Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 11:45 AM on Monday, October 18, 2010

Miller cancels Anchor Point appearance today

By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer

Republican Party candidate for U.S. Senate Joe Miller canceled a planned appearance today at the Anchor River Inn in Anchor Point. Miller will not visit the lower Kenai Peninsula today and will stay in Anchorage.

"We are very sorry we had to cancel this event," said Harmony Shields, Miller's scheduler.

Miller canceled his trip to deal with an incident that happened on Sunday in Anchorage, Shields said. She referred to a campaign appearance at Central Junior High School in Anchorage in which security guards from Drop Zone Security hired by Miller handcuffed and detained Alaska Dispatch editor and reporter Tony Hopfinger.

In a press release from the Alaska Dispatch, the online newspaper said that Hopfinger attended on Sunday a town hall meeting organized by Alaska Republicans for Miller and announced to the general public. Other reporters also were present. As Miller left the event, the Alaska Dispatch said Hopfinger approached Miller to ask questions about his previous employment as an attorney with the Fairbanks North Star Borough. While in a school hallway, the Alaska Dispatch said Drop Zone security guards surrounded Hopfinger and told him to leave. They refused to identify themselves at the time. When Hopfinger asked why he was trespassing at an event at a public school, the guards said, "You're under arrest," handcuffed him and detained him. Anchorage Police arrived about 30 minutes later and released Hopfinger

In his own press release, Miller said Hopfinger "physically assaulted another individual and made threatening gestures and movements towards the candidate. At that point the security personnel had to take action and intervened and detained the irrational blogger, whose anger overcame him."

Jonni Roos of the Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce said she also had received word that Miller would not be attending today. Shields said Miller might schedule another visit to the lower Kenai Peninsula, but could not confirm any dates at this time. Miller does have an event calendar on his Web site that lists public appearances and that is periodically updated.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.