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Wednesday, July 30 2014 @ 12:11 PM CDT

Bush's bouncer gets around

News ArchiveThe White House keeps insisting that the guy impersonating a Secret Service agent who tossed the so-called Denver Three out of President Bush's Social Security road show here on March 21 was a nobody, an overzealous Republican Party volunteer, a rogue vigilante bouncer. Bush's bouncer gets around

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

By Diane Carman
Denver Post Columnist

The White House keeps insisting that the guy impersonating a Secret Service agent who tossed the so-called Denver Three out of President Bush's Social Security road show here on March 21 was a nobody, an overzealous Republican Party volunteer, a rogue vigilante bouncer.

If that's true, this guy really gets around.

He was in Fargo - always a hotbed of dangerous political insurgency in this country - prior to Bush's Feb. 3 appearance in a Social Security town meeting.

There he blackballed more than 40 North Dakotans, placing their names on a list to be denied tickets and excluded from the event because they could not be certified as Kool-Aid-drinking Bushies.

He was in Tucson on March 21 when he refused access to the Social Security town meeting to ticket-holder Steven Gerner, who was found guilty of wearing a University of Arizona Young Democrats T-shirt.

And he was in Portsmouth, N.H., on Feb. 16 when he and another guy dressed to look like a Secret Service agent with a serious weight problem ejected two middle-aged women from a sparsely attended Social Security town meeting there.

Carol Shea-Porter and Susan Mayer had tickets and were admitted to the event staged in an airplane hangar. They even were allowed to stay through the entire show, despite the fact that they sat near the TV cameras and removed their sweaters to reveal red T-shirts that said, "Turn Your Back on Bush."

But when they left their seats to join the crowd on the floor as the president left the hangar, two burly guys grabbed them and gave them the bum's rush.

"We were there for the whole event, and they knew darn well that we didn't disrupt anything," said Shea-Porter. "We never opened our mouths the whole time."

Shea-Porter said they went to the edge of the crowd of people as Bush exited and turned their backs to him in silence. "Somebody grabbed me," she said. "It was really frightening. He said something like: 'That's it, you're out of here. We've had enough."'

She said she asked him to identify himself. "He said, 'Never mind who I am."'

The guy was wearing a dark business suit and an earpiece. She assumed from his appearance and his demeanor that he was a Secret Service agent, but she saw no identification.

Mayer was grabbed by another Secret Service look-alike who told her, "Time to leave." She was so startled she yelled: "Take your hands off me. Don't you dare touch me."

The bouncer recoiled, she said, but continued to hustle her out of the hangar.

"They were very contemptuous," said Shea-Porter.

The bouncers took the women to a side door and shoved them outside to a spot where several police dogs and police vehicles were parked.

"It was like a drunk being thrown out of a bar," Shea-Porter said. "They tossed us where nobody would have access to us."

Mayer and Shea-Porter didn't reveal their story until recently. "We don't want our husbands to get fired over this," Shea-Porter said.

"But I got to thinking about it. My father was a lawyer and a very strong Republican, and he always used to tell me, 'If not you, who? If not now, when?"'

With their husbands' encouragement, the women decided they had to go public.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan continues to dismiss such complaints as political stunts. But the Secret Service revealed last week that it has reopened its investigation. Impersonating a Secret Service agent is a federal crime with a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

As for conspiracy to hire and train agents to unlawfully impersonate the Secret Service and intimidate law-abiding citizens, well, we can only hope the White House still considers it a crime.

Not official policy.

Diane Carman's column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. She can be reached at 303-820-1489 or dcarman@denverpost.com.

http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%7E115%7E2835869,00.html
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