Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Story Behind Kavanaugh “Paid Protesters”

I attended the Senate Confirmation Hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh with a group of 60+ leaders from around the nation. Our singular goal was to converge on DC and pray for the nomination process. Little did I know I would stumble into some evidence of a long-held suspicion and ignite a national story on “paid protesters”. Here is how it happened.

How it began – Day 1

On September 4th, 2018 around 8:30 am ET some friends of mine – the Three Texas Dr’s – as they are now being called, witnessed cash being exchanged while standing in line for public tickets for day one of the confirmation hearing. They and many others saw organizers walking around the public ticket line with large manilla folders providing cash to people. They snapped a pic that I posted later that day. That afternoon I made a video telling this story. I followed up the video with some tweets which included the pic taken by my friends and some pics that I took of a notorious political activist. I compiled them all on my blog entitled Kavanaugh Hearing: Paid Speech.

I also captured a lengthy audio recording of the discussion I had with the protest organizer. More on that below.

That afternoon a few national media outlets picked up the story and the internet did its thing. A Reddit thread popped up on the topic and a handful of conservative websites posted about it. The video went viral and, as of this writing, has 100,000+ views.

Back At It – Day 2

The next day, Wednesday, September 5th, I went back to the public ticket line located here. I noticed the same organizer and protestor were back in the line, so I took their picture and posted it on Twitter. Later that night some investigative web users tracked down and identified the organizer in those photos.

But during the day on Wednesday, I began to notice that lots of people were speculating on the intentions of the protestors on my Twitter and YouTube feeds. We could see the effects of their disruption on TV as they repeatedly interrupted the hearing. But I began to wonder what the payments were all about? And who was this group, or groups behind this protest?

I decided to go out and speak with the organizer myself to find out exactly what they were doing.

I went back to the public ticket line mid-afternoon and approached the gentleman from the photos. I greeted him and the moment he saw me he hurried away. A woman sitting on the bench saw this and stepped in. She identified herself as Jennifer (Flynn Walker), the protest organizer from a group called Center for Popular Democracy. We had a very civil discussion about what they were doing and why.

I made an audio recording of this conversation and it is posted in its entirety below. I have also transcribed some key moments in the conversation and posted them below.

During our 12 minute discussion, a half dozen protestors gathered around and some participated. The gentleman in the photos did not. The protest leader confirmed her group was providing cash to protestors. She took issue with my use of the term “payment”, saying the provided cash was only to be used to pay the fines. I was unclear how she was able to enforce this vital distinction for her. But nonetheless, she, and the half dozen members surrounding us, all confirmed her group was giving cash to protestors.

She then asked if I was interested in knowing the source of her cash. She had good instincts! I didn’t even have to ask. I could sense her pride as she told an emotional story about how it was crowdsourced from donors across the nation. I asked if that was the only source of funding for this protest. I had no reason to doubt the truthfulness of her story. But I did doubt it was the only source of funds. She was quick to ask a clarifying question before answering, as her organization is funded with tens of millions of dollars from George Soros. A fact I’m sure she was familiar with. But she said very precisely, “That’s how we pay for the fines, yes.” And that was that.

Activist Sit-in

Then today – September 6th 2018 – the public hearing attendees were not allowed back in the building without registering their ID’s with the Capitol Police and previously arrested protestors were not allowed back in.

But… What do you do if you’re a protestor who can’t protest because you’ve protested your way out of the protest? Well, a sit-in at the office of the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa of course.

So that is the story of how this little “organic” protest popped up at the Senate Confirmation Hearing this week.

Civility & Responsibility

I do want to note and make a request from those who are following and reposting this.

Please conduct yourself with civility and responsibility. These protestors are doing what they think is right. I find it to be ideologically misguided at best and downright dangerous at worst. But they were all non-violent this week. Without exception that I could see. So please, do not use this information for violence of any kind. That especially includes your speech online. Conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the greatness of our nation and our American ideals which are under attack. You can not preserve this nation with hate, violent speech or bigotry on any side of an issue. You’re better than that. America is better than that.

Full Audio Recording & Partial Transcript

Adam @ 0:36: “I can I ask y’all a question? I just.. I noticed that you guys have been out here a couple of days and I notice you’ve been handing out cash payments. And I was wondering what it is that you’re doing?”

Jennifer: “Yep…We’re not handing out cash payments. My name is Jennifer what’s yours?”

Adam: “Hi Jennifer, Adam.”

Jennifer: “I saw your tweet.”

Adam: “Yeah…I’m not maligning anybody of any particular thing.”

Jennifer: “Well kind of, well your tweet was “Proof that they’re paid protestors”. And you can ask anybody in this line that is a little bit maligning…(unintelligible)

Jennifer @ 1:11: “We cover the fines. You know people get fined.”

Adam @ 1:14: “So you give them money upfront and then they get arrested…?”

Jennifer: “Yeah… because they…”

3rd Party: “no no no…to get out. We do not get money to get arrested. We get our fine paid.”

Jennifer @ 1:30: “And a lot of people bring their own money… but a lot of times people don’t have cash and we have to, you can’t get out without cash, so we have to… (unintelligible)

Adam: “So you pay, you pay… The intention is to protest but you know you’re gonna get arrested and then..” (Jennifer cuts in)

Jennifer: “No the intention is to protest to have your voice heard. Unfortunately, the Capitol Police and the hearing committee decided that that results in an arrest.”

Jenifer @3:14: “You can ask anyone in the line if they’ve gotten paid… or if this is a job…”

Jennifer @ 3:30: “I am from the Center for Popular Democracy and I organized this protest.”

Adam @ 4:36: “… it appears to me that… there is definitely money being exchanged. But the fact that it’s to bail you out… and the belief, and the intentions obviously upfront is you will probably get arrested. And I’ve heard people bragging about getting arrested.”

Adam @ 5:22: “It’s helpful for me to know that the payments are… In one capacity you are paying people… (cut off by Jennifer)

Jennifer @ 5:39-6:24: “We’re not paying people and here’s the difference. Paying people is like, you’re doing a job, you’re standing there talking to me, you’re standing in line and going to the hearing and I’m paying you by the hour for that, and you get to take that money and go buy milk with it. The difference is, we know that you are going to go inside, you are going to express your views. The Capitol Police, someone else, not us, if it was up to me we would just stand there and never do anything. Nobody likes…(unintelligible).

Maybe it’s a badge of honor to stand up for… I think its a lot like serving in the military in that sense you know. It’s a badge of honor to stand up and to be able to, to actually fight for the things you believe in. But nobody wants to suffer the consequence really. But we understand there are consequences…(unintelligible) and they include going to jail right. But, they. You need, in order to get you, you need a certain, you need a $35’s or $50’s, or whatever the Capitol Police say it is, so, we’re providing, you don’t get to go buy milk with it…. if you don’t get arrested you give it back.”

Jennifer @ 10:04-10:02: “And you might want to know where the money comes from. The money actually comes from, you know we say, the hearings are September, you know, first through the fourth, what do we do? And tons and tons of people make small donations.”

Adam @ 10:18: “Is that the only source of funding? 100% crowd soured from those kinds of stories?”

Jennifer: “The bail money?”

Adam: “Yeah, I mean, that is a, I totally believe that is a story of a source of funds. But is that the only source of funds?”

Jennifer: “That’s how we pay for the fines, yes. And I should just clarify, and I know you’re recording this, that it’s actually not technically bail, we are (unintelligible) to fines. Cause it’s a violation. ”

  1. Thank you for posting this I appreciate your willingness to follow up & actually go talk to these folks at the Center for Popular Democracy. I find a few things concerning about their statements
    1) Comparing what they are doing to military folks. Our military men & women put their lives on the line to fight for our freedoms in this county. Freedoms that organizations such as Center for Popular Democracy would not be privy to if NOT for our military, THERE IS NO COMPARISON.
    2) Asking you to update your statement online is an infringement on YOUR first amendment right. Although you & Jennifer had a civil conversation, She offered no proof other than her word & the word of other members of Center for Popular Democracy that these payments were JUST for fines. In fact I think doing exactly as you did was great! You can only publish what you know.
    3) The funding for Center for Popular Democracy as you said comes from MILLIONS of dollars from Soros’ Open Society Foundations, and employs former members of the controversial & disbanded Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). There are also George Soros Justice Fellows working at Center for Popular Democracy.
    Somehow I got on MoveOn.Org mailing list (Once you get on you cannot get off), I decided to take advantage of this. I have listened in to their “Summer of Resist” Calls (2017), and now their call to actions for midterms, So I know that Center for Popular Democracy is closely associated with MoveOn, MoveOn also gets funding from Open Society Foundation. The week prior & the days leading up to & of the Kavanaugh hearing I must have gotten over 70 emails from MoveOn about “Protests” and who to contact for organization and who was it? Center for Popular Democracy. MoveOn has given instruction on Bird dogging (which I had ZERO CLUE what that even was) How to be effective in your protests, that you should go in small groups, not all at once, & do so throughout the meeting/hearing/town hall etc. But breaking it up like that will give the impression that there are MANY & having people split up (not sit all together or go in small groups) also gives the “illusion” there are more than US then of YOU. Using keywords/phrases so that it will grab the public’s attention. They wanted the public to hear Oppression, KILL, Corruption, Abortions & that is what we heard – Some of the chants from said protesters – “Sham Justice, Sham President” “Mother Earth” “This is what Democracy looks like” (a common chant heard throughout the country protesting Trump) “Children can’t be KILLED bcs of guns” “Stop the oppression of Women” Woman will be sent to Back alley abortions” ect.
    I noticed from a few people’s tweets that the protesters came in single or small group to distupt it is consistenst with the “training” that MoveOn has provided in the time I have listened in on the calls. I can only imagine what training they provide to people in person.
    All in all it aligned with the Senators talking points to stop the confirmation, the democrat senators did not deny they had a call about interruptions prior to the hearing. On twitter I saw SO MANY people that had the same talking points yet could not provide ONE OUNCE OF PROOF that Judge Kavanaugh would BE THAT JUDGE. Your statement “I find it to be ideologically misguided at best and downright dangerous at worst” I agree wholeheartedly I say this because they are repeating talking points they are hearing, yet have NO BASIS for & cannot provide any proof of Judge Kavanaugh actions that would indicate he would be a danger to our society. This IS DANGEROUS.
    I certainly do not agree with all of Judge Kavanaugh’s past decisions, nor would he have been my pick. That is not to say I opposed him, instead I did what he asked in his hearings but I did this when he became the Supreme Court Nominee I READ his decisions, his pieces that he wrote over the years, I got to know him as a Judge. Today I feel a lot more confident in his role as a Supreme court Justice than I did when he was first nominated.
    I was appalled at the some of the senators questions asking the judge to Uphold to rule in one way or another. Particularly Blumenthal asking him to uphold the ban on assault weapons, this is 1) dangerous because there is ALREADY a ban on assault weapons and Blumenthal KNOWS THIS! Assault weapons have been banned since the 80s 2) Since when did it become ok to ask a nominee to PROMISE to rule in one way or another? Are they not doing the SAME thing they are accusing President Trump of by nominating Judge Kavanaugh due to “how they perceive” his opinions on not indicting a sitting president?
    Anyways, I just wanted to add my thoughts, I thought this piece and your other one on “paid speech” were outstanding! Thank you for reporting what others are afraid to touch, also for going & talking to Center for Popular Democracy, I do not believe 100% that the funds were used for “fines” but you can only report on what we know right? And you did a great job of getting both sides of the story. It was an interesting week, and I truly hope for the sake of our republic that people are not listening to what these protesters are saying but doing their OWN HOMEWORK & research, for that is how we can truly make up our own minds.

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Adam W. Schindler
Adam W. Schindler is a communicator, consultant, and digital strategy executive with vast experience in digital marketing, messaging and web design and development.

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