by Ashley Phosphate
Seneca – Mayor Vern Spalding tried to keep the town’s monthly meeting on track, but issues surrounding President Barack Obama’s citizenship turned the ordinarily quiet meeting into a brouhaha that resulted in a dozen arrests, thousands of dollars in damages and two resignations from city council.
Police reports reveal that Spencer Jenkins, 61, used his allocated time to address city council to read published reports from the internet challenging Obama’s US citizenship. Three council members made motions for the town to pass a resolution saying that Obama was not the President of the US. Two other council members, including the mayor, wanted instead to push the resolution onto the August agenda so that more support could be generated for it.
“I was not, and I mean that emphatically, against the resolution. Obama is not a US citizen – I believe that with all my heart, but now isn’t the time to pass the resolution,” Spalding said.
Two council members, George Barnette and Hilda Muckenfuss, both resigned in protest that the rest of the council was “aiding and abetting the overthrow of our country by radicalists.”
“They’re taking over our cities one by one,” said Barnette. “You can already see it in the big northeastern cities and all over the west coast.
“People just don’t care about serious issues like this anymore,” said Muckenfuss who has already garnered attention from the FBI and Secret Service for her website, Obamaisakenyan.com. The website, a haven for conspiracy theorists and academics from many of South Carolina’s colleges was recently shut down by its webserver at the government’s request.
“They claimed that people on our site were planning an attack on the President, but they were just hypothesizing. If you can have a website shut down for hypothesizing about an assassination attempt then where are our First Amendment freedoms,” asked Barnette.
After Jenkins diatribe and the split on Seneca’s city council, members of the audience began to surround the mayor and the other council members who didn’t immediately vote for the resolution challenging Obama’s citizenship. “It was pretty scary for a few moments there, I’ll tell you that,” said Mayor Pro Temp Bob Overton. “We thought they [the citizens] were going to tar and feather us,” he said.
There wasn’t any tarring and feathering, but at least 12 residents were arrested for throwing chairs and dismantling the podium and hurling it outside onto the sidewalk two stories below the city council’s chambers. Secret Service and FBI agents interviewed for this story indicated that the Seneca police department hasn’t cooperated with their investigation.
“It appears to us that the city government itself in Seneca has become convinced that the President isn’t a US citizen. They are thwarting our investigation and we’ll probably never get to the bottom of it all,” said one agent who requested anonymity.