In an exclusive interview with the TCOT Report, Sam Villanti, the GOP County Chairman for Lewis County, one of the eleven counties in the 23rd Congressional District, who was present at the event last night in Lowville, New York after which the Scozzafava Campaign called the cops to interrogate a reporter for the Weekly Standard, today said that he could not confirm the events as decribed by Scozzafava Campaign spokesperson Matt Burns. Lowville is a village in in Lewis County. As county chairman, Villanti officiated at the evening's dinner.
"I called for questions after the dinner, and no one really had any. Then afterwards, all of a sudden there was a police officer there."
The Politico today reported that Scozzafava spokesman Matt Burns described the incident as follows:
“This self-described reporter repeatedly screamed questions (in-your-face-style) while our candidate was doing what she is supposed to be doing: speaking with voters (remember, those who will decide this election?). And then he followed the candidate to her car, continuing to carry on in a manner that would make the National Enquirer blush. I have no doubt he intended to follow her home, too. His actions were reprehensible. Those are the facts.”
Burns came to his understanding of what he calls the facts by some means other than first hand knowledge. Villanti, who was there, said "Matt Burns was not there. I think only Mike Backus was there from Dede's campaign."
Villanti also confirmed that no one was screaming questions at Scozzafava while she was speaking with voters during the dinner itself. In fact, the appearance of the police officer baffled him.
"We had finished dinner and the party was breaking up. There were perhaps 25 people left in the room [out of about 100 who attended] and a police officer walked in. She told us she was responding to a 911 call, and was looking for someone named McDonald. We thought she was looking for the McDonald's restaurant, which is on the other side of town. She hung around, she was pretty persistent. I was the second or third last to leave. When I got in my car she was still parked in the lot."
You can read the rest of the story on the TCOT Report, at www.tcotreport.com.
Labels: Dede Scozzafava