At a town hall meeting in Arvada on Saturday, Colorado state Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, faced pointed questions from an Occupy sympathizer pressing the senator about the protesters in Denver.
This uncomfortable exchange ensued:
Constituent: “O.K., and the final question is: I’m back to follow up on a question I posed previously, and do you recollect what that question was?”
Hudak: “At a previous meeting?”
Constituent: “I asked you . . . that I would be coming back to get an answer, and my guess is that you probably don’t have an answer.”
Hudak: “Well, refresh my memory what that question was…”
Constituent: “O.K., it was regarding First Amendment rights and how they’re being handled regarding the protestors in Denver. I asked you to go to Gov. Hickenlooper and your colleagues in the statehouse. We wanted an answer. Did you do that? And will you do it, if you have not?”
Hudak: “I . . . I will, would you please see Mary at the end of this meeting…”
Constituent: “No, you are . . . I took the time to come here on a Saturday to pose a question to my elected representative. I don’t want to be pointed to this person or that person. I don’t think it’s unreasonable. It’s a painful question, I understand that. You may not want to answer…”
Hudak: “You keep using the word ‘painful.’ I am not responsible for the governor. If you have a question of the governor, it’s best if you ask him.”
This carried on for several minutes until Hudak tried to move on. As the woman pressed the issue, others in attendance defended the senator.
Some Democrats may have hoped the Occupy movement would be the lefty answer to the Tea Party that helped Republicans take control of the U.S. House and flipped 17 state legislative chambers in 2010.
But it’s looking more like the Occupiers – in Colorado, at least – have turned some of their ire on Democrats. Among the incidents: an Occupy protest included a “Democrats Vote as Corporate Tools” sign outside a recent state Party dinner; protesters in November calling out the Colorado governor and Denver mayor by chanting, “Hickenlooper, Hancock / We ain’t go no riot gear / We just want to be here;” and U.S. Rep. Ed “Bullhorn” Perlmutter’s unsuccessful attempt to calm a protest in October.