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Opening Arguments

Politics as a contact sport

Everybody knows politics are getting mean this season -- haven't we all been saying it? Still, this seems a little over the top:

 MUNCIE -- A Republican voter registration deputy jailed Wednesday for attacking a newspaper reporter and hitting the Democratic 6th District congressional candidate could be back to work as early as today.

Will D. Statom, 56, was preliminarily charged with battery, a misdemeanor, after he attacked Star Press reporter Nick Werner following a contentious Delaware County Election Board meeting.

Werner, 27, was interviewing Ball State University student Johanna Perez about hundreds of last-minute voter registration applications collected by Democrat Barack Obama's campaign when the reporter and Statom exchanged words. Werner said Statom made a sarcastic remark about his reporting while he was interviewing the student. The reporter said he then told the Republican appointee to "shut up."

Witnesses said Statom passed Werner, then turned around and shoved the reporter into a wall.

It always was a little rough in Muncie. How embarrassing for a reporter to get attacked by a political operative and defended by a candidate. The closest I ever got to that was a threat or two over the phone.




Harl Delos
Thu, 04/10/2008 - 11:37am

I got tackled once when shooting a semi-pro football game. An end sweep came my direction, and the shots I got were so exciting, it never occurred to me that they were headed out of bounds, right at me.

I'm not sure a political operative attacking a reporter is any worse than security guards tasering a voter who asked an embarassing question, though.