From the Associated Press/FOX News on Tuesday afternoon:
A Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) supporter is apologizing after he was seen on video stepping on a liberal activist’s head.
Tim Profitt, a volunteer with the Republican’s U.S. Senate campaign, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the camera angle made the scuffle Monday night appear worse that it was. He criticized police for not stepping in and says other supporters warned authorities about the activist.
Lauren Valle, a 23-year-old with the group MoveOn.org, was wrestled to the ground by Paul supporters when she tried to confront the tea party favorite with a fake award. Valle said Tuesday she was sore and swollen.
The Paul campaign cut ties with Profitt, removing him from his role as Bourbon County campaign coordinator and banning him from campaign events.
Let me start this post by saying, I denounce unnecessary physical aggression. Violence of any sort against a woman is especially repugnant. I commend the Paul campaign for taking the appropriate course of action in this case.
Not surprisingly though, some on the left are already holding Valle up as a martyr. Just graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in Religion. Recently finished a solar installation project. Environmental activist. She was just there to exercise her right to freedom of speech …
The truth is, this is not Lauren Valle’s first brush with controversy as a professional protester. Nor is it her first brush with the law.
Ms. Valle of course did not deserve the physical attack that was inflicted upon her, that’s not even up for debate here. But is it possible that perhaps the picture the left is presenting is a bit, say, out of proportion? Let’s put this incident into perspective.
“Her purpose was to try to get a picture with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) with this [RepubliCorp] sign so it could be used to embarrass Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in commercials,” [Lexington police Lt. Edward] Hart said, recounting what Valle told officers. She described herself as a contract employee with MoveOn.org.
…Valle told WDRB that she was there to present Paul with an award from RepubliCorp. The MoveOn.org-created group focuses on what it calls the merger between corporate America and the Republican Party. Its slogan: “Buying Democracy, One Race at a Time.”
Disguised in a blonde wig and donning a sticker on her sweatshirt that read “I’m a Rand Fan”, Valle is said to have initially blended into the crowd in an attempt to get close to Rand Paul. Apparently, when she lunged toward the direction of Paul, supporters surrounded and attempted to block her from getting near him. As CNN affiliate WDRB-TV in Louisville, KY captured, bystanders held Valle down on the ground and shouted, “Get the cops. Get the police out here.”
In the flurry of the chaos in an attempt to hold her at bay, as WDRB describes, Tim Profitt “stomps on her shoulder with his foot, which then lands on the side of her head ” It was an unfortunate – and inappropriate -response. Everyone’s condemned it. And as of this afternoon, police say that Profitt is being served with a criminal summons ordering him to appear before a Fayette County District Court Judge.
At the same time, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for one to examine and question the motives of a paid activist from MoveOn.org who disguised and then planted herself in the middle of an already large and passionate crowd, and then tried to get up right next to Rand Paul.
As I’ve noted, this is not Ms. Valle’s first brush with the law.
Lauren Valle has already faced felony charges after being arrested in May along with six others in Louisiana for her antics in a Greenpeace activism stunt. The group of activists had already been repeatedly warned by law enforcement to stay away from the area, after being spotted in the area the week leading up to the incident. The incident was serious enough that it drew the attention of the New Orleans Joint Terrorism Taskforce, which also reviewed the case. (I might add, this is also very similar to the work of The Ruckus Society, another organization funded by George Soros).
Such shenanigans are something we often like to refer to as “media bait.”
In a similar stunt, Valle and four other protesters were arrested and detained in China in August of 2008 after illegally hoisting a banner just outside the National Stadium (the “Bird’s Nest”) in Beijing’s Olympic Park. Progressives praised the action as part of a carefully coordinated effort amongst multiple activists organizing from multiple locations.
In April of 2008, Valle was also arrested after chaining herself to Citibank’s headquarters building in New York as part of a protest related the RainForest Action Network’s “dirtymoney.org” campaign. Dressed in costume as a “Billionaire for Dirty Energy”, Valle demanded with others that Citibank shift away from its large-scale investments in coal-fired power plants.
Valle told WDRB at Monday’s incident,
“We’re here to present Rand Paul with the ‘Employee of the Month’ award. However, his supporters were not very nice to me and my message, which is the same as everyone else — just wanted to get out here with a sign,” Valle of East Falmouth, Massachusetts, told WDRB. “I got my head stepped on, so I have a bit of a headache.”
Given her past record of showing up at protests and getting arrested, one could easily speculate that Ms. Valle had no intention of leaving Monday’s event without the occurrence of a public spectacle of some sort.
I could go on with more examples, but I think you get the picture. Because it certainly wouldn’t be right to speculate or blow that out of proportion, now would it?