Arkansas Family Coalition
PO Box 9076, Jonesboro, AR 72403
Phone: 870-932-5065 – Fax 870-910-0464
Police Called On Lady Collecting Signatures on Illegal Alien Ballot Initiative
Headline and excerpts from Jonesboro Sun story below were on the on front page, May 28, 08, about a lady who was collecting signatures for illegal alien ballot initiative. The lady is a supporter of our organization, Arkansas Family Coalition, and we know her well.
Isn't it strange that illegal aliens can march in our streets in Arkansas and demand rights and privileges, disrupting the public in various ways, without fear of intervention by the law? Yet, the police are called (and three police cars dispatched to the scene) when one single U.S. Arkansas citizen collects signatures for the people's ballot initiative (even after she obtained permission to be there.) Just what would be the police response if we called and asked them to remove those here unlawfully from our streets when the illegal aliens are marching and protesting. An interesting note: Out of hundreds who have been approached and eligible to sign the petition , the lady in the story below and another lady reported no more than five people refused to sign it.
Woman removed from post office,
Ordered to leave while collecting signatures
Below are excerpts from the story:
"Jonesboro – A Jonesboro woman collecting signatures for a petition said Tuesday she was wrongly ordered off U.S. Postal Services property downtown.
"Cora Jean Liles of Secure Arkansas said she was at the U.S. Post Office, 310 East Street about noon Tuesday when a postal employee [Ron Driskell] ordered her off the grounds. She'd been soliciting signatures for a proposed initiated act on the November ballot to prevent illegal immigrants from getting public benefits.
"The unidentified postal employee called city police who advised Liles the building was private property and that she should leave or face arrest.
A police report read that a female was talking about 'aliens at the post office, refusing to leave."
The article goes on to say that Liles said she received permission last week from a postal employee to collect signatures and had collected signatures at another post office in Jonesboro without incident in recent weeks. Liles said the police officer did not force her but asked her to leave the postal property.
According to the newspaper story, the postal employer (Driskell) refused to answer questions and referred the reporter to a postal service media specialist in Little Rock. The specialist, Lisa Tolliver-Gay said federal regulation prohibits "soliciting signatures on petitions' on postal property. "
In our conversation with Liles she gave us the following information. She had gone in the post office the week before and asked an employee whom she needed to talk with to get permission to collect signatures on the sidewalk. The postal employee said she would have to talk to the postmaster. A man (whom she presumed was the postmaster) came out after a few minutes and told her it was okay for her to collect signatures. She did the same thing at another post office in Jonesboro and was told by the postmaster that it was okay to collect signatures there.
When the above incident occurred, Liles said she was standing on the sidewalk collecting signatures for the ballot when a man [she learned later was Ron Driskell] came up and got out of a truck. Liles used her usual approach saying something like, "Would you like to sign this petition? He responded very angrily, "Who has given you permission to be on government property doing this?" Liles, thinking he was just a postal customer said, "I am a citizen of the United States and I love America." Driskell told her that she had no right to be on government property doing this. Liles responded that she had asked the postmaster, and he had given her permission. Driskell said he was the postmaster, but Liles had no way of knowing that since he was a different person from the one who had given her permission to collect signatures, and he was wearing no identifying uniform like postal workers wear. She thought he was just an irritated citizen. He headed for the post office door and said he was going to call the police.
When two other vehicles drove up, Lyles still thinking she had permission to be there, asked the men if they would like to sign the petition. Driskell standing at the post office door, waving his arms, yelled something like this to them: "Don't go over there; I've called the police on her" acting as though she was deranged or something. One of them told Driskell, "Don't tell me what to do and said to Liles, "I will sign the petition," and did so.
Shortly thereafter THREE police cars arrived on the scene according to Liles and also according to the police report. Liles told a bystander to call the Jonesboro Sun that there might be a story here, still believing she had permission to be there. ( Liles said the police were very nice to her, and she told them she thought she was on city property and had gotten permission. Liles also said to one of the policemen, "Why are there three police cars here? What have I done to deserve this?" When they asked her to leave, she did.
Of course, this is embarrassing for Liles; but she is committed to her country and to the right of the people to have the right to vote on this initiative this fall and is willing to take the heat. She followed all the rules and asked permission before she collected signatures. Liles said she did not know why Driskell told police she was talking about 'aliens at the post office, because she never refers to them as aliens (she said her tongue gets twisted on that word) but rather refers to them as people who are here unlawfully. Liles said Driskell was acting as though she was deranged or something by warning the people to stay away from her. Evidently Driskell made the policemen believe that as well since they dispatched three police cars to the scene.
Liles is in the process of seeking legal counsel on this matter. There are several questions that need t be answered. Several other canvassers have been observed collecting petitions, even up under the awning, at this same post office in the past. We have also discovered that Driskell is only one of the postal employees serving as temporary postmaster while the official postmaster is out of pocket. The person who earlier gave Liles permission to collect signatures may have been the official postmaster.
We would call Liles "One courageous, committed, patriotic lady." We need a lot more like her to get over 60,000 signatures by July lst. We probably have the shortest time span to get that many signatures of any initiative ever passed in Arkansas.
This article can be read on line at this link: http://www.wpaag.org/illegals%20-%20Police%20called%20on%20lady%20collecting%20signatures%20on%20initiative.htm
It can be read and commented on at this link: http://arkansaswatch.blogspot.com/2008/05/police-call-on-lady-collecting.html
Bob Hester, State Director
Arkansas Family Coalition