Soldiers of fortune

I’m not sure people grasp how weird the Joe Miller private security force story is. Here’s more from the Alaska dispatch:

Symbol said Miller became angry with an elderly woman who asked him about his military background. “He ended up getting really huffy with her,” Symbol said.

She said she got about two words into her question when Hopfinger interrupted her, stuck a small camera in Miller’s face and asked him about his work with the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

“I would say Tony was aggressive, and I would say he was rude because he interrupted me, but he didn’t do anything wrong and he wasn’t posing a threat to Miller,” Symbol said.

She said Miller tried to get away from the reporter and in doing so put his hand on her arm and pushed her aside. Her 8-year-old son, Vincent Mahoney, was standing right behind her, and Miller bowled him over in his attempt to get away. “I don’t know if [Miller] didn’t see him or didn’t care, but he didn’t say ‘excuse me’ or ‘I’m sorry’. He didn’t even turn his head,” Symbol said. “He simply did not care at all.”

Symbol said after Miller fled, she turned and saw Hopfinger trying to get around the security guards who were blocking his way. “They kept pushing him back. He kept saying, ‘I have a right to be here, I have a right to be asking these questions.’ Tony would try to walk forward and they would push him back.”

TPM had a profile of the the strange private security company that Miller employs. A source I spoke to says it gets even stranger: some of the guys at this company are actually on active duty. I’ll try to get some documentation of this up later.

Despite all of this, Miller is probably about to join “the most exclusive club in the world”. Where he will vote exactly the same way Lisa Murkowski did, of course.

Update. And here’s an article about the fact that some of Miller’s rent-a-cops are active duty military.






57 replies
  1. 1
    Rob says:

    How haven’t they been charged yet with false imprisonment?

  2. 2

    Oy.

    Two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward, one step back…. The arc bends toward justice, the arc bends toward justice….

    /rocks quietly in the corner; thanks stars for Illinois residency and Dick Durbin.

  3. 3
    mistermix says:

    Set aside the private police force for a minute. Miller also bowled over that lady’s 8 year old boy and didn’t apologize. She drove to the event as a supporter and left pissed.

    I really wonder how you can be an arrogant fucker like that and get elected in a small state.

  4. 4

    O/T, but good polling news I really wanted to share. A new PPP poll has Sestak up by 1 in PA. I know, I know, the election is still a ways off and polls are unreliable this year, but this is still encouraging news. Oh yeah, and Rass shows Murray up by 3 in WA. If Rass has her up by 3 then she’s probably really up by at least 6 or 7 points. Now if only Feingold would show signs of coming back.

  5. 5
    Face says:

    If that reporter/blogger guy had just a touch more melatonin in his skin, and a dark brown beard, he’d be on Flight #291 to Gitmo as I type.

  6. 6
    Pooh says:

    FWIW, Hopfinger is going to be on Hardball this afternoon, and according to have Facebook updates, is spitting mad.

  7. 7
    kdaug says:

    The Army is investigating whether or not the two contractors had permission to work for the security outfit.

    The investigation should be complete sometime after Nov. 3.

  8. 8
    WyldPirate says:

    @kdaug: @kdaug:

    The Army is investigating whether or not the two contractors had permission to work for the security outfit.
    The investigation should be complete sometime after Nov. 3.

    This is Obama’s fault. He can’t do a goddamned thing right.

    Way to go Obama! Just hand the rethugs the keys to government! Might as well as you’ve been so incompetent.

  9. 9
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Despite all of this, Miller is probably about to join “the most exclusive club in the world”. Where he will vote exactly the same way Lisa Murkowski did, of course.

    Honestly, is this something you serious believe? The guy’s campaign is imploding in an almost epic fashion right now. In addition to the fact that his Goon Squad now has been discovered to contain active duty military personnel, there’s also the fact that he said East Germany is the model we want to emulate for keeping our border safe at the same fucking rally. That issue seems to be getting a lot of play up in Alaska, as well. Moreover, the guy just reversed course and admitted that he was, in fact, disciplined for ethics violations while working at the Fairbanks North Star Borough in 2008. And on top of that, other videos have shown that Miller’s Goon Squad threatened to arrest other journalists as they were trying to figure out what happened to Hopfinger.

    Further still, you’ve got a now former Joe Miller supporter who is providing rock solid substantive evidence that Miller’s initial story about the incident was total bullshit, not to mention the bonus fact that he “bowled over” an 8 year old to get away from an out-of-shape middle aged journalist. Oh, and in addition to all of this, Scott McAdams is surging in the polls and killing it with the fundraising.

    This race is most definitely a toss up and things are not trending Joe Miller’s way at all. That’s pretty sloppy on your part, DougJ.

  10. 10
    kdaug says:

    Joe Miller is Greg Stillson personified.

  11. 11
    Alex S. says:

    Militias seem to be common in Alaska. Back in 2008, I read a little about Sarah Palin’s relations to militias, and the relations of her husband. These militias are all very anti-american-government, some favor Alaskan independence. I’m not surprised that the Tea Party has caught on there.

  12. 12
    Pooh says:

    Despite all of this, Miller is probably about to join “the most exclusive club in the world”. Where he will vote exactly the same way Lisa Murkowski did, of course.

    The second part of this is more important than the first. Though I suppose if the tea-party completely implodes up here Lisa will go from being “hard-right” back to being “routinely disappointing” in that fraud caucus sort of way. As embarrassing as it would be to Alaskans to have Miller as our Senator, he would probably be more useful as a boogeyman than Lisa’s meek buy identical vote on basically all issues (Lily Ledbetter is literally the only exception I can think of).

    I’m voting for McAdams, but at this point I expect Lisa to win with a surprisingly wide margin – the establishment up here appears to be turning, en masse, on Joe.

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WyldPirate:

    This is Obama’s fault. He can’t do a goddamned thing right.
    __
    Way to go Obama! Just hand the rethugs the keys to government! Might as well as you’ve been so incompetent.

    Uh, this is a joke, right? Because with the meltdown you’ve been having lately, I can’t really tell.

  14. 14
    Pooh says:

    @Alex S.:

    far be it for me to defend Sarah, but that story was way overblown. We don’t really have “militias” in the McVeigh sort of way, and the Alaska Independence Party is the kind of thing that people of an earlier age would endorse between puffing and giving.

  15. 15
    Nellcote says:

    @Alex S.:

    The guy that founded the Michigan Militia back in the ’90s moved up to Alaska a few years ago. For the “climate” no doubt.

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    @John – A Motley Moose: Rasmussen is doing what they usually do, show huge Republican leads further out to drive the story, then start drifting towards reality to keep their reputation.

  17. 17
    WyldPirate says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    C’mon, fishy…take it, take it…..

  18. 18

    @WyldPirate: You are obviously delusional. This is all Biden’s fault – loose lips and all that jazz. And, of course, Hillary’s fault for not negotiating in good faith with the Alaska Independence Party. Furthermore, this would have never happened if the lame stream media hadn’t driven Sarah Palin from office with their constant hounding.

  19. 19
    Remember November says:

    I smell a court martial. Which won’t actually matter, because these honorless goons don’t count as “Troops” and will go scuttling to Blackwater or Drop Zone once they get DDC’d.

  20. 20
    Rick Massimo says:

    A source I spoke to says it gets even stranger: some of the guys at this company are actually on active duty.

    Active-duty military detaining reporters who want to ask questions of candidates for public office.

    Nope. I don’t see any way this can go badly. None at all. After all, how else can we defend ourselves against Obama’s assault on American freedoms?

  21. 21
    cleek says:

    are there any sane teabagger candidates?

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WyldPirate:

    C’mon, fishy…take it, take it…..

    No, I’m genuinely confused. So it was snark? Because you haven’t shown a huge capacity for making fun of yourself about this subject before.

  23. 23
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cleek:

    are there any sane teabagger candidates?

    I think “sane teabagger” is an oxymoron.

  24. 24
    WyldPirate says:

    @John – A Motley Moose:

    You’ve obviously been snorting too many of your own moose droopings, John.

    I know the impotent, lamestream media sabotaged the Queen Snowbilly the first time around–probably because of all of that soshulized medicine Viaagara they get–but it won’t work this time.

    The Hoverround people are on to the lamestream media and Christine, Sharon, Michelle and Sarah are going to bite the arms off of the Obamafascistsoshulists like the strong Mama grizzlies they are!

    USA! USA! USA!

  25. 25

    @cleek: I admire how you managed to get the words “sane” and “teabagger” to sit still in the same sentence, rather than flying off in opposite directions like two upside-magnets, but: No.

  26. 26
    Sad_Dem says:

    Joe Miller’s behavior, rank, and public/private goon squad represent the future of this country.

  27. 27
    celticdragonchick says:

    @WyldPirate:

    C’mon, fishy…take it, take it…..

    If you were snarking, then your follow up line is actually pretty funny.

  28. 28
    Poopyman says:

    @cleek:
    Mutually exclusive.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Beat me to it. If there were, they’d have to atone by carving a big red “S” on their foreheads.

  31. 31
    kay says:

    I’m finding it hard to have much sympathy for the press. This started with Palin, and it’s only escalated.
    Conservatives simply refuse to answer questions. Why should they? Palin hasn’t answered a question since she quit her job, and she gets loads of free press. She’s made millions, and her every utterance is broadcast, unquestioned, with no chance for rebuttal.
    Maybe they shouldn’t have given Palin and the rest of the Tea Party a complete pass. They created this monster. Maybe they can unmake it, but I doubt it.

  32. 32

    @kay: The press could turn this around in a heartbeat, if they wanted. The fact they haven’t already done so is troubling.

  33. 33
    Geoduck says:

    @John – A Motley Moose:

    As a Washington state resident.. Murray was never in serious danger of being beaten by Dino Rossi; anything you read to the contrary is probably a media outlet trying to whip up a horse-race narrative.

    I don’t think Rossi even really wants to win; he doesn’t want to live in Washington DC. He got into the race because the GOP begged him on the basis of name-recognition and it keeps the fund-raising taps open.

  34. 34
    BGinCHI says:

    Forget about all this: Symbol and Hopfinger??

    I smell a buddy movie!

    Doris, get me Jeff Goldblum!!

  35. 35
    kay says:

    @John – A Motley Moose:

    The fact they haven’t already done so is troubling.

    I don’t understand why a candidate for Senate gets to announce he’s not going to answer any questions. It’s not just Miller. Angle runs from the press and Palin openly jeers at the idea that they have a role. I think it’s absolutely ludicrous, and if I were a member of that profession I would be ashamed that I didn’t stand up to the Tea Party.
    I’m glad the authentic, state police force were there to rescue this guy, but I don’t know that reporters can complain.
    They handed this exemption to the Tea Party. Good luck taking it back.
    What politician or political party wouldn’t love an absolute free pass from the press? They Tea Party got it, and the media gave it to them. They handed over any authority or legitimacy they had when the decided to promote Sarah Palin’s celebrity career.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Madeline says:

    @John – A Motley Moose: Feingold has – within 2. Virtual tie. Link

  38. 38
    kay says:

    @John – A Motley Moose:

    Conservative candidates don’t appear at debates anymore in Ohio. They simply don’t show up.
    Media reaction? They all got newspaper endorsements.

    There’s no downside to blowing them off. Don’t feel like defending your position, or even explaining your position?
    FINE. Here, let us hand you an endorsement. We have no earthly idea what your position is, or whether you can defend it, not to mention that your not attending deprives the other side of a chance at a rebuttal to the campaign ads, but we’ll endorse anyway.

    It’s ridiculous, and it’s getting worse. I’ll be surprised if conservatives bother to show up at all in the next election. They’ll simply appear on FOX. They don’t even endorse or appear in their own campaign ads. They don’t have to. They’re put on by outside groups, and they’re 100% attack ads.

  39. 39
    kay says:

    @Madeline:

    Thank you.
    I’m convinced (perhaps irrationally) he can win but now I’ll have something to point to :)
    He won by two points in ’98, right? Maybe he can do it again.

  40. 40

    @Chris G.: and a reply to Madeline. Good news, but an awful small sample – 400 – with a large margin of error. Wish I had some money to send Feingold’s way.

  41. 41

    @kay: And these are the people that talk about transparency in government, but not in campaign financing, of course. What I find troubling is that the media could hammer them for their reticence, but they don’t. Why not? It can’t be good for the interests of the media. One other thing, would or will they tolerate this from Dems?

  42. 42
    Chris G. says:

    @John – A Motley Moose: Very good points, but it seems like we’re seeing a fair amount of tightening all over the map — CO and PA yesterday, and longer-shot races like KY, NC, and MO, and now this poll in WI today.

  43. 43
    Madeline says:

    @John – A Motley Moose: and Kay — Yeah, I hear you. But St. Norbert’s is a pretty reputable poll in WI. And the last debate is Friday night.

    I’m not giving up yet.

  44. 44
    soonergrunt says:

    As far as the active duty soldiers doing this job, they could be in a heap of trouble. Soldiers are allowed to moonlight if the work doesn’t interfere with regular military duties or embarrass the Army. Soldiers are supposed to request permission to hold an outside job every time their Company or Battalion Commander changes. According to the article, they already believe they are in trouble with their chain of command.
    This part is interesting:

    Miller gave interviews to Fox and CNN on Monday. He told Fox, “I might also note that the middle school itself required us by a contract for a campaign, required us to have a security team.” He told CNN, “There was a — a private security team that was required. We had to hire them because the school required that as a term in their lease.”

    But district spokeswoman Heidi Embley said that wasn’t true.

    “We do not require users to hire security,” she said. Renters must only have a security plan to protect users and the school itself, she said, and can resolve the issues with “monitors.”

    link

  45. 45
    Lee says:

    …said the two soldiers did not have permission from their current chain of command to work for the Drop Zone, but the Army was still researching whether previous company or brigade commanders authorized their employment.

    From the ADN article.

    I have a feeling those soldiers are going to be answering a few questions very soon.

  46. 46
    rickstersherpa says:

    First, what is the “press” right now? The Washinton Post is a shadow of itself and the editorial page is more corporatist than Fox. The networks and cable news shows are owned by huge conglomerates are primarily about attracting eyeballs with “narratives,” the more “horse race” and senationalistic the better. The “Tea Party” has been great TV theater, starring the very people who are the target audience for FOX News. But CNN and MSNBC are not much metter. CNBC mostly champions the line of Wall Street, with the exceptions of Steve Lisman, Art Cashin, the World Wide Exchange. Finally, the elite media is called the Village for a reason.

    I am not sure Murkowski would vote to convict regarding Obama’s impeachment (basic charge: Being Black while President), but I expect I know how Mr. Miller will vote.

  47. 47
    Meg says:

    Also the security firm’s license has expired last year.

  48. 48
    kay says:

    @Madeline:

    I’m not giving up yet.

    Good for you. I’m finding the biggest problem in Ohio is convincing Democrats they might not lose. They’ve completely internalized the national narrative. Some of the races are within 2 points and they’re resigned to losing. It’s a tough problem because it’s self-fulfilling. Buying the narrative makes the narrative more likely true. I don’t know what to do about it.
    I know Wisconsin works like Ohio works for Democrats – you have to minimize the damage in rural counties and bring out the urban counties, so good luck, and good for you for not accepting defeat before it’s over.
    It’s not like you get extra points for being a good loser anyway:)

  49. 49
    kay says:

    @soonergrunt:

    “Security plan” is a term of art in public schools. They all have them, post Columbine.
    All Miller was supposed to do was make sure his event aligned with the school’s policy on locked doors, points of entry, etc.
    It’ s about safety for students and staff, not him, the dumbass.
    The assumption is the visitor and guests can take care of themselves.
    Figures he interpreted that to mean he needed to hire goons. It’s all about him.

  50. 50
    Madeline says:

    @kay: I buy that we’re going to lose the WI Governor’s race – which on its face is very strange, because the Dem is a really good guy and the Rep seems to be really good at financial mismanagement, but lose Feingold to a total nothing like Johnson? That’s the motivation, at least for me. And Feingold’s even ticked me off a couple times the past few years. But Feingold is in a class by himself, and Johnson is just such an empty vessel. He’d be a total embarrassment for my state.

    Good luck in Ohio.

  51. 51
    OC says:

    Apparently they were active duty and moonlighting without the knowledge of their superiors. Could they be in major doo doo with the military?

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.c.....?ref=fpblg

  52. 52
    soonergrunt says:

    @OC: They probably are not looking at time in the stockade, but there might be an Article 15 in their future.
    The Specialist (E-4) could be busted all the way down to Private E-1, and the Sergeant (E-5) could be busted to Specialist (E-4)
    Potential charges could be: Art. 92, Failure to Obey an Order or Regulation, Art. 128, Assault; Art. 134, Conduct Predjudicial to Good Order and Discipline (the general article which essentially means whatever the hell the commander wants it to mean)
    There can also be lesser included offenses.

  53. 53
    soonergrunt says:

    @OC:
    They probably are not looking at time in the stockade, but there might be an Article 15 in their future.
    The Sp ecial ist (E-4) could be busted all the way down to Private E-1, and the Sergeant (E-5) could be busted to Specialist (E-4)
    Potential charges could be: Art. 92, Failure to Obey an Order or Regulation, Art. 128, Assault; Art. 134, Conduct Predjudicial to Good Order and Discipline (the general article which essentially means whatever the hell the commander wants it to mean)
    There can also be lesser included offenses.

  54. 54
    soonergrunt says:

    @OC:
    They probably are not looking at time in the stockade, but there might be an Article 15 in their future.
    The Sp ecial ist (E-4) could be busted all the way down to Private E-1, and the Sergeant (E-5) could be busted to Spe cia list (E-4)
    Potential charges could be: Art. 92, Failure to Obey an Order or Regulation, Art. 128, Assault; Art. 134, Conduct Predjudicial to Good Order and Discipline (the general article which essentially means whatever the hell the commander wants it to mean)
    There can also be lesser included offenses.

    Fuck the mod filter also too!

  55. 55
    Bella Q says:

    On the topic of expired licenses, Pooh or any other Alaskans here – are law firms required to have a business license there? Because Miller’s expired in 2005 according to the AK commerce website.

  56. 56

    @Meg:

    Also the security firm’s license has expired last year.

    I saw the tweet reproduced on HuffPo but couldn’t find anything more definitive. That doesn’t disprove the allegation of course.

    That would be cute if true, wouldn’t it?

    Hey! Pass the popcorn!

  57. 57
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I saw the tweet reproduced on HuffPo but couldn’t find anything more definitive. That doesn’t disprove the allegation of course.
    __
    That would be cute if true, wouldn’t it?
    __
    Hey! Pass the popcorn!

    Here’s the link to the original post at Palingates. They do a pretty thorough job of establishing the allegation as a fact.

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