Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Muncie Meeting turns Violent

Last night I wrote about Delaware County Republicans attempts to disenfranchise 100's of new Democratic voters by claiming they "didn't have the time or resources" to go through the huge number of registrations they received on Monday, the deadline to register. There was to be an emergency hearing today at 1 PM at the County Building in Muncie.

That meeting took place, and turned heated afterwards:

A Republican voter registration deputy faces battery charges after he tackled a newspaper reporter and hit the Democratic 6th District congressional candidate after a contentious Delaware County Election Board meeting this afternoon.

The meeting had just ended when Will Statom, GOP registration deputy and secretary of the local Republican Party, attacked Star Press reporter Nick Werner while Werner was interviewing Ball State University student Johanna Perez about hundreds of last-minute voter registrations for Democrat Barack Obama's campaign.

"He did not seem very happy that we were stating our opinions," Perez said afterwards about Statom.

Werner said Statom seemed critical of his reporting, sarcastically saying to make sure he screwed up the story again.

Statom had just walked past Werner when Statom turned around and pushed Werner against the wall, grabbed him and they fell to the ground, according to witnesses.

Barry A. Welsh, Democratic 6th district congressional candidate, who attended the meeting, stepped in, and Statom turned around and hit Welsh in the eye.

"When Nick went to the floor, I tried to break it up," Welsh said.

An eyewitness to the event has stated:

I was at the meeting - it was out of control. The man who attacked everyone was accusing Ball State students of being sloppy and wouldn't even vote anyway and then said to the african americans in the crowd "i dont have to take this crap for 'you people' " ... people were yelling at each other through the entire meeting and then the fight broke out afterward. As a student, I was very surprised to see adults act so childish.

When I hear more from Barry, I'll give you his perspective on the day's events. . .

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