The liberal group staffer accused of grabbing and refusing to let go of Nevada gubernatorial nominee Adam Laxalt's female campaign manager has a history of heavy-handed tactics, according to lawmakers and congressional aides.
Wilfred "Mike" Stark III gained a reputation for aggressive, abrasive behavior, including in the course of his work for American Bridge 21st Century, a political action committee founded by Hillary Clinton ally David Brock and funded in part by billionaire George Soros.
Stark was a reporter for the organization until Wednesday when he was fired "effective immediately" after being arrested and charged with battery Tuesday in Las Vegas over his exchange with Laxalt's campaign manager, Kristin Davison, multiple outlets reported.
Politicians and their staffers, among others, took to social media to vent about Stark's alleged past bad behavior amid his latest run-in with the law.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., retweeted a post of his from June asking his followers to identify Stark because the reporter had been "chasing" him around Capitol Hill.
“Soros funded hack finally arrested for assaulting young female campaign staff in Nevada,” Nunes wrote Wednesday. “This should not happen in the USA!”
[Opinion: More civility: Notorious Dem operative arrested for battering a GOP governor candidate's female campaign manager]
Soros funded hack finally arrested for assaulting young female campaign staff in Nevada. This should not happen in the USA! https://t.co/F1qtkObvsZ— Devin Nunes (@DevinNunes) October 18, 2018
Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., recalled how Stark had allegedly harassed her campaign on July Fourth.
Mike Stark who harassed our campaign on the 4th of July was arrested last night for assaulting a female campaign manager in Nevada. This is the resistance. Below is a picture of Stark with Team Wexton (pink shirt)...story of his latest arrest: https://t.co/BDhKcwk9BA #VA10 pic.twitter.com/8FEe30bh5l— Barbara Comstock (@BarbaraComstock) October 17, 2018
Conn Carroll, communications director for Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said Stark had more recently been hassling senators and their aides during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings.
"I've known Mike Stark for literally over a decade. This is who he is. American Bridge knows who he is and what he does and they hired him accordingly," Carroll wrote. "This idea that American Bridge randomly 'got stuck with' Mike Stark is willfully ignorant blindness. He has been doing this for years. American Bridge knew exactly who they were hiring and what he does."
This idea that American Bridge randomly "got stuck with" Mike Stark is willfully ignorant blindness. He has been doing this for years. American Bridge knew exactly who they were hiring and what he does. https://t.co/v7Aimkux66— Conn Carroll (@conncarroll) October 18, 2018
Stark has previously been found guilty in February of misdemeanor disorderly conduct following an incident in October 2017 when he refused to back away from a van carrying then-Republican gubernatorial candidate in Virginia Ed Gillepsie. Stark — who was employed by Shareblue Media, another left-leaning news website, at the time — was fined $500.
Stark was also arrested in March for allegedly assaulting Heather Swift, then Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's press secretary, after a congressional hearing featuring the Trump Cabinet official.
American Bridge 21st Century did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment Thursday. The organization declined to tell Fox News Wednesday whether it had been aware of Stark's record when it hired him in January, or whether the group had considered dismissing him over the confrontation in March.