Ron Paul booth booted from gun show at Lake County fairgrounds
BY Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org January 30, 2012 5:52PM
Updated: January 30, 2012 9:16PM
Lake County Commissioner Gerry Scheub instructed a Ron Paul supporter staffing a vendor booth to leave a gun show at the Lake County Fairgrounds this past weekend.
Perry Sheetz, a Porter Countyresident, said he has attended the gun show about five to six times in the past year to host a booth that supports Paul, a Republican.
This past weekend, Sheetz said, Scheub told him his booth wasn’t appropriate for the gun show. The promoter paid him back his money, Sheetz said, and he left.
Sheetz said he has seen political booths at the gun show in the past and was confused as to why he was being asked to leave.
Scheub, a Democrat, told the Post-Tribune that Sheetz was asked to leave because he had a donation jar, something that isn’t allowed by virtue of the no-solicitation clause in the county’s contract for county fairgrounds rentals.
Scheub said the county enacted that rule about three years ago after people complained about one person harassing them for money.
Scheub also said politicking also wasn’t allowed as part of a rental agreement.
“People are there buying guns,” he said. “We said this isn’t the place to be politicking.”
While the contract specifies no solicitation, it doesn’t mention political propaganda. Hoosier State Press Association attorney Stephen Key said he has never seen “solicitation” to mean anything other than asking for money.
Scheub amended his stance and said while solicitation is banned, it is OK to hand out political pamphlets.
Sheetz said Scheub never specifically mentioned his donation jar as being the problem. Sheetz said he would have gotten rid of the donation jar if he had been asked.
“It was a very unpleasant experience for me,” Sheetz said.