Anti-Citizens United Protester Lands Gyrocopter Near U.S. Capitol, Is Promptly Arrested


Minutes ago, Twitter lit up with news about a man in a miniature gyrocopter who’d landed on the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol, where he was promptly arrested by police:

In a strange twist, the Florida based Tampa Bay Times clearly knew about the plan, because they put together this well-produced video about the gyrocopter, as well as a lengthy profile about the man’s plan to drop off a letter calling for campaign finance reform. “If you’re reading this, Doug Hughes, a 61-year-old mailman from Ruskin, has taken flight,” they wrote:

His stated intent: to buzz through the air at 45 miles per hour at about 300 feet up in an ultralight gyrocopter toward Washington, D.C., toward protected airspace, where, if his plan works, he’ll land on the lawn of the United States Capitol building and deliver the mail.

Of course, Doug Hughes might be shot out of the sky. He knows this. He has thought about it day and night for more than two years, wrestling with the tiniest details of his insane plan.

“No sane person,” he said, “would do what I’m doing.”

In the likelihood that Hughes is the same man who landed a gyrocopter in front of the U.S. Capitol, the Florida mailman told the Times that he planned to risk everything — his livelihood, his family, maybe even his life if he were shot out of the sky — to protest Citizens United, which ruled that corporate donations to political campaigns and Super PACs qualified as free speech:

In Hughes’ mind, there was a parallel spike in favor-dealing and the government is now practically owned by the rich. Hughes likes to point out that nearly half the retiring members of Congress from 1998 to 2004 got jobs as lobbyists earning some 14 times their congressional salaries.

“We’re heading full-throttle toward a breakdown,” he said. “There’s no question that we need government, but we don’t have to accept that it’s a corrupt government that sells out to the highest bidder. We can have a government that works for the people, that answers to the people, that can only take money from the people in small amounts.”

Watch some video of him below:

Watch the initial report from CNN below:

[Featured image via Jamie Duskin/Twitter]

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