After about three minutes, the crowd began to grow. Lampson was suddenly surrounded by about 30 sign-waving protesters, some shouting and one blasting an air horn. Protesters flanked Lampson on either side and stood close behind him, shouting and chanting.Crazy crazy wingnuts!
Lampson supporters jostled for position, making their own signs visible. Lampson continued with his press conference, but the noise was so loud reporters were forced to stand face to face with the Democratic candidate to hear.
“You ask Tom DeLay’s people to do the right thing,” Lampson said, pointing a thumb at protesters shouting behind his head, “and this is what their answer is. It’s time the people of this district had a real congressman.”
Asked if Perry has any legal obligation to call a special election, Lampson replied, “Why do people need a legal obligation to do what’s right?”
He later said he believes Perry is under no legal obligation. However, he bristled at the suggestion the 22nd District could go without a congressional representative for half a year.
Lampson’s supports sported tea bags hanging from their shirt pockets, symbolizing the American Revolution slogan “no taxation without representation.”
Tempers flared as Lampson supporters tried to quiet the protesters. Arguments broke out, some minor pushing and shoving ensued and at least one woman was grazed in the head by a sign wielded by a DeLay supporter.
Marsha Rovai, 70, of Richmond, said one of the protesters hit her and another man shoved a sign in her face. She said that when she pushed the sign away, the man pulled her hat down over her face.
(On Thursday afternoon, Lampson’s campaign released a statement saying Rovai has asked the campaign to “help see if any of the television stations caught this incident on tape so she can consider filing an assault charge.”)
The press conference broke up, but heated arguments gained in intensity.
Sugar Land Police officers were called to the scene, but did not intercede. Officers in five or six cruisers stayed at a distance and watched the exchange, which subsided after 15 or 20 minutes.
DeLay campaign manager Chris Homan acknowledged organizing the protesters. - Fort bend Now