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?

  • 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. This new language about a warning has not been discussed at previous meetings. It's not available online. Since it must be made public knowledge before the vote, does anyone know exactly what it says? Further, this proposal was held up for 5 weeks because members Carol and Lucy insisted that all terms used be defined. So now, definitions are unnecessary and have not been inserted? Beyond these requirements, what is the logic behind giving one free pass to discriminators? Is that how laws work - break it once and that's ok? Just don't do it again? Three members of Carmel's council have done just about everything they can think of to prohibit an anti-discrimination ordinance in Carmel, much to Brainard's consternation, I'm told. These three 'want to be so careful' that they have failed to do what at least 13 other communities, including Martinsville, have already done. It's not being careful. It's standing in the way of what 60% of Carmel residents want. It's hurting CArmel in thT businesses have refused to locate because the council has not gotten with the program. And now they want to give discriminatory one free shot to do so. Unacceptable. Once three members leave the council because they lost their races, the Carmel council will have unanimous approval of the ordinance as originally drafted, not with a one free shot to discriminate freebie. That happens in January 2016. Why give a freebie when all we have to do is wait 3 months and get an ordinance with teeth from Day 1? If nothing else, can you please get s copy from Carmel and post it so we can see what else has changed in the proposal?

  2. Here is an interesting 2012 law review article for any who wish to dive deeper into this subject matter: https://web0.memphis.edu/law/currentstudents/mentalhealthjournal/1-2-203-Bird.pdf Excerpt: "Judicial interpretation of the ADA has extended public entity liability to licensing agencies in the licensure and certification of attorneys.49 State bar examiners have the authority to conduct fitness investigations for the purpose of determining whether an applicant is a direct threat to the public.50 A “direct threat” is defined as “a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services as provided by § 35.139.”51 However, bar examiners may not utilize generalizations or stereotypes about the applicant’s disability in concluding that an applicant is a direct threat.52"

  3. We have been on the waiting list since 2009, i was notified almost 4 months ago that we were going to start receiving payments and we still have received nothing. Every time I call I'm told I just have to wait it's in the lawyers hands. Is everyone else still waiting?

  4. I hope you dont mind but to answer my question. What amendment does this case pretain to?

  5. Research by William J Federer Chief Justice John Marshall commented May 9, 1833, on the pamphlet The Relation of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States written by Rev. Jasper Adams, President of the College of Charleston, South Carolina (The Papers of John Marshall, ed. Charles Hobson, Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2006, p, 278): "Reverend Sir, I am much indebted to you for the copy of your valuable sermon on the relation of Christianity to civil government preached before the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Charleston, on the 13th of February last. I have read it with great attention and advantage. The documents annexed to the sermon certainly go far in sustaining the proposition which it is your purpose to establish. One great object of the colonial charters was avowedly the propagation of the Christian faith. Means have been employed to accomplish this object, and those means have been used by government..." John Marshall continued: "No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion to the happiness of man even during his existence in this world. It has at all times employed his most serious meditation, and had a decided influence on his conduct. The American population is entirely Christian, and with us, Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it. Legislation on the subject is admitted to require great delicacy, because freedom of conscience and respect for our religion both claim our most serious regard. You have allowed their full influence to both. With very great respect, I am Sir, your Obedt., J. Marshall."