The Big Story Blog

Iowa: GOP officials worried about Occupy protesters

Posted at 2:00 PM on January 2, 2012 by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Iowa

Politico writes about Republican officials in Iowa who are worried about Occupy Wall Street protesters disrupting tomorrow's caucuses.

Here's what Edward Isaac-Dovere writes:

Republicans across Iowa are bracing for trouble on Tuesday, concerned that caucus sites will be the next stop for the Occupy protesters who've staged demonstrations and disruptions at election events across the state.

Occupy leaders say they're not planning to interfere with the voting, though they expect actions leading up the vote at candidates' headquarters and afterward at victory parties. But even if 99 percent of the 99 percenters comply, the prospect of scattered protesters inciting confrontations with Republican voters has people from both camps on edge.

Naomi Leinen who is Republican party co-chair for Pottawattamie County, which includes the Council Bluffs area in western Iowa, shared similar concerns with MPR last Tuesday.

"I know some of the Occupy Wall Street people are trying to influence the votes," she said. "They may come and do same day voter registration or switch parties the same day."

Meanwhile, the Des Moines Register reports about 12 protesters affiliated with Occupy the Caucuses, an off-shoot of the Wall Street movement, being arrested at a downtown Des Moines hotel.

About two dozen demonstrators, some with dollars bills taping their mouths shut, laid down on the lobby floor to protest the role of corporate money in politics, and the signing on Saturday of the National Defense Authorization Act into law by President Barack Obama. In all, about 50 protesters filled the hotel lobby.

The story continues:

The protest, which organizers called a "die-in," began shortly after 1 p.m. Police started making arrests about 30 minutes later, but not before some arriving guests and a Jimmy Johns delivery person had to step around the mass of people lying on the floor. Protesters were issued citations and released, police said.

The protesters said they came to meet with Democratic National Party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The tried twice on Sunday to meet with her at the hotel, where Democrats have set up a rapid-response communications center dubbed the "war room."


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.

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