The man who helped tackle a MoveOn.org activist to the ground and stomped on her head last night has been identified as Tim Profitt, a volunteer campaign coordinator for Kentucky GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul. Profitt apologized for attacking activist Lauren Valle, but told the AP “that the camera angle made the scuffle Monday night appear worse that it was.” “I’m sorry that it came to that, and I apologize if it appeared overly forceful, but I was concerned about Rand’s safety,” Profitt said.
The Paul campaign has cut ties with Profitt, “removing him from his role as Bourbon County campaign coordinator and banning him from campaign events.” Commenting on the campaign’s dissociation from Profitt, Fox News host Shep Smith said, “I suppose if that’s the worse that happens to you after you make a conscious decision to step on a woman, then you’ve probably come out pretty well” Watch it:
The Lexington police report that Profitt is “currently being served with a criminal summons,” though no arrests have been made. And despite the Paul campaign’s claim that Valle was “not injured,” MoveOn reports that she “suffered a concussion and sprains to her shoulder and arm as a result of the stomping.”
Profitt passed some blame onto police, saying “A friend of mine went up to three policeman before Rand got there, and told them about the girl who was standing there with that wig on [Valle] and that she was getting ready to do something.” Indeed, Valle told TPM, “The Rand Paul campaign knows me and they have expressed their distaste for my work before.” She said five men “surrounded” her before the incident, telling Valle and her partner that they were “here to do crowd control and we might have to take someone out.”
Blogger Sandi Behrns tweeted an undated photo of Paul with Profitt (above right). And ironically, as local blog Barefoot & Progressive observed, Profitt was among a group of Republicans who took out a full page ad today in the Lexington Herald Leader showing their support for Paul:
Profitt’s accomplice, who held Valle down while he stepped on her head, has been identified as tea party activist Mike Pezzano. Gawker reports Pezzano “belongs to Lexington’s Rand Paul Meetup group and is an “assistant organizer” for Kentucky Open Carry, a group that wants to make it legal to carry firearms openly and in public.”
The New York Daily News notes that Profitt was also a donor to Paul’s campaign. The activist donated $1,900 to Paul, while “a woman who appears to be his wife gave another $600.” “We wonder if Paul will keep that cash,” the News ponders.