Last Thursday night, after camping out for two days in Sen. Cory Gardner’s office, several disabled Coloradans were arrested. While the media was there to photograph the entire thing, reporters neglected to convey that several entities, literally paid to organize protests against Republicans were present – Alan Franklin, 40-year old intern political director at ProgressNow, and national press secretary for League of Conservation Voters, Alyssa Roberts.

Here are photos of them both at the protest.

It’s possible that they’re simply engaged citizens, but it looks like in the photos that Franklin, at least, is potentially working the protests. Either way, the left has every right – and perhaps fiduciary responsibility to donors – to engage in these types of protests. But let’s not pretend that the protests spontaneously occurred and that the holy grail of such protests is not to get arrested and gain media exposure.

It’s sad that groups, ProgressNow and League of Conservation Voters, whose only purpose is to besmirch Republican candidates, potentially endangered the health and safety of disabled Coloradans to advance their agenda.

While the Denver Post claimed that Gardner’s office should have had more compassion, the truth is that Gardner’s office was informed that the protests put the office in violation of its lease. From the Denver Post:

“Before the arrests, Gardner’s state director read a statement to the protesters saying building management informed the office that it was in violation of its lease and both staff and the protesters had to leave.”

And here is a statement from Gardner’s staff. We’re not sure how much more compassionate they could have been after sleeping in the office for two nights to allow this organization to exercise its First Amendment rights.

“The top priority throughout this protest has been allowing these individuals to exercise their First Amendment rights in a safe environment. In order to allow this, staff have slept in the office for two nights and assisted and aided these individuals with several matters to ensure they were comfortable and safe. Earlier this evening, Denver police asked the individuals to leave. When they declined to leave, the police were forced to remove them due to several factors, including serious concerns for their health and safety.”

We hate to call a group advocating for the betterment of disabled Americans an astroturf organization, but there’s a saying about the company you keep….