"Last Wednesday, Bill Preston, an Illinois resident, arrived at an event in Joliet, IL to protest the group Americans for Prosperity, an organization supporting policies that outsource Illinois jobs and privatize Social Security and Medicare. Preston, not affiliated with the Halvorson for Congress Campaign or the Illinois Democratic Party, used several signs with pictures of notable conservative figures, including Congressional candidate Adam Kinzinger (IL-11), doctored to look like Nazi leader, Adolph Hitler.
Upon word that these signs were used, the Halvorson for Congress campaign condemned the actions of Mr. Preston and stated that the Congresswoman’s campaign was not affiliated with Mr. Preston’s individual and inexcusable protest.
Congresswoman Halvorson condemned Mr. Preston’s actions in two different media outlets (one posted on 9/16, and one posted on 9/17), and Adam Kinzinger continued to release false claims about Halvorson’s involvement and even used the unfortunate and condemnable actions of one man as an excuse to raise campaign funds.
Yesterday, Bill Preston came clean to Media Matters, an internet media watchdog organization, and even stated that he would never support Congresswoman Halvorson because of her conservative views supporting the National Rifle Association.
Below are links and clips of news stories highlighting Halvorson’s condemnation of Preston’s actions and Mr. Kinzinger’s insistence on perpetuating this unfortunate distraction from his policies that have proven to ship tens of thousands of jobs overseas and that would threaten retirement security for millions of Illinois seniors.
Media Matters Blog
Nazi sign protestor says he has no connection to Dem. Campaign
September 19, 2010 10:11 am ET
By: Matt Gertz
Bill Preston, the man holding signs portraying Fox News' Glenn Beck and Illinois Republican congressional challenger Adam Kinzinger with Hitler moustaches in a video circulating in the right-wing blogosphere, tells Media Matters that he has no connection to the campaign of Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-IL) or the Democratic protestors whose rally he joined last week.
Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment site -- well-known for posting out-of-context videos and using them to promote dubious conclusions -- posted a YouTube video of the rally on September 17. The heavily edited video shows roughly a dozen people protesting outside a Joliet, IL event for the right-wing organization Americans for Prosperity. The video also shows four of the protestors entering a Democratic Party headquarters following the event.
Right-wing media have said that one of those protestors is a former Organizing for America staffer. They have also noted that in the video, Halvorson campaign manager Julie Merz, a former aide to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is seen working in the office when the protestors return. Right-wing media have thus demanded that Obama and Pelosi "publicly apologize for the Democratic Party countenancing, participating in, and potentially organizing this rally that included vile, racist and extreme depictions of conservatives."
But according to both Preston and Merz, neither the Democratic Party nor Halvorson's campaign had anything to do with Preston or his signs. Merz tells Media Matters that several staffers for the Illinois Democratic Party's coordinated campaign held a rally protesting both the AFP event and what she called Kinzinger's support for outsourcing. Indeed, the video shows one of the protestors who later returned to the Democratic headquarters leading a chant of "outsource Adam, not our jobs."
Preston, Merz says, showed up to protest AFP on his own: "No one knew this gentleman, no one invited him, he had nothing to do with our campaign." Merz also points out that the protestors seen entering Democratic headquarters are not carrying the Nazi signs.
Preston concurs, telling Media Matters, "I was just there." He says that he went on his own to protest AFP and the tea party, bringing along "about five signs" depicting right-wing leaders with Hitler moustaches. Preston says that "the point of my signs is, why is it OK to have Obama with a moustache" but not those leaders shown in the same way. Media Matters has noted that tea party protestors have followed conservative media figures in invoking Adolf Hitler and the Nazis to smear President Obama.
Preston says that when he arrived outside the AFP event and saw other protestors, "I didn't know who they were." He says that he tried to hand out his signs to them, but with the exception of one person who, Preston says, briefly held a sign depicting Palin with a moustache, none of the other protestors would hold them; others would take the signs when he offered them, then try to hide them from sight.
In the video, several other protestors are seen trying to hold their own signs between Preston's sign and the camera. According to Preston, it was clear to him that his signs made the other protestors uncomfortable, with the most vocal telling him, "Why don't you find yourself another corner?" He says that he "regret[s] that people might associate my signs with the other people" who were there.
Halvorson's campaign has since condemned the signs, saying that "the congresswoman would never condone anyone comparing Kinzinger or any candidate to Hitler."
Preston says that he has no affiliation with the campaign, and that while he once was called and asked to go door to door as a volunteer, he refused because he doesn't support Halvorson because she "supports the NRA."
Media Matters contacted the Halverson campaign in the course of reporting this story. The campaign said that Preston had called them after the reports about the protest first appeared. The campaign provided us with Preston's phone number. Preston says that he contact the Halvorson campaign after Kinzinger began trying to link the signs to the Democratic representative to let the campaign know "I'm not with anybody." We confirmed Preston's identity by asking him to send us a photo of himself, which we then compared to the man shown holding the signs in the video.
Southland Politics Blog (Southtown Star Newspaper)
Kinzinger upset over protest photos
Thursday, September 16, 2010, 1:26pm
By: Joe Biesk
Click here to read the entire article.
Kinzinger on Thursday called for his November opponent U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-11) to condemn the pictures, which a spokesman for her campaign did.
"If Congresswoman Halvorson is not involved, I would expect that she would denounce their actions and investigate," Kinzinger said.
Halvorson campaign spokesman Anthony DeAngelo said the campaign did not stage any protest outside the Wednesday rally.
"Obviously, the congresswoman would never condone anyone comparing Kinzinger or any candidate to Hitler. There are far bigger issues in this race and it doesn't do anyone any good to resort to such petty actions," DeAngelo said. "It's obvious that the congresswoman shares Adam's concerns in the way that those people behaved."
The Capitol Fax Blog
Angry claims flood my in-box
Friday, September 17, 2010
By: Rich Miller
Click here to read the entire article.
The Halvorson campaign flatly denied any involvement. From a statement they sent me yesterday…
Some of the protesters stopped by the Illinois Victory office after the protest to say hello and get some water. In fact, some folks who were there in support of the AFP rally stopped by and dropped off some of their literature on the fair tax and negative lit on Debbie.
Our campaign had nothing to do with anyone holding signs linking Adam Kinzinger to Nazis. Those signs are not only offensive, they distract voters from the real issues in this race, like protecting jobs and seniors. Congresswoman Halvorson condemns these offensive tactics and would never condone such actions.
Candidate’s Opponents Bring Adolph Hitler into Campaign
Saturday, September 18, 2010, 7:13am
By: Rick Koshko
Click here to read the entire article.
Halvorson’s campaign spokesperson, Anthony DeAngelo, is quoted in a Southtown Star news article saying the Congresswoman doesn’t condone such tactics and denying staging the protest. The anti-Kinzinger people can be heard at the beginning of the video answering “no” when asked if they were doing it for Halvorson.
@electadam - To those that have asked, the video of the Halvorson Nazi protest can be found at the link below. http://fb.me/DPSVhUfC
@electadam - @debbiehalvorson @SarahPalinUSA please explain why your campaign workers arranged a protest depicting me and Gov Palin as a Nazi.
@electadam - See the photos of the distasteful protest that the Halvorson campaign organized.http://fb.me/CjYNl5Wi
@electadam - Kinzinger demands answers from Halvorson after Nazi protest. Read more athttp://electadam.com/news.asp?artid=211 http://fb.me/HSq4lVcQ ""