CONCORD, N.H. (AP) A performance artist and perennial candidate in New Hampshire’s presidential primary has sued the state capital, saying its denial of his request to bring two ponies to his planned protest of Hillary Clinton’s book signing violates the First Amendment.
Vermin Supreme, who ran as a Democrat in 2016, wears a rubber boot on his head and once threw glitter at another lesser-known candidate during a debate. He asked a federal judge Friday to compel the city to issue him a permit allowing him to bring the ponies to Clinton’s event, scheduled for Tuesday at a Concord bookstore.
The city licensing officer who denied the permit request citied police coordination with the Secret Service for Clinton’s event, the lawsuit says.
Messages to city officials weren’t immediately returned.
Supreme said Clinton’s book, “What Happened,” attacks his political platform to provide everyone in the country a pony. The book makes references to a satirical Facebook post about the main candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, and their positions on giving people ponies. The post inferred that Clinton was against it.
Supreme’s name isn’t mentioned in the post; he said it’s implicit.
“In terms of politics, I think I’ve got a lock on the free pony thing,” he said Monday. “I firmly believe and claim that it is a slam at my policies.”
He said he would be doing everything he can to make sure the ponies appear at Clinton’s book signing.
Supreme has run in New Hampshire’s presidential primaries going back at least to 2004. In 2016, he was banned from a traditional debate for lesser-known presidential candidates at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics because four years earlier, he threw glitter at another candidate in the middle of the forum.
This story has been corrected to show that Supreme ran as a Democrat, not as a Libertarian.