This from the Rocky Mountain News:
Members of Congress from both parties on Thursday raised sharp questions about the exclusion of political opponents from two taxpayer-funded appearances by President Bush.
Three people were ejected from the president's Social Security town hall meeting in Denver March 21 after they arrived in a car with a "No more blood for oil" bumper sticker.
The Denver incident happened after a list was discovered in Fargo, N.D., naming 42 people to be barred from a Bush speech there in February attended by 8,000 people.
North Dakota's two Democratic senators, Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan, on Thursday jointly called for an investigation into the list. And the state's lone congressman, Democrat Earl Pomeroy, was quoted by the Fargo Forum as saying the list now appears to be standard operating procedure for the White House, rather than an isolated incident.
This just gets worse and worse for Congressman Bob Beauprez, whose office was in charge of distributing tickets for the event. While it's entirely possible that his office had absolutely nothing to do with kicking people out, the stigma will be hard to avoid. Yet, he tried yesterday:
Rep. Bob Beauprez, R-Colo., said in a radio appearance on the Peter Boyles show about the incident: "This kind of stuff should never really happen . . . They've got every right to be there."
"Unless they did something wrong, there's no reason why they should be yanked out of there and escorted through the door," said Beauprez, whose office handed out tickets to the president's speech to about 1,000 people, including those three.
Beauprez said the event was set up by a White House advance team.
This could make for a pretty logical attack ad against Beauprez in a year, and he's doing his best to back away. We'll see if this one comes back to get him in a run for governor.
(*note: we are not blaming Beauprez for any of this, or even insinuating it. We only point out the perception, since the tickets came from his office, and perception is a hard thing to change).