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McCain holds closed-door 'town hall' Monday

U.S. Sen. John McCain held an apparent invite-only discussion in Tucson on Monday morning, although the event was billed as a "town hall." The 10:30 a.m. event was held at the headquarters of Unisource Energy, and reportedly included about 30 people. At least one interested in attending, perennial Green Party candidate Dave Croteau, was not allowed to enter.

In an email to TucsonSentinel.com and a video posted on Facebook, Croteau said he was refused entry to the meeting at Unisource, 88 E. Broadway, by "TEP security." Croteau said he refused to leave the lobby of the building when told the event was a "closed-door meeting," and told security guards to call Tucson police to have him removed when they told him to leave. He claimed to have been forced out when he stood to take a photograph.

Croteau, who has run for Tucson mayor and Pima County sheriff under the Green Party banner, said he told a pair of police officers who arrived that he had been assaulted by the guards.

Among those who attended the meeting were economic development consultant Pamela Sutherland, Walden Farms owners Dick and Nan Walden, and "about 30 people," Sutherland posted on Facebook. Topics discussed in the meeting included immigration reform and the impact of health care reform on small businesses, Sutherland said.

The Republican was also scheduled to hold a town hall in Mesa at 4 p.m., along with Sen. Jeff Flake.

McCain's staff emailed a "Reminder Media Advisory" announcing the event just before 8 a.m. Monday, but had not sent any prior notice of the meeting to TucsonSentinel.com or other media outlets we checked with.

Although the email did not specifically state the meeting was open to the public, it followed the same format as previous announcements of public town halls released by McCain's office.

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Paul M. Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

McCain at an October town hall.