. Rather than take a bold stand against the Iraq War, Udall is choosing to quietly huddle with the other meek Democrats until the 2008 elections are over. How many more soldiers and Iraqis will die because of Udall's & the Democratic Party's desires to "not rock the boat"?

After more than 4 years of a war started on a lie, if you're not in favor of "rocking the boat", you are in favor of "staying the course." The blood of this war is on your hands, Mark, and on the hands of all the other timid Democrats who were handed a mandate in the last election, but have failed to do anything with it.

Udall said at the town meeting that he was against the war, but he said he would continue to fund the war and offered no plan on how he would bring the troops home. The people at the meeting were overwhelmingly in favor of bringing the troops home. I suppose that's what made Mark so scared. When your actions are so contrary to what you were hired to do, it must make you feel like you need a large security force to protect you from your employers. Only by intimidating his employers (constituents), does Udall feel he can be secure in his job as a public "servant".

What's next, Mark? Are you going to direct your security force to taser anyone that has the nerve to ask a follow-up question? Or is all of this just a preview of what the anti-war movement can expect when the Democratic National Convention comes to Denver next year, on the 40th Anniversary of the tumultuous 1968 DNC in Chicago?

See Mark get video-flogged at:

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