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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For presidential candidates this campaign season, all glitter is not gold.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

That's because glitter has taken on a non-festive meaning - as in glitter-bombing.

BLOCK: The latest incident, earlier this week: Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum got a dose of the tiny, shiny stuff. He was glitter-bombed by Occupiers in Tacoma, Washington, during a rally.

SIEGEL: It wasn't the first time for Santorum. In fact, all the Republican presidential candidates still in the race have faced off with glitter-bombers.

(SOUNDBITE OF FLORIDA RALLY)

MITT ROMNEY: (Greeting voters) Hi, there. How are you? Hi, there. How are you? Good to see you.

SIEGEL: Mitt Romney got hit at a rally after winning the Florida primary. He brushed it off, literally as well as figuratively.

(SOUNDBITE OF FLORIDA RALLY)

ROMNEY: ...an exciting time. I'm happy for a little celebration. This is confetti. We just won...

BLOCK: Unlike a ticker-tape parade or a burst of celebratory confetti, glitter-bombing tells candidates that someone thinks they're wrong on an issue. This sparkly weapon of disapproval was first launched last May, in Minnesota. Newt Gingrich and his wife were signing books at an event sponsored by a group that opposes same-sex marriage.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL EVENT)

NICK ESPINOSA: Feel the rainbow, Newt. Stop the hate. Stop anti-gay politics. It's dividing our country, and it's not fixing our economy.

NEWT GINGRICH: Nice to live in a free country.

SIEGEL: Nice to live in a free country, Gingrich just said there. And he said it as this guy was being quickly escorted out.

ESPINOSA: I'm Nick Espinosa. I'm part of the Glitterati, a nationwide movement to stand up to bigotry and anti-gay politics with a lighthearted dousing of glitter.

SIEGEL: Espinosa is 25, unemployed. He told us that he carried his glitter to the event in a Cheez-It's box. We asked, why glitter?

ESPINOSA: You know, it's a harmless but sensational way to bring attention to serious issues. I knew he wasn't going to be hurt by it. But I also knew that it would stick with him and that, you know, for the days to come he'd be remembering what I said as he pulled the glitter sparkles from his hair. And that, you know, of course, who doesn't want to see Newt Gingrich covered in glitter?

BLOCK: Well - Newt Gingrich, for one. He told the New York Times in an email that glitter-bombing is clearly an assault, and should be treated as such.

SIEGEL: In fact, a Colorado student was arrested last week after tossing glitter at Mitt Romney in Denver. He was charged with causing a disturbance, an unlawful act on school property, and throwing a missile.

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