As the legislative districts are being filled with new leadership by the Pima GOP, the Ron Paul followers are growing aggressive in their attempt to take over the party apparatus. This week, one Paulbot employed the tactics usually reserved for radical protesters in his attack of a Navy Special Forces hero.
Jeff Bales, an avid Paul follower, engaged in an altercation with the older veteran, Mike Ebert, at a Republican Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, July 19.
Bales, who has grown progressively more aggressive in his attacks on non-Paul Republicans, created a stir recently when he became verbally abusive at conservatives at a Pima County Sheriff’s Republican Primary debate. Bales was outraged that he could not take his gun into the site of the debate; a public library.
A friend of Bales, Jill Henderson, who goes by Jill Arizona on Facebook, wrote of the incident, “Look at all these violent, deranged people in the news lately who commit terrible acts of violence against innocent people and people in the aftermath always ask if there were warning signs. Yes, there usually ARE warning signs.”
Bales claimed that “I couldn’t take the attack anymore and straightened out the facts.” Bales called Ebert, who was wounded while serving in the Navy Special Forces, a “liar.”
Bales admitted to goading Ebert, writing to a fellow Paulbot, he had “made him even more angry and then he said that he wanted to ‘take me outside’! I told him that wasn’t a good idea, then I tried to walk past him and leave the meeting like others were doing.” Bales then bumped into Ebert. Ebert trained in the Special Forces, then grabbed the stout man’s arm, and according to Bales, “hit me on the back multiple times, I think 3-4 times” with an open hand.
One Republican who was told of the altercation said, “Bales is lucky Mike is not feeling well these days and that he has 20 years on him, otherwise he would have kicked his ass. You don’t pull that crap on an American hero.”
Bales wrote his friend that a few witnesses, “came with me to make sure that I was OK, and to ask why in the world Mike would get so angry and assault me like that. My back stung a little bit but I’m sure that I’ll be OK.”
Earlier this year, Bales called for the resignation of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Bales alleged that Priebus is showing favoritism towards Mitt Romney, and claims that Ron Paul is still in the race.
“Due to an alleged violation of the national GOP’s Rule # 11 (bans favoritism of one candidate while more than one candidate exists), an Executive Committee member within the GOP calls for the resignation of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus,” wrote Bales.
Bales, who describes himself as a “simple” man, hopes to win the Ron Paul revolution through Facebook and other social networking sites including CNN ireport. Bales is being supported by a fringe group of Republicans including failed Tucson mayoral candidate Shaun McClusky, and Stacy Collins, the campaign manager for Pima County Board of Supervisors candidate Vic Willams, and Harold Hough, Collins’s colleague at a media group they started together last year.
The incident was reported to the Tucson Police. They attempted to contact witnesses today.
The bump-to-incite maneuver made national news when it was used by the former Mexican American Studies director, Sean Arce, against TUSD Governing Board member Michael Hicks.
Update: Judge Bacall denied a request by Bales for a restraining order against Ebert.