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Ill. Republican Party blasts Callis campaign for 'manhandling' protestors

By David Yates | Aug 26, 2014


EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (Legal Newsline) – Video footage of an Ann Callis campaign staffer physically grabbing and removing a protestor has surfaced, prompting the right to call foul.

Callis stepped down from a 19-year career on the bench last year to make a bid for the 13th Congressional District. She will face GOP Rep. Rodney Davis in the November general election.

On Monday, the Illinois Republican Party posted footage of Callis at an Aug. 21 public appearance she and Sen. Dick Durbin made at the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

One of the videos shows Callis' campaign manager, Marshall Cohen, physically confronting student protesters.

A second video shows Callis laughing about the matter as a female staffer, who was also involved in an altercation, says "I grabbed his sign and was like 'you can go now.'"

"Ann Callis needs to apologize to the students who were physically confronted by her over-aggressive staff, and for laughing about it afterward," said Tim Schneider, IRP chairman. "Students at SIUE have plenty of reason to be concerned about her liberal agenda, and they have every right to make their voices heard."

Durbin and Callis were at SIU’s Edwardsville campus calling upon Congress to pass legislation to help the 37 million Americans facing student loan debt.

"Does Ann Callis really think it's appropriate to send her campaign manager out with an errand to manhandle students, and then laugh about it afterward?" Schneider said. "That's not how you work with people you disagree with. And it's a glimpse into the kind of poor leadership and judgment we would get from her in Congress."

The Callis campaign did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Reach David Yates at

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Illinois Republican Party