- Apr 23, 2004
- Reaction score
I certainly don't think it is funny the way he did this, but if he would have showed up at a party or something, I don't think there would be a problem.
Activist Arrested for Halloween Stunt
By JERRY HARKAVY, Associated Press Writer
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - The lawyer who divulged President Bush's drunken-driving arrest days before the 2000 election was arrested Tuesday after he was spotted on a highway overpass wearing an Osama bin Laden Halloween costume and holding a toy gun.
Tom Connolly, 49, was charged with criminal threatening, a misdemeanor, and was released after posting $500 bail. He said he intends to plead not guilty.
"There was a First Amendment this morning when I woke up. I don't know how it evaporated with the dawn," Connolly, an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for governor in 1998, told reporters after his release.
Police said the costume included plastic dynamite, grenades, and a replica of an AK-47 assault rifle.
"The whole thing is just incredibly bizarre," said Police Chief Ed Googins. "It just crossed the line."
The chief said there was no way to tell from a distance if the gun was real or fake.
Connolly also was carrying a sign that said "I love TABOR," a reference to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights on the Maine ballot, but at least one person who saw it thought it said "I love the Taliban," Googins said.
The Portland attorney is known for wearing costumes to make political statements, often donning a George W. Bush mask and dancing for passing motorists.
His wife has described him as "marvelously eccentric."
In 2000, Connolly acknowledged that he tipped off reporters about Bush's 24-year-old misdemeanor drunken driving charge at Kennebunkport. Republicans said the release of the information before the election was a Democratic dirty trick.