It rained on the “Rainy Day Patriots” debate parade last night in Hoover. Four US Senate candidates (Shelby skipped the event) and the TEA Party group sponsoring the debate got kicked out by the owner. According to a terrific report by the Auburn Plainsman, the Rainy Day Patriots regularly meet at a local shooting range (Hoover Tactical Firearms), and scheduled the debate without the consent of the owner.
According to shop owner Gene Smith, Hoover Tactical Firearms had no knowledge until the day before that a debate had been scheduled on its property by the Rainy Day Patriots. The tea-party group holds regularly scheduled meetings at Hoover Tactical Firearms every Thursday.
According to Smith, a debate between U.S. Senate candidates does not fall under the purview of a normal meeting.
“Tonight’s gathering was never booked with Hoover Tactical,” Smith said. “We found out about it yesterday. This is very inappropriate for someone to come and take over someone’s property.”
He has a point, but later comments seem to indicate that the real problem is that Smith is a Shelby supporter and the poor guy (who declined to attend) wasn’t there to “defend himself:”
Smith met with Anne Eubank, an organizer with the Rainy Day Patriots, before the program began. According to Smith, he and Eubank made an agreement that the candidates would not say anything negative about Shelby because he was not there.
Then it got good:
Smith agreed to host the debate if the four candidates did not attack Shelby, but the crowd did not agree.
The crowd at the debate, including Rick Renshaw, campaign manager for McConnell, did not respond well to Smith’s rules. Smith ordered the group to disburse after members of the audience began to shout back at him.
According to McGill and Bowman, they were prepared to stay positive, but McConnell’s campaign led to the shutdown of the debate. After members of the crowd chose to stay when they were ordered to disperse, four Hoover Police Department patrol cars arrived on the scene.
And then it got better. McGill started whining about his long drive. If you remember, he also cited his “long drive from Scottsboro to Montgomery” as a reason he supported a legislative pay raise when he was a state senator.
“That was McConnell’s campaign manager that ruined it for everyone,” McGill said. “I think it was intentional for publicity purposes. It’s very frustrating to drive two-and-a-half hours just to have one of the campaign managers ruin it. I don’t go negative.”
And then it went full-on South Carolina primary!
“This is the Nazi Gestapo that Richard Shelby represents,” McConnell said. “It’s that Machine at Alabama that runs politics in Alabama. It’s Shelby and his thugs that basically try to keep us from even talking about his record. He doesn’t have a conservative record.”
“Richard Shelby is a liar,” McConnell said. “He is a coward because he isn’t here, and he’s a thug.”
Please proceed, gentlemen…. we haven’t laughed this hard in a long time.
Remember everyone: there is a Democratic primary for US Senate: