Activist ejected from Virginia senator’s re-election rally

Thursday, November 2, 2006

A mid-term re-election campaign rally held Tuesday morning by Virginia Senator George Allen at the Charlottesville Omni Hotel turned ugly after a University of Virginia law student, Daily Kos contributor and blogger, Mike Stark, was man-handled by Allen staffers in the hotel lobby after he asked the Senator about his 1970's divorce and arrest record.

Three Allen campaign staffers wrestled Stark to the ground, ending what Friends of George Allen said in a press release were "inappropriate questions" by Stark. Allen was approached by Stark as he tried to exit the conference room following his speech at "a well attended event". Stark is accused by the Allen campaign of stalking Allen, by The Washington Post of heckling him, and by Stark's own admission on his blog page of doing something that "got the adrenaline flowing".

Stark said he attempted to "stand my ground" after his question about Allen's sealed divorce records was met by pushing and shoving by Allen staffers, according to an interview by blogger Greg Sargent.

"I never raised my hands...They were actually physically pushing me away when I shouted to him, 'is it true that you spat on your wife'? That's when they said, 'now you're getting personal' and tackled me."

The slim polling lead once held by the Republican incumbent Allen has for the first time shifted to Webb, who now leads by a 50 – 46% margin, where the 4-point spread is within the 'margin of error percentage' of those surveyed by the Opinion Research Corporation.