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Rights of a candidate vs web reporter

From adn.com (Anchorage Daily News) - abridged...

The editor of the Alaska Dispatch website was arrested by U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller's private security guards Sunday as the editor attempted to interview Miller at the end of a public event in an Anchorage school.

Tony Hopfinger was handcuffed by the guards and detained in a hallway at Central Middle School until Anchorage police came and told the guards to release Hopfinger.

Hopfinger has not been charged but the owner of the Drop Zone, the private security firm that's been providing Miller's security, accused Hopfinger of trespassing at the public event, a town hall sponsored by the Miller campaign. The owner, William Fulton, also said Hopfinger assaulted a man by shoving him.

Anchorage Police who responded to the call said they would leave it to the District Attorney's office to decide whether to prosecute. They spent more than an hour taking statements, then left.

Hopfinger, who was holding a small video camera, said he was attempting to draw out a statement from Miller on why he was disciplined by the Fairbanks North Star Borough when Miller worked there as a part-time attorney. After Miller walked away, Hopfinger said, he was surrounded by Miller supporters and security guards and felt threatened, so he pushed one of them away.

Fulton said the man shoved by Hopfinger was not hurt.

Hopfinger said that after he shoved the man away, the guards grabbed him, cuffed his hands behind his back with steel handcuffs and sat him in a chair in the school hallway, Hopfinger said.

The Miller campaign released a written one-paragraph statement from Fuller, then followed with a statement titled, "Liberal Blogger 'Loses It' at Town Hall Meeting." In that statement, Miller accused Hopfinger of assaulting someone and of taking advantage of the meeting to "create a publicity stunt."

He said his personal security detail had to take action to detain "the irrational blogger."

The 3 p.m. town hall was billed by the Miller campaign as a chance for voters to "hear Joe Miller speak for himself." It was hardly a private gathering. In a Facebook message, the campaign urged Miller supporters to bring their "friends, colleagues, family, acquaintances, neighbors." And continuing what has become its anti-media theme, the campaign added, "Don't let the media skew your views."

Miller said he would talk to people after the open question period, but he quickly left the room.

Miller vowed to not answer questions about his own behavior, including his refusal to respond to allegations that he was disciplined for using government computers for partisan political activity when he was a part-time borough attorney there. The Alaska Dispatch, the Fairbanks News-Miner and the Anchorage Daily News are suing the borough in an attempt to get Miller's full personnel file.

Hopfinger said he followed Miller out of the gym with his video camera, peppering him with questions about the borough job.

As they were walking down a hall, Miller reversed directions and Hopfinger found himself surrounded by Miller supporters and the security detail, all of them wearing radio earphones.

Fulton said that because the school district rented the space to the campaign, it had the right to declare anyone in trespass. He said Hopfinger was "stalking" Miller and posed a security threat.

Hopfinger said that when he was told he was in trespass, he wasn't given any time to leave. Everything happened in seconds, he said.