On Oct. 15, Stordeur was at the Walla Walla County GOP headquarters protesting Republican Senate nominee Dino Rossi. A pro-Rossi activist who was attempting to take Stordeur’s picture allegedly hit her — hard enough to get him arrested for assault.
In a TPM exclusive, Stordeur tells her side of the story, and expresses anguish at yet another closely-watched political campaign devolving into out-and-out violence committed by an older man on a young, progressive woman.
“We had a big blank novelty check and bags over our heads that read ‘secret donor,’” Stordeur told me in an email today, describing the protest that drew the assault. “The point was to show how Dino Rossi’s outside supporters are making anonymous donations to groups that run attacks.”
Stordeur said “a deputy sheriff just feet away” from the protest action outside the Walla Walla GOP HQ “assured us that we were following every law, and not doing anything wrong.”
That’s when the alleged perpetrator, 72-year-old Victor Phillips, approached the protesters and started “calling us morons,” Stordeur recounted. “We said nothing,” she said.
Phillips was apparently not happy that Stordeur and her crew ignored him. Phillips “forcefully pulled the bag from my head,” she told me, “and when I raised my hand to block my face he hit my arm down while grabbing me, leaving my arm painfully red and welted.”
Phillips was then arrested. He “said he wanted to get a picture of the protesters,” according to the police report filed after the incident.
Stordeur says she’s done talking about the attack after Phillips’ arrest. But she offered her view on the rough-and-tumble politics of the day.
“I am not going to say anything about the process moving forward, ” she said. “But I will say that I do not think handling a disagreement with violence is acceptable.”