“Do Not Admit” List Lifted in Fargo for Bush Event
February 4, 2005
They lifted the ban.
After negative publicity surrounding the existence of a “do not admit” list to Bush’s Social Security event in Fargo, North Dakota, Republican Party officials let everybody in on February 3.
The Fargo Forum broke the story, noting that “Fargo City Commissioner Linda Coates is among more than 40 area residents included on a list of people barred from attending President Bush’s speech.”
On February 1, the people who were distributing tickets had “copies of the list at their tables” to check names against, the Forum reported. Among those on the list were people who “wrote opinion page letters to The Forum criticizing Bush or the war in Iraq. Others wrote letters in support of gay rights or of Democratic policies.”
(A subsequent Forum article noted that three quarters of those on the list were “members of the Fargo-Moorhead Democracy for America Meetup Group, which formed in the wake of the Dean campaign.”)
Coates told the paper she was “creeped out” by the list.
She eventually got a ticket from Fargo Mayor Bruce Furness and went to attend the event, which was held at North Dakota State University’s Bison Sports Arena.
When she approached the entrance, sympathetic protesters were chanting, “Go, Linda, go,” the paper reported.
The White House denied any responsibility.
“It was the result of an overzealous volunteer,” White House spokesman Jim Morrell told the paper. “We weren’t aware of it here at the White House.”
Jason Stverak, executive director of the North Dakota Republican Party, used the same designation. “I don’t know if we’d ever be able to find out what overzealous volunteer it is or anything like that,” he told the paper.
“We’ll talk to people and stuff, but it will be impossible.”