Protesting his exclusion, Agran arrested for disrupting debate
Copyright 1992 Orange County Register
Orange County Register (California)
April 1, 1992 Wednesday MORNING EDITION
By: Larry Peterson, The Orange County Register
Former Irvine Mayor Larry Agran, still trying to win the Democratic presidential nomination, was arrested Tuesday night when he tried to speak at the debate pitting the two front-runners.
Agran, whose best showing is the 2 percent he received in last week's Connecticut primary, and a supporter were charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing, police said.
Agran and Arthur Goldstein, Agran's New York campaign coordinator, attended a debate between former California Gov. Jerry Brown and Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, the leading Democratic contenders, at Herbert Lehman College in the Bronx.
Agran, who is on the ballot for Tuesday's Democratic primary in New York, was barred from the debate by the Bronx Democratic Club.
He has sought to make his exclusion from such forums a campaign issue and had decided to mount a protest Tuesday, said Janice Graham, his East Coast campaign coordinator.
Steve Smith, Agran's campaign research director, said Agran and Goldstein had tickets to the debate.
Agran and Goldstein "were screaming and heckling," said Detective Kim Royster, a police spokeswoman. They were taken to a police station, held about four hours, cited and released, police said.
Agran could not be reached for comment.
On a C-Span tape-recording of the debate, Agran is heard saying loudly and repeatedly, "Mr. Chairman, I respectfully request inclusion in this debate! "
The moderator is heard saying, "There is a bit of a disturbance, but we'll go on. "
"I think it was an outrage," said Agran's wife, Phyllis. "What kind of democracy is it when a legitimate candidate tries to be
heard and is arrested? This is an embarrassment for the Democratic Party."
In an unrelated incident outside the debate hall, 150 supporters of another minor candidate, Lenora Fulani, tried to storm the gate, slightly injuring three police officers, but there were no arrests,