Friday, February 23, 2007

Thelma Drake's Office--Private or Public?

Yesterday, approximately 10 people showed up at Thelma Drake's office for a MoveOn action. The "plan" was for the group to assemble outside of Drake's office (usually in the parking lot) for a few minutes to allow a short speech, address any questions from the press (if they bothered to show up) and then deliver petitions to Thelma Drake. MoveOn has done this a number of times in the past. MoveOn members know that "often" Thelma's landlord will "just happen" to come by, make a big fuss about "private property," and make people leave.

Yesterday, the office staff decided to shut out the lights and "hide" in the office rather than accept the petitions from constituents attempting to "redress their grievances" over the Iraq War. Supposedly a constitutional right that our members of Congress swear an oath to uphold. The crowd consisted of a number of veterans (some of whom have served in Iraq). One veteran--Tom Palumbo-- decided he would "wait peacefully" for the office to reopen so he could deliver the petition.

Tom Palumbo was arrested for trespassing and is to appear before the court on March 26th. Palumbo will fight the trespassing charge. According to Tom Palumbo “It shouldn’t be trespassing to petition a member of Congress.”

I totally agree with Mr. Palumbo. Thelma Drake has a district office that is fully paid for by taxpayer money. This office is for her to serve ALL of her constituents equally. If constituents cannot go see their delegates and deliver petitions because of "private property" issues then the Congressional member should be footing the bill for "their private office" and not the taxpayers.

I am pleased that Tom Palumbo is fighting the trespassing charges. Maybe Thelma Drake will have to become more "hospitable" to all of her consituents and start following that constitution she pledged to uphold.

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