Republican caught on video grabbing protester and forcibly moving him outside fundraiser

A Pennsylvania lawmaker forcibly removed, and then stepped over, a protester who was blocking his access to a pricey fundraiser held by a fellow lawmaker on Tuesday morning.

Sen. Mike Regan, R-York, declined to answer questions after he left the event, held on behalf of Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster, at Rubicon, a restaurant just steps from the state Capitol in Harrisburg.

The protester, who identified himself as Michael Bagdes-Canning, of Butler County, told the Capital-Star that he was “in a bit of pain,” after his confrontation with Regan, a former U.S. Marshal, and was already contending with back issues.

The protesters, garbed in hazardous materials suits, blocked access to the event, forcing attendees who had been asked to pay up to $5,000, to wait across the street from the restaurant shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Attendees of a fundraiser held on behalf of Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster, wait to gain access to the event at Rubicon, a restaurant in Harrisburg, on Tuesday, 1/31/23 (Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek).

Martin, a former Lancaster County commissioner, is the current chairperson of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and a member of the Senate’s Environmental Resources & Energy Committee. He did not respond to journalists’ questions as he entered the event.

Harrisburg police were soon called to the scene to try to peacefully break up the protest held by the environmental advocacy group, which identified itself as Pennsylvanians for Action on Climate.

“This is toxic stain on our government,” Bagdes-Canning told the Capital-Star. “Scott Martin is a reliable vote for the fossil fuel industry.” A veteran environmental activist, Bagdes-Canning sought the Green Party nomination for lieutenant governor in 2022.

Records filed with the Department of State show Martin receiving contributions from political action committees representing such major utilities as UGI, PPL and First Energy during the 2020 campaign cycle.

Political fundraisers such as Martin’s are common occurrence during the two-year legislative session, with several a day often taking place, starting early in the morning and running through the evening hours.

WATCH: Pa. lawmaker removes protester outside HBG fundraiser.

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