Tonawanda News

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July 14, 2010

Anti-Obama activist sets up shop at post office

— — It quickly became a topic of conversation around town Tuesday when a man bearing signs and literature seeking to impeach President Obama set up shop outside the post office on Goundry Street.

The controversial display garnered scores who stopped to chat with the man who set up the table —complete with altered images likening Obama to Adolf Hitler — and those who slowed their cars to take a peek, though the real reason for the display was to sign up for literature or donate to a political action committee called the LaRouche PAC.

Bob Wesser, a Kenmore native and current New Jersey resident said displays like his are being staged around the country to garner support for the group. He said he got 30 signers to receive a publication put out by the committee throughout the day Tuesday.

“I don’t think they should be standing here. I don’t think it’s right, especially in front of the post office,” said North Tonawanda resident Alice P., who refused to give her last name.

Less concerned about attaching their names to their frustrations, however, were those like Lynn Jamietes, of the City of Tonawanda, and Stacey Doel, of North Tonawanda, who happily signed Wesser’s paperwork just moments after happening upon his booth.

“I’ll tell you that man is not doing his job,” Doel said of Obama.

Aside from any particular tenets of the LaRouche PAC, which among other things seems to deride public bailouts and insist on maintaining complete separation between investment and commercial banking, those who bought the message had a lot of other things to complain about.

LaRouche, 87, a well-known extremist political figure, has run for president eight times since 1976, with little effect. Though it would appear he supported the president early on, his belief in a single-payer health care model clashed last year with the Obama administration’s plan — the same plan that spawned the highly controversial fliers involving images of Adolf Hitler, a comparison advocated by LaRouche supporters and some Tea Party activists.

Some of the many ideas he’s campaigned on include the return to a gold-based monetary system, replacing the International Monetary Fund and promotion of technologies to colonize Mars. His supporters largely opposed the 1991 Gulf War and 2003 Iraq invasion. Though difficult to categorize in terms of present political affiliations, some of the rhetoric from LaRouche supporters like Wesser has fallen in line with that of extremist right-wing opponents of the Obama Administration.

One way or another, Jamietes on Tuesday said she’s tired of having workers’ hours cut and the bureaucratic hurdles she said she’s encountered even though she’s going back to school to improve her employment situation. Others outside the post office similarly expressed frustrations with the economy, health care, Social Security, raising children on disability and other things. Wesser didn’t go far to dissuade them from associating those problems with the Obama administration, though the call to impeach the president is not dissimilar from similar rhetoric used to attract those less than happy with the nation’s leadership under many past presidents.

The call for impeachment — which can only arise from substantial allegations of treason or perjury — appeared to be less the message than the hook, along with signs reading things like “think like an American, adopt the LaRouche Plan.”

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