Fellow Tea Partiers,
During the August 9th town hall meeting hosted by Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. at the township of Montclair's Municipal Building, Pascrell's field representative Ann Mega physically attacked two of his constituents. These constituents had a right to attend the public forum, were acting peacefully, and were attacked at least in part because they were exercising their unalienable moral right to free speech.
*** As such, the North New Jersey Tea Party Group calls on Congressman Pascrell to do the honorable thing, by immediately and permanently firing Ann Mega from his staff. ***
Pascrell serves as the congressman from New Jersey's 8th congressional district. During the start of Pascrell's town hall meeting in Montclair -- which was billed on his website as a "Forum on Senior Issues" -- Pascrell staffer Ann Mega physically attacked Roland Straten, a constituent and resident of Montclair who happens to be Pascrell's opponent in this November's general election.
According to the Montclair Times, "Ann Mega, Pascrell’s field representative, physically pushed Roland Straten, Pascrell’s Republican challenger, out of the chambers as Straten attempted to distribute campaign literature to the roughly 90 people attending the forum." The Montclair Times further notes that, "Straten, who is seeking to unseat Pascrell this November, stood in the hallway outside the Council Chambers before the forum began, handing out campaign literature. When he ventured into the chambers, Mega put her hands on him and pushed him out of the room, an action witnessed by a Times reporter."
Approximately 10-15 minutes after this attempt by Mega to deny one of Pascrell's constituents his unalienable rights at a forum open to the general public, I arrived at the town hall meeting. As the meeting had started several minutes prior to my arrival, I quietly headed to the back of the room, pulled out some homemade tea party fliers from my backpack, and started to peacefully distribute them to whomever in the room wanted them.
(Those of you receiving this message by e-mail will find the relevant flier attached; those of you receiving this message by Facebook can obtain the flier by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to copy, print, and distribute the flier as you see fit. Unlike Ann Mega, I have nothing to hide.)
Shortly after I started quietly distributing the fliers, Mega rushed up to me and forcefully placed her hands on me, attempting to either grab me or push me. My natural reaction to this unexpected violation of my First Amendment rights was to shout "Get your hands off of me!"
At that point, Pascrell himself starting belligerently asking me questions such as -- according to video I've obtained of the incident -- "Do you have a problem?" He also berated me, for example yelling "You don't talk to a lady that way!"
Apparently when a woman physically attacks a man, Pascrell thinks that speaking up about it in an effort to stop the attack is ungentlemanly.
In other words, when one of Pascrell's staffers physically attacked me, his shameful response was to defend her, and yell at the person who was physically attacked!
I informed Pascrell that -- since his meeting was open to the general public, and since taxpayers were paying for it -- I had every right to be in that room, and every right to exercise my First Amendment rights in it (for example, by passing out a homemade flier). I also said "she put her hands on me, she has no right to do that, no right."
Pascrell's response to that? "We're having a meeting here." In other words, Pascrell showed absolutely no concern at all that his staffer had physically attacked me -- only 10-15 minutes after she had attacked another peaceful constituent in that very same room.
Following this, at some point, according to the Montclair Times, "Paul Brubaker, Pascrell’s spokesman, said he spoke to Mega, who denied touching Kalinowski. 'He practically accused a 4-and-a-half-foot-tall woman of assault in the middle of a public forum.'"
Mega's denial that she touched me is a blatant lie, as anybody in the back of the room at the time who was paying attention knows. It is disgraceful that Pascrell would permit his staff to physically attack two of his constituents. It is even worse that he would then permit them to lie about at least one of those attacks shortly afterward.
(Brubaker's comments do bring up some questions. For example: do Pascrell and his staff think it's morally permissible for government employees to physically assault their peaceful constituents, so long as those employees are female?)
And of course, the proper context to think about Mega's thuggishness is not that she happens to be a woman, which is completely irrelevant. What's relevant is that Pascrell's job is to protect his constituents' rights, and it's his staff's job to help Pascrell accomplish this. In general, government's reason to exist is to protect the unalienable rights of all individuals, and as such, this renders it especially disturbing when any government employee -- and in particular, a congressman's staff member -- acts to violate the very rights that they are entrusted to protect.
*** Based on her multiple initiations of force against peaceful constituents, Ann Mega has proven herself totally unfit to hold any government position. As such, the North New Jersey Tea Party Group calls for her immediate and permanent dismissal from Pascrell's staff. ***
And regarding gentlemanly behavior... it would be gentlemanly if Pascrell sincerely apologized for his staffer's thuggery, and for his staff's reprehensible attempt to cover up at least one of these attacks with an obvious lie. (As of this writing, I have yet to receive any type of an apology from Pascrell, Mega, or anybody else connected with Pascrell or Mega.)
We await word from Pascrell, and will have more to say (and do) about all of this should he -- not his staff, he -- fail to directly respond and address this unfortunate and regrettable situation to our full satisfaction. Pascrell can reach me at any time through e-mail at:
*** The North New Jersey Tea Party Group is the largest New Jersey-based tea party organization on Facebook in terms of members, with over 4,500 of them combined in our two group pages. ***
*** As always, feel free to pass on the above information! ***
North New Jersey Tea Party Group
Liberty, Free Markets, and Individual Rights