The race for Illinois' 11th Congressional District is heating up between Democratic Rep. Debbie Halvorson and her Republican challenger, Adam Kinzinger.
During a Kinzinger appearance at an event hosted by Americans for Prosperity Wednesday evening, a small group of protestors gathered outside, brandishing signs depicting Kinzinger and other prominent conservative figures -- including radio and television host Glenn Beck and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin -- with Hitler mustaches smudged on their portraits.
The protestors chanted, "Outsource Adam, not our jobs!"
A filmographer captured the protest on tape. Though the protestors deny they were acting on behalf of Congresswoman Halvorson, the filmmaker followed them back to their apparent rallying point, Halvorson's campaign office.
At least one of the protestors has been identified as an Organizing for America staffer who worked for the Obama campaign in St. Louis during the 2008 election.
Kinzinger, a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, today asked Halvorson to investigate the incident:
It was shocking to see the images displayed by protesters in Joliet this week. When I decided to run for office, I understood the nastiness of politics but never envisioned this kind of attack. Congresswoman Halvorson’s campaign has denied involvement, but video of protesters retiring to her office following the demonstration indicates otherwise. The campaign’s spokesman stated that Halvorson shares my concerns about the public display. If that is indeed the case, I respectfully ask that she use the evidence at hand to launch an investigation into the activities of her campaign and its participation in the Joliet protest, and take appropriate action.
Update: Another individual participating in the small protest has been identified. This woman has been identified as Halvorson's campaign manager, Julie Merz.
Until recently, Ms. Merz reportedly worked as Deputy Director of Member Services on Nancy Pelosi's staff. Just a year ago, Pelosi herself was accusing town hall participants opposed to Democrats' health care overhaul of using these kinds of images in "astroturf" protests: