Free Press Ejected by Republicans
The Delaware County Republican Party showed its true colors Tuesday after ousting a Free Press writer from a post-election party for Republican Mayor Sharon McShurley and the GOP ticket at the Regency ballroom. That constitutional right of freedom of press was denied by none other than Will Statom, local Republican Party chairman, who said someone asked that the writer leave.
"This is a private party," Statom said.
The Free Press wanted to get a few words from McShurley and take some photos after her defeat by Democrat Dennis Tyler, a state representative. The mayor kept turning away and a supporter, Micah Maxwell, said the mayor had nothing to say. (* See comment from Micah Maxwell below.) The writer was later talking with former Muncie School Board member Leon Dixon when Statom ordered him out.
"That is a low class move," Dixon told Statom.
Of course, Dixon was banned from writing letters in the big media, that endorsed McShurley and the entire Republican ticket. We the people remember when Statom attacked a reporter and hit a Democratic congressional candidate over another election dispute and only got anger management classes for a penalty.
Just hours before, McShurley told the same writer that she was confident of victory while standing with Chris Hiatt, that Good Government guy, at the Northside Church of Nazarene. She thought the election would be won on her performance and creation of jobs, given Tyler had no job plan and had not helped with economic development.
That negative campaign and her continued association with Hiatt certainly did not help in Tuesday's election. Hiatt was accused Tuesday of harassing and intimidating voters by Precinct 45 inspector Susan Danner who said he was crowding and forcing voters to take literature, Hiatt was wearing one of those Big Jim Arnold for Council shirts. Hiatt said the polling board would not allow campaign workers use church bathrooms.
Hiatt's group endorsed McShurley and the Republican team except when they endorsed dissent Democrats Dianna Bennington, who is the next Muncie City Court judge, and Muncie City Council member Linda Gregory who won re-election. Statom's disregard for freedom of the press speaks well of his first election as county chairman where Democrats swept all contested races.
We the people believe McShurley represented the city well, but was not very inclusive as represented Tuesday. And Hiatt, who made thousands of dollars in printing services from McShurley's campaign, might find Good Government (Tea Party) and their You Tube videos are wearing out among voters, given that Occupy Muncie is showing the face of the disadvantaged, disabled and unemployed fed up with the corruption of banks and government.