Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Arizona Republicans Resign -- Don't Want to Get Shot By Teabaggers

I was born in Phoenix, back when it was a little cowtown. I grew up there and then lived in Tucson for ten years. So even though I am disappointed by some things that have been happening in my home state for the past few years, I do feel I have a certain understanding of the people there.

It is sad to see news stories like this.
A nasty battle between factions of Legislative District 20 Republicans and fears that it could turn violent in the wake of what happened in Tucson on Saturday prompted District Chairman Anthony Miller and several others to resign.

Miller, a 43-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills resident and former campaign worker for U.S. Sen. John McCain, was re-elected to a second one-year term last month. He said constant verbal attacks after that election and Internet blog posts by some local members with Tea Party ties made him worry about his family's safety.

In an e-mail sent a few hours after Saturday's massacre in Tucson that killed six and injured 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Miller told state Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen he was quitting: "Today my wife of 20 yrs ask (sic) me do I think that my PCs (Precinct Committee members) will shoot at our home? So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP Chairman...I will make a full statement on Monday."

...

The newly-elected Dist. 20 Republican secretary, Sophia Johnson of Ahwatukee, first vice chairman Roger Dickinson of Tempe and Jeff Kolb, the former district spokesman from Ahwatukee, also quit. "This singular focus on 'getting' Anthony (Miller) was one of the main reasons I chose to resign," Kolb said in an e-mail to another party activist. Kolb confirmed the contents of the e-mail to the Republic.

...

Kolb said the Tea Party and associated conservative groups ran their slate of candidates for seven Dist. 20 leadership positions, winning three -- the treasurer's post and two vice-chairmanships. However, Miller beat challenger Thomas Morrissey for the top post after Sheriff Joe Arpaio made a personal appearance for Morrissey. Phone messages left for Morrissey were not returned.

After the election and around the December holiday season, some of Miller's detractors made an issue of the residency of Dickinson, the first vice-chairman. Dickinson, who did not return phone messages, was a supporter of Miller's and allegedly moved to a different precinct within Dist. 20 last year, making him ineligible for the leadership post. Miller said he told the critics he would handle the matter after the holidays. In the meantime, a series of accusatory e-mails was exchanged among party members. Some blasted Miller's support of McCain, called him a "McCainiac with a penchant for violating the rules" and a "McCain hack."

Members of the Ahwatukee Tea Party group did not respond to e-mails seeking comment.

Miller said when he was a member of McCain's campaign staff last year has been criticized by the more conservative party members who supported Republican opponent J.D. Hayworth. The first and only African-American to hold the party's precinct chairmanship, Miller said he has been called "McCain's boy," and during the campaign saw a critic form his hand in the shape of a gun and point it at him.

"I wasn't going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday," Miller said. "I love the Republican Party but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone." Gabrielle Giffords' Arizona shooting prompts resignations

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey look

Jim implied a lie:

"Arizona Republicans Resign -- Don't Want to Get Shot By Teabaggers"

How many people have been shot by teabaggers?

Do you have a problem with the Constitution?

January 13, 2011 3:08 PM  
Blogger Zyph said...

I continue to search for examples in either reproduced e-mails or video demonstrating these threats. Has anyone been able to find any?

January 13, 2011 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

interestingly, Arizona is one of the few places where Sarah Palin campaigned and supported a Senate candidate who was running against a Tea Party candidate

she didn't seem to feel there was any danger in taking such a position

these politicians that Jim are discussing in this post are simply trying to get attention

btw, just to reiterate, the Tea Party had absolutely nothing to do with Gifford's attacker

liberal groups had more problems with her than the Tea Party because of her Blue Dog positions and they used "battle" metaphors as much as any part of the political spectrum

passionate discussion of issues is why the United States had been as successful as it has throughout its history

January 13, 2011 4:20 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

He said constant verbal attacks after that election and Internet blog posts by some local members with Tea Party ties made him worry about his family's safety.

Anon, you say I "implied a lie." In fact he says later "I don't want to take a bullet for anyone" -- he resigned because he did not want to get shot my teabaggers. No lie there.

JimK

January 13, 2011 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's an implied lie.

"In the wake of the shooting of Rep. Giffords, some legislators are considering bans on speech that uses violent metaphors or imagery.

"The rhetoric is just ramped up so negatively, so high, that we have got to shut this down," said Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., though there's no evidence that the killer was at all influenced by any such speech.

It's not clear exactly what language or images the bills would try to criminalize. What is clear, however, is that any such proposal either would be repetitive of existing law or would violate the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court has ruled that threatening language loses First Amendment protection only if it is intended to communicate a "true threat" -- "a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals."

The court even held that the Constitution protects a statement like "If they ever make me carry a rifle, the first man I want to get in my sights is L.B.J.," said at an anti-war rally in the late 1960s. That was, the court held in a 1969 ruling -- Watts v. United States -- just rhetorical excess, not a true threat.

Likewise, "politics as combat" language doesn't strip speech of constitutional protection, if in context the speech can't reasonably be seen as a statement of intent to violently attack someone. And such language has been commonplace in American political life, from the early Republic to the present -- consider, for instance, President Barack Obama's line: "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun."

If the speech is reasonably seen as expressing an intent to kill someone, it should be punishable. But distributing true threats on the Internet, radio or television is already a federal crime. There's no need for a new law to deal with this.

What if the concern isn't that legislators will feel threatened by the use of combat imagery about them, but rather that some viewers might be moved by such statements to attack the politicians?

Even then, such speech would be constitutionally protected.

In a 1969 case -- Brandenburg v. Ohio -- the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment protects speech, even if there's a fear that the speech might promote violence sometime in the future. As the court put it, such language could only be punished if it was intended to incite "imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action." "Imminent" here refers to action that is intended to happen in the next few hours or days, rather than at "some indefinite future time." (This is called the "incitement" exception to the First Amendment.)

But none of the imagery discussed in this controversy was at all intended to produce crime, much less imminent crime. And the court's Brandenburg ruling means that speech can't be banned just because a few kooks or extremists might be moved to commit a crime as a result of seeing the speech. (Again, there's no evidence that this in fact happened here.)

Keep in mind that both the Watts and Brandenburg cases were decided in 1969, at the end of a decade that saw the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Sen. Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. It was also a decade that generally saw far more homegrown political violence than this past decade has seen.

Despite that, the court concluded that even violent-sounding speech must remain constitutionally protected, unless it fits within the narrow exceptions for true threats and incitement.

The same judgment remains correct today. Our First Amendment rights cannot be restricted because of the lunacy or extremism of a killer."

January 13, 2011 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

On a different topic, a University of Maryland wrestling champ, now a coach at Columbia, has written a book and started a website about athletes taking the lead in ending anti-lgbt harassment and discrimination in their communities:

AthleteAlly

January 14, 2011 5:38 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, nobody is talking about taking away anyone's First Amendment rights. This news story only says that some Arizona politicians are so afraid of teabagger violence that they are resigning from their elected positions. You have the right to be a jerk, and other people have the right to avoid you, see how that works?

JimK

January 14, 2011 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So according to the article, Miller is scared that some people with tea party affiliations called him a "McCainiac with a penchant for violating the rules" and a "McCain hack."

If this scares him, then it's good that he quit.

The "finger gun," according to the article, came from some unknown person of unknown party affiliation. Since he's a Republican, it could very well have been a Democrat who did that.

January 14, 2011 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, by choosing this story, out of all others, in addition to the other comments you have been making since last weekend, you imply there is good reason to fear violence by the Tea Party

there is none and there is no violence that has been attributable to the Tea Party

the reason dangerously delusional people, like the one who shot Giffords, continue to roam the streets is because society stopped intervening and committing such people into institutional care back in the seventies, around the time the APA decided homosexuality is no longer a mental illness

sounds like this low-level "Distric Chairman" might be started down that path himself with this baseless fear

remember, it wasn't that long ago that the Arizona shooter appeared to be a happy and normal individual until he started to let his imagination get away with him

the Arizona mental health authorities should probably start a file on Miller and watch him for signs that his paranoia about someone being out to shoot him morphs into something worse

for the protection of society

January 14, 2011 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He said constant verbal attacks after that election and Internet blog posts by some local members with Tea Party ties made him worry about his family's safety."

imagine that

a politician being "verbally" attacked

what's the world coming to?

blog posts?

does this guy imagine that nasty and threatening blog posts will stop if he resigns?

he must not get around much

I remember once a TTFer here said he wanted to kill me

I didn't build a fallout shelter

btw, you'll notice that the use of "verbal attack" is a metaphor for violence that the liberals are hypocritically wailing about

"In an e-mail, Miller told state Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen he was quitting: "Today my wife of 20 yrs ask me do I think that my Precinct Committee members will shoot at our home? So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP Chairman.""

so the wife's delusional too?

could he have explained to her that there is no history of anything like that happening?

""This singular focus on 'getting' Miller was one of the main reasons I chose to resign," Kolb said in an e-mail to another party activist."

maybe Miller's staff had an overblown sense of his importance

I doubt anyone had a "singular focus" on "getting" him, whatever that means

"Kolb said the Tea Party and associated conservative groups ran their slate of candidates for seven Dist. 20 leadership positions, winning three -- the treasurer's post and two vice-chairmanships. However, Miller beat challenger Thomas Morrissey for the top post after Sheriff Joe Arpaio made a personal appearance for Morrissey."

so the Tea Party won three out of four of these minor posts but they were so outraged that they didn't win four out of four that there was good reason to fear armed insurrection?

again, this matter needs to be referred to state mental health officials in Arizona

"After the election and around the December holiday season, some of Miller's detractors made an issue of the residency of Dickinson, the first vice-chairman. Dickinson, who did not return phone messages, was a supporter of Miller's and allegedly moved to a different precinct within Dist. 20 last year, making him ineligible for the leadership post. Miller said he told the critics he would handle the matter after the holidays. In the meantime, a series of accusatory e-mails was exchanged among party members. Some blasted Miller's support of McCain, called him a "McCainiac with a penchant for violating the rules."

""The first and only African-American to hold the party's precinct chairmanship, Miller said he has been called "McCain's boy,""

oh, brother

"and during the campaign saw a critic form his hand in the shape of a gun and point it at him."

there we go

there's the smoking gun, right there

why didn't he say so to begin with?

in Arizona, all you have to do to get a politician to resign is to point out them with your thumb up

I actually do that with friends all the time

I had no idea how threatening I was being

"I love the Republican Party but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone."

delusional....

January 14, 2011 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less than a week after Saturday's attack in Tucson that critically injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), Republican leadership in the House has said it will return to the business of repealing health care reform by taking up the bill known as the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act" next week.

The bill had previously been scheduled for a vote on Wednesday of this week, but had been put on hold after the events in Arizona over the weekend. Republicans have said the repeal of health care reform is fulfilling a key campaign promise.

In a press release, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that "It is important for Congress to get back to work, and to that end we will resume thoughtful consideration of the health care bill next week."

Explaining why the GOP remains intent on seeing the bill's passage, Cantor offered, "Americans have legitimate concerns about the cost of the new health care law and its effect on the ability to grow jobs in our country. It is our expectation that the debate will continue to focus on those substantive policy differences surrounding the new law."

Immediately after Saturday's shooting that left six dead and 14 wounded, Cantor placed all pending legislation on hold, in deference to those wounded in the attack and in recognition of the period of national mourning.

January 14, 2011 11:33 AM  
Anonymous morrison said...

"On Friday, police revealed that Loughner checked into a motel, bought bullets and had photographs developed on the night before the shooting.

Loughner, 22, posed for photos with a gun, dressed only in a bright red G-string, and had the film developed on the eve of the rampage that killed six people and gravely injured Giffords, authorities said."

I ask you:

does this sound more like a Tea Partier or a TTFer?

January 15, 2011 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

morrison, your stupid comment seems to imply that someone has said Loughner was politically aligned with the teabaggers or with TTF. I have never heard any such thing, have you? I don't know why he thought it would be cool to pose with his gun pointed at his crotch in skimpy underwear, I doubt that any teabaggers would have the imagination to do such a thing, and doubt that anybody in TTF would feel a need to.

January 15, 2011 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Long time Vigilance reader said...

Loughner, 22, posed for photos with a gun, dressed only in a bright red G-string...does this sound more like a Tea Partier or a TTFer?

It sounds like the Harvard Business School study that found states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption.

"Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by," said the author of the study, Benjamin Edelman.

In fact it sounds a lot like you Anon. You've been reading and commenting on this pro-lgbt blog's comment section for years.

January 15, 2011 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so, you're saying the TTF blog is similar to pornography, then?

January 15, 2011 10:39 PM  
Anonymous LTVR said...

so, you're saying the TTF blog is similar to pornography, then?

No, you said that, "Anonymous." I said your behavior is like what the Harvard study found, which is that "people who are most outraged [by whatever the topic] turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by."

January 16, 2011 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, OK, so the idiotic second part of your inane comment had nothing to do with the imbecilic first part

sounds like old-fashioned TTF logic

January 16, 2011 7:48 AM  
Anonymous LTVR said...

Thanks for so quickly proving my point, "Anonymous": you are obsessively stalking the Vigilance blog, as always. I noticed that since the 2010 election, you haven't been quoting polls anymore, so I'll do that for you.

A new McClatchy-Marist poll (Poll: Obama rebounding, would beat GOP rivals, crush Palin) shows President Barack Obama with a commanding lead over three of the top contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Sarah Palin fared the worst, trailing Obama 56-30 percent in the latest nationwide poll.

The poll also showed President Obama enjoying a 50-38 percent lead over Mike Huckabee and a 51-38 percent lead over Mitt Romney. Just two months ago, support for Obama was at an all time low as his party suffered a resounding defeat in the 2010 mid-term elections. So what exactly has changed since then?

One possible explanation is that Americans have rallied around the president in the aftermath of the January 6th shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others in Tucson, Arizona. Interestingly, pollsters say they saw no significant change in the results that came in before and after the shootings. This would suggest that support for Obama was already on the rise even before the tragedy in Tucson began to unfold.

Another explanation may be that voters have already grown disillusioned with the Republican Party. A new Gallup Polls suggests that voters want the GOP to focus on jobs and the economy, according to Reuters. Instead, House Republicans have opted to make a vote on repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act their first priority for the new year.

January 16, 2011 8:03 AM  
Anonymous LTVR said...

And now you'll have to forgive my end to this conversation. I need to get ready to go to church.

January 16, 2011 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"One possible explanation is that Americans have rallied around the president in the aftermath of the January 6th shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others in Tucson, Arizona."

I doubt that, although I would say that Obama's approach to this tragedy was more presidential than any response he had over the last two years.

Who knows? Maybe he's getting there.

"Interestingly, pollsters say they saw no significant change in the results that came in before and after the shootings. This would suggest that support for Obama was already on the rise even before the tragedy in Tucson began to unfold."

fascinating....

"Another explanation may be that voters have already grown disillusioned with the Republican Party."

Yes, except there is no reason, other than lunatic wishful thinking, to believe that.

They just took office when some lunatic anti-Bush type gunned down a Blue Dog Democrat who had been targted by liberals.

"A new Gallup Polls suggests that voters want the GOP to focus on jobs and the economy, according to Reuters."

There may be a new poll that confirms that but it's not news and Republicans have already responded by pressuring Obama into not raising taxes and refusing to acquiesce to the earmark-laden appropriations bill that the lame duck Dems tried to puch through in December.

"Instead, House Republicans have opted to make a vote on repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act their first priority for the new year."

Obamacare is a jobs killer and the bill to repeal is named to reflect that.

The American voter realizes that.

Obama's numbers are up because he is cooperating with the Tea Party agenda and Americans want their President to succeed.

If he stays on course, he'll probably be re-elected.

Big "if", obviously.

"Thanks for so quickly proving my point, "Anonymous": you are obsessively stalking the Vigilance blog, as always."

I monitor this site and correct errant liberal thinking. Call it what you want, I was not arguing with you about that.

January 16, 2011 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And now you'll have to forgive my end to this conversation. I need to get ready to go to church."

consider yourself forgiven

do share with us the topic of today's sermon

January 16, 2011 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably something like "let he among ye who is without sin cast the first stone." Ya shoudla been there "anonymous"!

January 19, 2011 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, my own church this week had a similar topic although the scriptural reference was from Ephesians

but I wonder why we can't get something better than "probably" from the one who was rushing out the door for church on Sunday

January 20, 2011 2:29 AM  

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