Statom, a Republican appointee in the county's voter registration office, believed Wednesday's meeting of the county election board -- called by its president, Phil Nichols -- violated an Indiana law that requires 48 hours prior notice for most public meetings.
Statom, who was back working Thursday, said he found it "absolutely unconscionable" that the newspaper hadn't challenged the legality of the meeting instead of reporting, in a Wednesday front-page article, that Nichols had called an "emergency meeting" over his concerns that voter-registration applications might not be processed in a timely manner.
why, that's outrageous! that totally explains his reaction:
Witnesses said Wednesday's altercation occurred after the meeting, when Werner, interviewing a Barack Obama supporter in the hallway, responded to an insult from Statom by telling the registration worker to "shut up."
Authorities said Statom passed by the reporter, then turned and shoved Werner into a wall. In an ensuing struggle, both men fell to the floor, with Statom allegedly trying to choke the reporter. The Republican appointee also punched Barry Welsh, a Democratic congressional candidate trying to break up the fight, in the eye.
it's a natural reaction, when confronted with bad news, to want to attack the messenger. will statom did that literally. though you might wonder, if he was so pissed about the emergency meeting being called, why attack the reporter and give barry welsh a black eye? if he wanted to beat someone up, it would've made more sense to assault election board president phil nichols... you know, the guy who actually called the meeting.
and yes, as you might have noticed above, statom was back at work the next day. ¶