Funny how fate sometimes brings things together in the most remarkable fashion. My eagle-eyed co-blogger, Bob, had just noticed that the Worcester Tea Party and Red Mass Group share a mailing address, namely, 18 Grafton Street, 4th floor, Worcester, MA (RMG’s mailing address is not on the RMG website, as far as I know, but it appears on publicly-distributed emails). That’s interesting, though it’s not all that surprising to learn that the two entities share space; it might not be more than that.
But imagine our surprise when this story popped up in the Worcester Telegram:
Police break up illegal, boozy political bash
Officers assigned to the Alcohol Enforcement Unit discovered a Liberty Republicans bash inside a Grafton Street office building Friday night, where alcohol was being sold, even though no liquor license had been obtained to sell the booze.
The owner of the Grafton Street commercial building said Liberty Republicans had been allowed to use the space, but he was told those attending the party would bring their own alcohol.
Bradford P. Wyatt, owner of 18 Grafton St., said the Liberty Republicans worked hard to get many delegates elected to the Republican National Convention. The party Friday was a kickoff event before people headed to the national convention, to be held in Tampa, Fla.
Whoa there – 18 Grafton Street? Isn’t that the address of both the Worcester Tea Party and Red Mass Group? Now, to be fair, the party was on the 8th floor (the article says that “[t]he eighth floor once housed a short-lived nightclub, which police shut down roughly a year ago”), and the office space in question is on the 4th. But Mr. Wyatt, the owner of the building, appears also to be involved in closely-related political activities. Emphasis mine.
Mr. Wyatt, who is a spokesman for the Liberty delegates, described the party as “a one-time thing.” He said he didn’t know all that happened Friday night, because he was not at the party. He said he wouldn’t have allowed the event to happen if he knew alcohol was going to be sold….
A police officer called Alcohol Enforcement around 11:30 p.m. Friday after a man asked him for directions to 18 Grafton St. The man told the officer there was a party at that address, with live music.
Alcohol Enforcement Unit Officer Mark E. Jolin found a party inside on the eighth floor, according to police reports. The eighth floor once housed a short-lived nightclub, which police shut down roughly a year ago.
Heading in through the unlocked front door, Officer Jolin headed up to the eighth floor. He saw 10 tables that appeared to be vending booths, and a band using a sound system. About 80 to 100 people were inside, the officer reported.
One man at the party told Officer Jolin the event was called the “Ron Paul Love Liberty Fest.”
Eww. The Liberty delegates, you may recall, is the group of Ron Paul enthusiasts who successfully ran for delegate slots to the Republican National Convention, humiliating the establishment Romneyites (including Charlie Baker) who didn’t take the challenge seriously enough. To avoid total embarrassment, the party brass had to step in with a trumped-up “affidavit” requirement that allowed the party to ditch the Paulites and reinstate the establishment choices. So much for building the grassroots over there. Red Mass Group, to its credit, followed the matter quite closely.
Anyway, handle drunk Republicans with extreme caution.
One man, described as “extremely drunk” by the officer, said he was in charge, but later said he wasn’t. Many people were aggressive toward the officer, while asking him what authority he had to come into the building, the officer reported. He learned there was a $20 door fee.
“Numerous recording devices were thrown in our faces, and dozens of people were throwing questions at us as we attempted to ascertain who if anyone was in control of this event,” Officer Jolin wrote.
Officer Jolin, accompanied by another uniformed officer, requested support. Members of the anti-crime team and Summer Impact patrol arrived, and Alcohol Enforcement Unit Lt. James J. Johnson responded as well…. “Several males could have been arrested for disorderly behavior,” Officer Jolin wrote. “Two males had bumped me as they shoved cameras in my face. Due to the volatile situation, these people were given more leniency than they would normally get or deserved.”
Keeping it classy, Republicans, real classy.
No one was arrested. Police are still trying to determine who organized the event.
Now wouldn’t that be interesting to find out. The guy who owns the building says he wasn’t there and didn’t know much about it, and “said he wouldn’t have allowed the event to happen if he knew alcohol was going to be sold,” but yet he is a “spokesman” for the group that apparently threw the party. Rob Eno, the proprietor of Red Mass Group, told me that he was not present at the party, was not involved in organizing it, and had no further comment on the matter.
Sounds like 18 Grafton Street is a fascinating place. :-)