Registered Republican Chris Wilson wanted to see her party's vice presidential nominee speak to an Arizona audience on August 31. But organizers of Jack Kemp's appearance at Industrial Mechanical, a South Phoenix factory, didn't like what she was wearing. The chemical engineer was one of several people who wore "Stop Sumitomo" tee shirts and were told they couldn't enter the factory until they covered themselves with Dole/Kemp campaign tee shirts. Wilson says she politely acquiesced.
"'You're one of those people who were protesting outside, aren't you?'" Wilson says she was asked by a factory employee soon after she sat down. "He told me, 'I don't want you in my factory.' And he was getting really hostile. I told him I was a registered Republican, but he said if I didn't leave he'd have me escorted out of the building and arrested."
So she left.
Industrial Mechanical spokeswoman Diane Eygendaal defends the ouster of Wilson and a handful of other dissidents by noting that the rally wasn't open to the public. Eygendaal says only employees and Republicans who had been hand-picked by a party operative were invited.
Sue Walker, a protester who stayed, says Kemp called on softball questioners and avoided the upraised hands of Sumitomo foes who managed to remain.
Wilson says the experience has soured her on the GOP. "It just shows the intolerance of the party for people with differing views," she says.
Author: I'm No Bomb-Thrower
With such titles as The Panama Hat Trail and On the Boarder to his credit, Tucson author Tom Miller is well-known for his nonfiction. So he was startled to see what he says were "dead wrong" quotes attributed to him in a front-page August 26 Arizona Republic.
The piece--written by Paul Brinkley-Rogers and published on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago--consisted of recollections of the tumultuous 1968 Democratic Convention. It contained the following passage:
"In 1968, I was very pleased to read, as an antiwar protester, that some people had thrown bombs at banks," said author Tom Miller of Tucson, then a reporter and demonstrator with the College Press Service. "I got my cuts and bruises. I was 21, and that was what you did in those days.
"But in 1996, I'm floating a home-improvement loan from the Bank of America."
In 1968, some Bank of America branches were fire-bombed by antiwar radicals.
"I made no reference to 'bombs' or 'banks,' none whatsoever. [Emphasis his.] And the year was 1970," Miller wrote to the Republic in requesting a correction.
"I never said, 'I was 21, and that was what you did in those days.' Your reporter asked me my age, but the rest of the quote is not from me."
Miller says when he spoke to Brinkley-Rogers about the story, "He blamed a lot of it on his editors."
The Republic ran a cryptic correction on August 30.
Neither Brinkley-Rogers nor his editor returned phone calls seeking comment.
Inaccurate quotations are central to a libel lawsuit against Brinkley-Rogers and the Republic by the Arizona Boys Ranch ("Murdering the Truth," December 29, 1994). In that piece, the Boys Ranch claims, the compression of quotes omitted exculpatory statements.
Miller says he's known Brinkley-Rogers for years. "I don't think this was a purposeful or personal attack," Miller says, attributing the errors to "rank sloppiness."
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