Alaska reporter handcuffed by private security for asking GOPer Joe Miller questions

We know things are crazy in Alaska. But, it got even more bizarre. Teabagger/GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller’s security team handcuffed Alaska Dispatch reporter Tony Hopfinger who was trying to ask questions at a public forum. Yes, you read that right. Via The Mudflats:

Tony Hopfinger, editor at the Alaska Dispatch and host of a US Senate debate scheduled for Monday evening, followed Joe Miller into the hallway after the debate to ask additional questions. At a press conference last week, Miller announced he would no longer be taking questions about his past, but has continued advertising his past accomplishments; military combat service, Yale Law School, federal magistrate, etc.

According to Hopfinger:

1. Hopfinger had been trying to ask Miller questions when two or three guards told him to leave or risk being charged with trespassing.

2. When Hopfinger continued to try to ask questions, one of the guards put the reporter in an arm-bar and then handcuffed him.

3. Hopfinger was released after police arrived.

4. The reporter was on public property where a public event was being held at the time of the incident.

5. Miller has been adamant about his desire to avoid talking to the Alaska media, but no one in the working press in Alaska has ever before seen a candidate go to this length to avoid questions.

It is bizarre enough to have a reporter “arrested” by private security, but those of us who drive past The Drop Zone, the business behind Miller’s security, every day aren’t surprised by their over-reach or connection to Joe Miller.

The Alaska Dispatch has more including some great photos.

Here’s the report from ADN.com (and there’s a photo of the handcuffed reporter):

The editor of the Alaska Dispatch website was arrested by U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller’s private security guards Sunday as the editor attempted to interview Miller at the end of a public event in an Anchorage school.

Tony Hopfinger was handcuffed by the guards and detained in a hallway at Central Middle School until Anchorage police came and told the guards to release Hopfinger.

Hopfinger has not been charged but the owner of the Drop Zone, the private security firm that’s been providing Miller’s security, accused Hopfinger of trespassing at the public event, a town hall sponsored by the Miller campaign. The owner, William Fulton, also said Hopfinger assaulted a man by shoving him.

Last night, Scott MacAdams, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Alaska (and the voice of sanity in that contest), tweeted:

@JoeWMiller – in case you were unaware, the Constitution also applies to reporters #Ak #AkSen

Teabaggers have a very selective interpretation of the Constitution.

Let’s hope MacAdams can pull this out.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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