Fargo City Commissioner Linda Coates is among more than 40 area residents included on a list of people barred from attending President Bush's speech today in Fargo.
Among the 42 area people on the do-not-admit list: two high school students, a librarian, a Democratic campaign manager and several university professors.
Of course they deny there is such a list:
White House spokesman Jim Morrell and Don Larson, a spokesman for the North Dakota governor's office, say they don't know anything about such a list.
"This is the first I'm hearing of it," Morrell said when contacted Wednesday.
Nevertheless the list was handed out and checked twice.
But two sources close to Tuesday's ticket distribution confirmed the list exists and includes a handful of names of people who were not to receive tickets to today's event at North Dakota State University's Bison Sports Arena.
The list was supplied to workers at the two Fargo distribution sites, along with tickets and other forms citizens were asked to fill out upon receiving them. People who handed out tickets had copies of the list at their tables to determine if anyone should be denied access, both sources said.
From Democracy Radio:
In response to reports out of Fargo, North Dakota that dozens of citizens – including the producer of Democracy Radio’s The Ed Schultz Show and an elected city commissioner – had been banned from attending President Bush’s speech today, I released the following statement:
"News of the Bush blacklist of dozens of citizens from a Fargo, North Dakota speech is as frightening as it has become routine for this Administration. To blacklist a local citizen because he produces a radio program at odds with the political agenda of the White House is dangerous for Democracy.
This Administration cannot promote freedom and liberty abroad while banning our most fundamental freedoms here at home. The pattern of stifling those voices that do not represent conservative orthodoxy has chilling implications for our Democracy.
Consider these recent cases:
A man is arrested and charged for holding a small “No War” sign at the January Inaugural.
The mother of a soldier killed in Iraq is ejected, arrested and charged while attending a rally for Laura Bush in September.
Across the country, citizens are removed from public sidewalks because “the President had requested a federal protection zone."
The greatness of this country lies in our constitutionally-protected freedoms and liberties. To attempt to ban those freedoms here at home hurts every American."
If "Freedom is on the march in Iraq", it's sure on the retreat here in the US.