For the record: John Hugh Gilmore is not an employee of Andrew Breitbart. While he is a conservative blogger (of the Minnesota Conservatives blog), he does have some standards.
Gilmore lives in St. Paul, and is a pretty big wheel in Minnesota Republican politics, being in tight with the Marty Seifert and Ben Golnik/Gregg Peppin crowd as well as being a prominent Republican Party of Minnesota functionary in State Senate District 65 and a state central committee member. He backed Seifert in the 2010 Republican race for the gubernatorial nomination, but dutifully (albeit reluctantly) climbed onto the wildly careening Emmer bandwagon once Emmer’s nomination was a done deal.
He also happens to be the person who was arrested last Thursday night for getting drunk and harassing two Muslim women of Middle Eastern descent. This is the incident that triggered a flash mob protest on Saturday’s session of Right Online, and accounted for some of the passion with which Andrew Breitbart’s attempt to disrupt Netroots Nation 2011 was met. Here’s Sue Wilson’s account:
.The story started the night before when two women ventured into the streets of Minneapolis wearing the traditional Hijab (headscarf.) They were approached by John Hugh Gilmore, a 52 year attorney and self described Conservative who blogs for “Minnesota Conservatives.” According to police, he asked the women what they thought of Ayaan Hersi Ali, a Somali who is a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who decries Muslims. The women told him they weren’t exactly fans. The inebriated Gilmore then became upset and started harassing the pair, asking what right they had to be in this country, until 60 onlookers intervened. Police were called and arrested Gilmore, but not until Gilmore tried to reach Andrew Breitbart on his phone.
Mind you, this is one of the persons who makes up the ‘respectable’ wing of the local GOP, capable of doing semi-credible defenses of Democrats like Terri Bonoff on invocations — though he muffs it when he attacks her for backing nondenominational ones only: “Invoking Jesus or Yahweh does not violate the separation of church and state. This misses the point entirely but then again MC has not found democrats to be well versed in either religion or the constitution.” Sorry, that’s not what the Fourth Circuit found.
This guy is, underneath his Brooks Brothers suit, a raging Islamophobe of the Bradlee Dean variety, and he shows it in his writings and now in his actions.
UPDATE: Well, whaddaya know — the local rocking-chair media actually have deigned to notice this story. Good on you, MPR!
(Crossposted to Mercury Rising.)