Friday, August 7, 2009

Anti-Health Care Reform Tweeter Says He Doesn't Really Want Violence

An Albuquerque man who opposes health-care reform caused a stir today when with his Twitter tweets he seemingly advocated violence at town hall meetings.

However, Scott Oskay, in a telephone interview this evening, admitted he went overboard with his tweets and does not really want to see violence.

Oskay, who says he's a 40-year-old single parent, posted on Twitter several messages. One said, "If ACORN/SEIU attends these townhalls for disruption, stop being peaceful, and hurt them. Badly."

Another read, "If ACORN/SEIU attends these meetings for disruptive purposes, and you have a license to carry....carry."

"I go on free association rants on Twitter," Oskay said. He said was trying to parody the pro health-care advocates' caricature of anti health-care activists.

Some of his other tweets this afternoon hint at this.

"Recommendation to the left: Be careful of what you hallucinate. It might become real."

"If you use typical GOP-insult stereotypes on ALL folks that simply oppose obamacare, I'm going to call you out for your stupidity/bigotry."

Oskay has since deleted the "hurt them" tweet. But not before it was picked up on the Talking Points Memo blog, which posted a screen capture.

The state Democratic Party also picked up on Oskay's Tweets. Executive director Josh Geise in a news release said,

"Democrats strongly believe there is nothing wrong with an honest debate about how we should reform our broken health care system. These remarks from Mr. Oskay, along with actions such as holding Nazi signs at events, hanging effigies of members of Congress and faux tombstones of others that we have seen at town halls all across America are appalling and must stop.
Geise called on Republican leaders like state Chairman Harvey Yates and Congressional candidate Steve Pearce to denounce Oskay's "threats" and other "violent aggressive actions by a minority of "mob" protesters."

Oskay in the interview insisted he is not advocating health-care opponents instigate any type of violence at public meetings. But, he said, if opponents are attacked verbally or physically by the other side, they should respond in kind.

He says he's not a Republican. "I've been a registered Republican and a registered Democrat," he said. "I'm probably more of a libertarian, but I'm not a member of the Libertarian Party. They probably wouldn't want me after this."

Oskay said he's got liberal friends and conservative friends -- and frequently offends both with some of his "rants."