What was he thinking? Part II

February 23, 2011
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I had a long blog typed out debating free speech and comments you make on your personal time and whether those comments should impact your job. The topic of the blog is Jeff Cox, a now former deputy attorney general who advocated using “live ammunition” on his Twitter account to clear out protesters in the Wisconsin capitol building.

His tweet was in response to tweets from Mother Jones staffers Feb. 19 that riot police might remove demonstrators from the Wisconsin capitol building.  Cox tweeted “Use live ammunition.” A staffer questioned Cox, found out he was a deputy attorney general here, and then wrote a story about his Twitter comment and other statements made on his blog, Pro Cynic.

Apparently, Cox doesn’t hold back on how he feels about what’s going on in the world, comparing “enviro-Nazis” to Osama bin Laden and calling President Barack Obama an “incompetent and treasonous” enemy to the nation.

Cox told the Mother Jones writer that he could defend all his comments on Twitter and his blog, but later didn’t respond to follow-up questions posed by the reporter. He made all the comments on personal accounts.

The AG’s office said earlier today it was going to conduct a review of the matter. Just as I was about to post my blog, I found out Cox was fired. In a statement released announcing the firing, the office says “Civility and courtesy toward all members of the public are very important to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office. We respect individuals’ First Amendment right to express their personal views on private online forums, but as public servants we are held by the public to a higher standard, and we should strive for civility.”

Out of curiosity, I tried to go to his blog, but it’s been removed. His Twitter account is still active, @JCCentCom, so I perused his previous postings. Now, I don’t use Twitter and honestly have used it to only look at the Indiana Supreme Court’s Twitter account and IU basketball coach Tom Crean’s account. I found his original tweet that led to the article. He also responded to someone saying “against thugs physically threatening legally-elected state legislators & governor? You're damn right I advocate deadly force” and “Murder is by definition "unlawful," brainiac. Using force to clear out threatening individuals would be "lawful."”

First, it was the Illinois attorney indicted for smuggling drugs into a Terre Haute prison, and now a deputy attorney general making inflammatory comments on public forums. Did Cox think it didn’t matter because he was using personal accounts? Doesn’t he realize that as a government official, he’s held to a higher standard than the average Joe? Did Cox think it didn’t matter because he was using personal accounts? Why aren’t people thinking before they act?

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  • Party is irrelevant
    All political associations are swept aside when death is the response to political debate. He got what he deserved.
  • Public service
    Mr. Cox certainly demonstrates the flip side of public service - the state does NOT serve Mr. Cox (or pay him now for that matter). Maybe he should have been working rather than spending his time as a Twit on social media?

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  1. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  2. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  3. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  4. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  5. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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