MODESTO — Protesters chanting “Where’s Chandra” and “Liar, liar, pants on fire” on Tuesday scolded Rep. Gary Condit for his relationship with an intern and demanded he resign.
About 50 protesters organized by a politically conservative Web site held the lunchtime demonstration in front of the Democrat’s district office.
“He’s a wishy washy dog, with a big tail, a tale of lies,” said Mary Lorenzo, 71, a longtime Democrat who was clutching the American flag that had been draped over her son’s coffin from Vietnam. She called Condit a coward.
Demonstrators said they were disgusted and disappointed with Condit’s alleged romance with Chandra Levy, a 24-year-old federal Bureau of Prisons intern from Modesto who was last seen April 30 in Washington, D.C.
Soon after her parents reported Levy missing, Condit chipped in $10,000 to start a reward fund to help find her. The married congressman called her a “good friend,” but denied being romantically involved with her. In a third interview with investigators he admitted they were having an affair, police sources said.
“There’s just something plain yucky about a 53-year-old man chasing 23-year-old women around,” said Chuck Morrison, a 41-year-old Modesto resident shouting for Condit to step down.
Condit, who has maintained public silence in the case, was on Capitol Hill during the demonstration.
His chief of staff, Mike Lynch, met with two of the protesters and said he would forward a letter signed by 10 constituents to Washington.
He said Condit plans to run for re-election and will address constituents at a later date. Lynch also questioned the motives of the conservative Web site www.FreeRepublic.com, which organized the rally.
“They’re trying to take advantage of a situation, a sad tragic situation, for their own political agendas,” Lynch said.
A few people showed up to defend Condit, including Shakira Graham, a 23-year-old woman who said she was trying to get an internship in his office.
“He made a mistake, he should have come forward with all the information,” Graham said. “I think these people need to back off Gary and leave him alone for a while.”
Many of the protesters were from outside the district, some as far as 100 miles away.
Alan Hall, a self-employed mapmaker from San Jose, 80 miles to the west, hoisted a sign of a Monopoly card that declared “Go Directly to Jail!”
Hall said he wasn’t even sure where Condit stood on political issues.
U.S. Rep. Gary Condit’s younger brother is wanted in Florida on charges that he violated his probation, and has his bond set at $50,000.
Darrell Wayne Condit, 49, was last arrested in Florida in November 1996 and charged with driving with a suspended license, driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of marijuana, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said Tuesday.
Herrin said she did not know how he violated his probation, or what conviction brought his probation.
“Between 1994 and 1996, we saw him as regular visitor to our detention facility,” Herrin said. “After 1996, we didn’t have any contact with him at all.”
Records show that Darrell Condit did live in Key West during the mid-1990s but has since moved.
When asked if Darrell Condit can be considered a fugitive,” Herrin said, “I supposed you can call him that. He does have an outstanding warrant.”
Gary Condit, D-Calif., has been under intense media scrutiny since a former intern at the Bureau of Prisons, Chandra Levy, was reported missing over two months ago.
The congressman has remained publicly silent about his relationship with Levy, but a police source has said he admitted having an affair with her when he was interviewed by investigators July 6.
Police sources also say Gary Condit acknowledged speaking to Levy the day before she disappeared. Police have said repeatedly the congressman is not a suspect in the intern’s disappearance, which still is classified as a missing-person case.
rather than a crime.
“We’re not ruling anything out,” Sgt. Tony O’Leary of the District of Columbia Police Department said Tuesday night when asked if his agency would question Darrell Condit about the Levy case if he is caught. “The Levy case is still an active critical missing persons case.”
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