From Talking Points Memo (quoting the North Dakota Fargo Forum):
Fargo City Commissioner Linda Coates is among more than 40 area residents included on a list of people barred from attending President Bush's speech today in Fargo.
Among the 42 area people on the do-not-admit list: two high school students, a librarian, a Democratic campaign manager and several university professors.
White House spokesman Jim Morrell and Don Larson, a spokesman for the North Dakota governor's office, say they don't know anything about such a list.
“This is the first I'm hearing of it,” Morrell said when contacted Wednesday.
But two sources close to Tuesday's ticket distribution confirmed the list exists and includes a handful of names of people who were not to receive tickets to today's event at North Dakota State University's Bison Sports Arena.
The list was supplied to workers at the two Fargo distribution sites, along with tickets and other forms citizens were asked to fill out upon receiving them. People who handed out tickets had copies of the list at their tables to determine if anyone should be denied access, both sources said.
The list contains a wide range of people. Several wrote opinion page letters to The Forum criticizing Bush or the war in Iraq. Others wrote letters in support of gay rights or of Democratic policies.
Legally, if the space is rented for a private event they can block who they like, but it's still ugly when a public official behaves like that. If they are not paying rent, it is a sufficiently public forum that this is a legal wrong as well as a moral travesty.