GOP operative who made racist Obama joke arrested for ‘dirty campaign tricks’
A South Carolina political consultant for Republican politicians has been arrested for trespassing after attempting to crash a rival politician’s campaign party.
Mike Green, who drew attention to himself earlier this year when he sent out an off-color joke about President Obama on his Twitter account, was arrested Monday night after allegedly refusing to leave a campaign event for Mark McBride, who had been running for mayor of Myrtle Beach against incumbent John Rhodes, who had hired Green’s company, Starboard Communications, for the campaign.
According to the Palmetto Scoop, “Green was reportedly arrested after trying to enter the Crocodile Rocks bar, where McBride was holding a private campaign party. The bar owner told Green to leave and an altercation ensued.”
The Scoop described Green’s action as “campaign dirty tricks,” noting that “Green told police the firm ‘pays him to cause problems for the opposing side, which is Mark McBride’s campaign.'”
On Tuesday, Rhodes won the runoff election against McBride. Rhodes had come within 155 votes of victory on election night, but the election was moved to a runoff because neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote, reports South Carolina news blog FitsNews.
In June, Green attracted unwanted attention to himself after sending out a Twitter message that read: “Just heard Obama is going to impose a 40% tax on Aspirin because it’s white and it works.”
Green quickly retracted the Twitter posting, and apologized for his comments, noted TalkingPointsMemo. But US House Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-SC) distanced himself from Green’s comments. Barrett is planning a run for South Carolina governor in 2010, and has hired Green’s firm to work on the campaign.
Starboard Communications’ Web site lists Green as the company’s “operations manager.”
The Palmetto Scoop points to what it suggests may be a pattern of attempted disruptions of McBride campaign events by Green ahead of his trespassing arrest:
The incident came less than 48 hours after police were called to another Myrtle Beach establishment
The Myrtle Beach Sun News reported Saturday that Green showed up at The Fish House where McBride was meeting with restaurant owner Bill Howard. Green walked in with a video camera and began saying some “pretty brutal stuff,” according to Howard.
Green was asked to leave, and that time he did.
But other news sources dispute the claim that Green was involved in an “altercation” at all. “Witnesses claim that Green merely waved through a window at the McBride party – but a police report obtained by WMBF News references an “altercation” occurring in front of the restaurant, Crocodile Rocks,” writes FitsNews.
The blog also reported that “sources close to Green” deny he ever told the police that his firm “pays him to cause problems for the other side.”
Green is the founder of SCHotline, a news aggregator that focuses on South Carolina issues. A biography he posted online states that he has worked on numerous campaigns for Republican politicians, including a run for president by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.