Florida resident Doug Hughes flew 65 miles from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D.C. in his gyrocopter before landing in front of the Capitol building Wednesday afternoon. The 61-year-old postal worker flew into the restricted airspace in a publicity stunt to draw attention to campaign finance reform.
I’m going to land on the Capitol Mall in front of the Capitol Building. I’m going to have 535 letters strapped to the landing gear in boxes, and those letters are going to addressed to every member of Congress.
Mr. Hughes intended to deliver the stamped letters in a non-violent attempt to protest government corruption and to prompt lawmakers to advance campaign finance reform. He said that campaign finance reform must be fixed before addressing other problems.
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There are these problems and these problems and these problems, that are much more important than campaign finance reform; but those won’t get addressed until we fix campaign finance reform.
Hughes was questioned by the Secret Service in 2013 after revealing his plan to a Tampa Bay Times reporter. He told them he had no intention to hurt himself or anyone else. Once Hughes landed, he was arrested by Capitol police; and the Capitol Building was put into temporary lockdown. However, the focus of Hughes’ publicity stunt to address campaign finance reform has been overshadowed by the Department of Homeland Security and the FAA wondering how a small, ultra-light aircraft could have flown undetected into a restricted No-Fly zone.