Looks like Pat Powers is catching the lying bug from Ron Branstner. Powers says I was an uninvited guest at Branstner’s Two-Hour Hate last night here in Aberdeen. Powers is incorrect: all materials related to the program made clear the public was invited. Several members of the media were present taking photos, video, and notes. For example, see the meeting flyer posted by Ken Santema, which says “All are welcome and everyone is encouraged to attend.”
Powers also is catching Branstner’s slander bug. Just as Branstner accused me of violating the law by signing an affidavit instead of showing ID to vote, Powers says I was “inciting a riot.” I reject his claim that I was “directing, advising, encouraging, or soliciting” anyone to “any use of force or any threat of force or violence.”
Powers needs no infection to continue his chronic illness of false headlines. He claims I “pick[ed] a fight with an unfriendly crowd.” I asked the speaker for permission to comment. The speaker granted that permission. I offered a list of facts about a blog post and about statements by Aberdeen’s economic development director that the speaker had gotten wrong. I offered a different point of view, not a fight.
But hey, let’s go to the videotape, and let you decide. The recording opens with Naomi Ludeman Smith, Presentation College Arts and Sciences chair and member of an Aberdeen task force working on helping immigrants become part of our community, asking Branstner about the sources of his funding and his information. I then speak, and then several members of the audience speak. I’d show you the whole confrontation, but someone in the audience grabbed my camera and turned it away from where individuals from confronting me… or maybe the individual messing with my gear just wanted to capture Rep. Al Novstrup’s reaction on camera (watch for he red shirt):
Sorry about the swearing. I did catch one more outburst from that angry man, who apparently is a first-generation American:
“It was a great country” when America let this man’s father in. Apparently it isn’t a great country (or won’t be—neither verb tense nor fact get much consistency with these folks) when we let future Americans’ fathers in.
Readers, let’s see how you put that in a little article. The floor is open for comment. I promise not to tinker with your electronic equipment or call you an SOB.
(By the way, Ken Santema has uploaded two hours and twenty-five minutes of the Branstner show. Watch and groan… but enjoy at 2:13:29 when a Lakota man reminds us that “Everyone here is an illegal immigrant.” Tell me again, who’s uninvited?)