GAMBIER — A private fundraising event hosted by Peter and Linda Michaels at their home in Gambier last night drew the attention of several members of Pass The Salt Ministries. The event was attended by Congressman Zack Space. David Daubenmire, founder of Pass The Salt, wanted to talk to Space, but Daubenmire and the others were not invited to the affair.
Daubenmire partially reprinted an e-mail sent by Linda Michaels to friends and acquaintances in the Kenyon College community, inviting them to the fundraiser. In an e-mail, he urged Pass The Salt members to RSVP to the phone number in Michaels’ e-mail and attend the event.
When Michaels found out about the Daubenmire e-mail, she began screening the RSVP calls, and hired an off-duty sheriff’s deputy for security.
The event was scheduled to run from 6 to 8 p.m. Pass The Salt members began showing up about 6:30 at the end of the lane that led to the Michaels’ house. All were denied entry.
“We want a chance to talk to Zack Space,” said Jeff Cline, who was waiting at the end of the lane. “We were down in Zanesville outside his office and there was no Zack Space there. We thought maybe we would come up, maybe he could give us a little time when he was finished at 8 o’clock or whenever. We’d just like to talk to him about all kinds of things the government is doing. About health care or whatever it might be. Part of our message down there was this nation has run amok. We have just run away from our principles of what this nation was founded on.”
Cline said the message the group wanted to deliver to Space in Zanesville was that this nation had become a godless nation.
“And it was all tied into the Biblical principles on the Constitution,” Cline explained. “Everything this country started on, we are clear away from now. And everything is wrapped into one. It’s the health care. It’s the hate crimes bill. It goes on and on and on. It’s the government control.
“God is in control of this nation, not man,” he continued. “But our politicians seem to think they can do whatever they please. We believe that we, as Christians in this country, have to stand for what’s moral and what’s right. It’s pretty basic and pretty simple. [The hate crime bill] is they are going to legislate thought and speech on what we can say and what we can’t say. Jesus Christ should be the standard in this country, not Allah, not Buddha, not man. We firmly believe that God is bringing down a curse on this nation. We have turned our back on God in this country.
“And the schools are about as corrupt as can be and now the government wants to run everything else from health care to what we can say and everything else,” he added. “That’s the problem in this nation. People say we are not a Christian nation, but we are. And Barack Obama says we are a big Muslim nation. I forget exactly how he put it, but he used the word Muslim and nation.”
When Daubenmire arrived, he approached Peter Michaels and requested entry to the event to speak to Space. Michaels told him he would pass Daubenmire’s request to Space. A little later, Michaels reported to Daubenmire that Space said it would depend on how much time he had.
“I’d just like to talk to him,” said Daubenmire. “We’ve asked four different times. I’d like to sit down at a table and talk to this guy. They won’t return my calls, they won’t return e-mails, they won’t even acknowledge the fact that we want to speak to him. I have many issues, and many of my friends do have issues, that we would like to discuss with the congressman. And I want to know why he won’t sit down at my home with some of my friends and answer some of the questions he’s probably answering in there.
“It’s about how rapidly we are losing our liberty. It’s government bailouts, health care, it’s just massive massive issues. I would like to look him in the eye and find out where he stands on these important issues. It’s not just me. I represent hundreds of people who have these same questions. I want to sit down with him and find out why he won’t give us that opportunity.”
The event was scheduled to run until 8 p.m. but it wasn’t until about 8:30 that it began to break up. As he was leaving, former Knox County Democrat Chairman Tom McHugh commented on what went on inside.
“It was a nice meeting,” McHugh said. “He’s a very impressive guy. Of course, I could be a little prejudiced. But he’s just so humble. And he told us he was down in Zanesville yesterday at his office and they were raising the devil outside. And he opened the door and said ‘Come on in.’ He said he talked with them for two hours. It was all very civil, like in here tonight.”
Later, Space offered to meet with two of the group, without the media present. Daubenmire rejected the offer, and said they would wait until Space came out.
As of 9:45 p.m., Space had not yet come out. There were rumors he had slipped out past the group, but this could not be confirmed.