The King County Republicans are fools. About two weeks ago I made a reservation to attend their Lincoln Day Dinner. Though I am hardly a Republican I was fascinated that they had invited Karl Rove to speak and not only that, had scheduled this for the anniversary of the assassination of Lincoln!
Unbelievable poor taste! But worse, what local candidate, I wondered, would have wanted to be seen with this pariah?
Anyhow, the KC Republicans took my $100 even though I explicitly asked if it was OK to bring a camera. The man on the phone said sure, we always allow cameras.
The a couple of days later I was called by the Republicans. they had seen some of my posts and worried that I might intend to be disruptive! Really? Well .. maybe it was my fault. I had offered a prize for the best suggestion of how to clown it up when I had my picture taken (for another $150) with the Architect,
I assured the caller that I was hardly a disruptive type and was neither Republican nor Democrat, rather a patriot who photographs and blogs. I asked them to reconsider. They did. They did three times on subsequent phone calls, each time saying cameras were fine.
Anyhow I photographed some of the protesters ... about 30 folks, maybe twice that at its peak, Mostly polite despite some unneeded provocation by the police who may have been disappointed not to have more to do!
One officer, a King County cop named Stephen Gown, seemed esp. concerned about me. After I photographed some of the demonstrators, this burly guy trailed me on my way to the parking lot and then started yelling at me when I photographed the Sheriff van. (There were two of vans, enough for arresting a lot of folks!).
I assured the officer that I was up to no ungood. He kept flexing his muscles and telling me that he wanted me to move on, that I shouldn't be there etc. I told him I was a paid guest at the dinner and had every right to be there. He then appeared with a nice lady who ostentatiously checked a long list of names (she was confused about how my name was spelled I think) until she finally found me. I said "See!:~~~ She said, OK, I could go into the garage.
So I could go to the elevator and got to the meeting but I could not bring my camera!!!!!!!!!! The lady with the clipboard told me I could stay if and only if I let security hold my camera.
I told her the lady, entiled "event manager," that I had explicit permission but she told me the White House did not allow cameras when Rove speaks except from registered news media. I , I , yi yi. I saw no solution. I guess I could have asked to to see a Secret Sevice Officer to be told this was White House policy. What the hell ......
Anyhow, I did take one, I suppose illegal image of the loverly folks before I left, tail between my legs and made some more pictures of the other side.
- When I reappeared outside, officer Gown seemed to be worried about me. At one point he berated me for being in the street to photogrpah some of the arriving cars. Actually I was about 13" away form the curb and in no way 0obstrcuting traffic .. I think the good man was hoping he could find some reason to harass me. I did point out that under the law I was in my rights to photograph anything in public view ... he became a bit upset and told me He Knew the Law too. I assured him that I was POSITIVE that he did. A lttle later I did jaywalk. I noted one of Officer Gown's colleagues eyeballing me ... I guess it wasn;t worth his trouble!
Sighhh. Later on Goldy's radio show a reporter was asked whether there were cameras allowed .. apparently they were, many folks took pictures but non of them were SeattleJew.
I did enjoy taking pix of the protesters ...especially paper mache Bush chain gang! They marched up and down the street, clearly the royalty of the protesters. Most of the folks were actually pretty nice, many had heard of SeattleJew and enjoyed some of what I write here! Cool! Hope they like the pix too.