Former Congressman Assails Woman, Threatens Constituent

Ann Kirkpatrick staffer Ron Barber tries to suppress filming at public event

ron barber ann kirkpatrick ruben gallego
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick with former Rep. Ron Barber, who now serves as her district director, stand with Rep. Ruben Gallego in happier times. [Photo from Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s official congressional Facebook page]

On a cool October morning, I had looked forward to attending the Congress on the Corner event hosted by Representative Ann Kirkpatrick since she is supposed to represent my portion of Arizona. Little did I know that I would witness a former congressman, Ron Barber, assail a distraught bystander and then aim his anger towards me.

Under a heavy police presence at around 9:00 a.m. this past Saturday, a woman on her way to do her shopping at the Safeway located at 9460 E. Golf Links Rd. became agitated when she saw people protesting against Proposition 205.

The unidentified woman asked for the store manager and threatened to “never shop here again” to people gathered for the Kirkpatrick event and merely shopping. Barber, who appeared to be panicked by the woman’s complaint, attempted to diffuse the situation but only made it worse.

I accidentally slipped and stopped the recording on the first video and restarted it almost immediately. In the video you can hear Rep Barber tell the woman “calm down.” Unfortunately, his patronizing statement and panicked delivery inflamed the situation.

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After being asked by the woman several times to leave her alone, Barber channeled his raised adrenaline level at me. With cane in hand, he came over to me and demanded to know who I was. He demanded to know if I was “a tracker,” who I worked for, and who I represented in an aggressively rapid fashion.

Barber advised me the event, funded by taxpayer dollars, was on private property. He warned me that if I recorded any part of the “private” event held in public, funded by the public’s money, I would be removed from the premises.

Barber then proceeded to instruct one of Tucson’s under supported police officers to remove me if I recorded anything.

The public was invited through social media to attend the publicly-funded event.

The aggressive posture and language Rep. Barber used with me was both extremely unsettling and unbecoming of a former elected representative especially since I am a constituent of CD 2, LD 10, and District 4 where the event was held.

Kirkpatrick’s official congressional event drew a meager crowd of around 50 people, and I think I’m being generous as there was a significant number of staff on the premises.

On the flip side, there were approximately 10-15 people who were waving American flags and conducting a sign wave against Tucson’s Sanctuary City ballot measure, Proposition 205. There were some supporters of President Trump who tried to take the opportunity to discuss issues with Rep Kirkpatrick. It is unknown if they were able to as I left before the event was over.

Legislative District 10 Representative Domingo DeGrazia, Kirkpatrick assistant “Billy”, and Tucson City Council candidate Nikki Lee all came over and introduced themselves to me in a polite and generally friendly manner. Maybe they can give former Rep Barber some lessons in how to be a decent human being. #NoMeansNo #HandsToYourselfRon #MannersMatter

About Chris King 25 Articles
Chris King is a veteran, community leader, member of the Pima County GOP Executive Committee. Mr. King is an expert in international security.