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Musgrave tries to toss Michael Schiavo from audience at public debate

Angie Paccione needs to represent Colorado’s 4th district.

Marilyn Musgrave is a disgrace and a vile human being, not only for her homobigotry, but because of her utter cowardice in defending her godawful, hateful positions. Read and keep your jaw off of the table as you read this excerpt from a DKos diary by Terri Schiavo’s husband Michael, who came to attend a public debate between Musgrave and Paccione.

…minutes after taking my seat, I noticed a flurry of activity around my seat including about four uniformed police officers who were – I would learn later – called in by Musgrave staffers and asked to remove me from the building.

At this point, I had made no speeches, I had no signs, had made no attempt to disrupt or cause any commotion. I only came into the auditorium, spoke to a dozen or so reporters and took a seat.

To their credit, the police refused the Musgrave campaign’s appeal to have me removed.

There’s more to come, but I still can’t get over even that part. A sitting member of Congress asked the police to remove me – a taxpaying citizen – from a public debate. Obviously, I misunderstand the concept of a political debate. I thought a debate was a place to share ideas, answer questions, defend your record and tell citizens what you’ve done and what you will do. Marilyn Musgrave believes, I have to gather, that debates are places to have the police remove people who don’t agree with you.


After the police talked with obviously irritated Musgrave staffers and the debate organizer, the Musgrave campaign complained that my seat, next to the timekeeper, was inappropriate because – get this – Marilyn Musgrave would have to look at me. In an effort to appease the Musgrave camp, the debate organizers moved the timekeeper to the other side of the stage – about 15 seats away.

If you need to re-read that again, it’s okay. A member of Congress who took to the floor of our Congress to speak about my wife, my family and my values made the debate timekeeper move so she wouldn’t have to look at me. Just amazing.

Schiavo noted that Musgrave supporters circled around him as the debate wrapped, preventing him from asking a question, even shouting “We love you Marilyn” to drown Schiavo out. This is sick.

I will give her credit, though, Marilyn Musgrave may have been the first member of Congress with the courage to actually demonstrate for all of us what “cut and run” really looks like. Marilyn Musgrave’s display was the sorriest excuse for Democracy I’m likely ever to see.

Angie Paccione, by contrast, acted like a Congresswoman and stayed on stage and in the room for nearly an hour after the debate talking to people and shaking hands.

But underneath it all I’m left with something I can’t get past. Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, as I said, had no problem at all in speaking about me and my family on the floor of Congress. Yet she can’t bring herself to even look at me. She has to seek help from the police to have me removed from a public debate.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding