Yesterday, according to John Mitchel, Marilyn Reid violated his First Amendment right to free speech by confiscating copies of a news article describing a pending lawsuit against Reid, Greene County Commissioner and Executive Chair for the Greene County Republican Party. Before the monthly Greene County Republican luncheon meeting at a public restaurant, Reid gathered up the handouts that were placed on the tables, saying, “This is a Republican meeting, not a lawsuit meeting.” Former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel John Mitchel is an elected member of the Greene County Republican Central Committee and challenged Steve Austria in the March 2009 U.S. District 7 Republican primary.
In response to the incident, Mitchel commented, “Ms. Reid has taken it over the top. For years she has exploited her leadership position with the Greene County Republican Party for personal and family gain, but this flagrant violation of a constituent’s right to free political speech seals the deal on her self-interested motives. Elected members of the Greene County Central Committee who are invited to the meeting, have just as much a right to express their opinions as Ms. Reid. Apparently Marilyn has no use for dissenting viewpoints coexisting with her agenda. This is an embarrassment to the Republican Party and an insult to Greene County citizens, particularly those who have served in the military. It’s time for Ms. Reid to step down as Greene County GOP Chair in favor of someone who is willing to listen to those who may have opinions different from their own.”