UPDATE: i’m guessing Jeff Cox just became a right winger who supports unemploymnt insurance. …
Responding to msnbc.com’s inquiry regarding the the “Mother Jones” piece, Bryan Corbin, spokesman for Indiana Attorney General’s office, stated, “An immediate review of this personnel matter is now under way to determine whether the assertions made in the ‘Mother Jones’ article about an employee are accurate. When that review is complete, appropriate personnel action will be taken.”
A few hours later, Corbin followed up with this statement:
Today the Indiana Attorney General’s Office announced that Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Cox is no longer employed by this agency.
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office conducted a thorough and expeditious review after “Mother Jones” magazine today published an article attributing private Twitter postings and private blog postings to Cox.
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.
So, um… JCCentcom … got any interesting tweets?
ORIGINAL POST: Like this group of teachers, maybe some nurses, firefighters … Jeff Cox, who earns a government paycheck as a deputy attorney general in Indiana, says if they won’t stop protesting the governor of Wisconsin, they should be shot — Libya-style. Who are these people?
In case you’ve missed it, Mother Jones reported that on Saturday night, in response to a story that “riot police might soon sweep demonstrators out of the Wisconsin capitol building—something that didn’t end up happening.” one Tweeter followed by one of their reporters threw out the following zinger:
Mother picks it up from there:
From my own Twitter account, I confronted the user, JCCentCom. He tweeted back that the demonstrators were “political enemies” and “thugs” who were “physically threatening legally elected officials.” In response to such behavior, he said, “You’re damned right I advocate deadly force.” He later called me a “typical leftist,” adding, “liberals hate police.”
Only later did we realize that JCCentCom was a deputy attorney general for the state of Indiana.
As one of 144 attorneys in that office, Jeff Cox has represented the people of his state for 10 years. And for much of that time, it turns out, he’s vented similar feelings on Twitter and on his blog, Pro Cynic. In his nonpolitical tweets and blog posts, Cox displays a keen litigator’s mind, writing sharply and often wittily on military history and professional basketball. But he evinces contempt for political opponents—from labeling President Obama an “incompetent and treasonous” enemy of the nation to comparing “enviro-Nazis” to Osama bin Laden, likening ex-Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Service Employees International Union members to Nazi “brownshirts” on multiple occasions, and referring to an Indianapolis teen as “a black teenage thug who was (deservedly) beaten up” by local police. A “sensible policy for handling Afghanistan,” he offered, could be summed up as: “KILL! KILL! ANNIHILATE!”
Early Sunday, Mother Jones sent an email to Cox’s work address at the Indiana attorney general’s office, asking if the Twitter and blog comments were his, and if he could provide context for some of them. He responded shortly after from a personal email address: “For ‘context?’ Or to silence me? All my comments on twitter & my blog are my own and no one else’s. And I can defend them all.
“[Y]ou will probably try to demonize me,” he wrote, “but that comes with the territory.”
Cox never did provide a fuller explanation of his comments, but now, not only has his blog been removed, his employer has taken notice.
From Mother Jones today:
Cox’s bosses have issued a statement noting that they are conducting an “immediate review” of the prolific tweeter and blogger and that the state attorney general will take “appropriate personnel action” when the review of the “serious matter” is complete. The statement:
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office does not condone the inflammatory statements asserted in the “Mother Jones” article and we do not condone any comments that would threaten or imply violence or intimidation toward anyone. Civility and courtesy toward all constituents is very important to this agency. We take this matter very seriously.
An immediate review of this personnel matter is now under way to determine whether the assertions made in the “Mother Jones” article about an employee are accurate. When that review is complete, appropriate personnel action will be taken.
The reporter who wrote the “Mother Jones” article informs us that the offensive postings over the weekend were made using a personal Twitter account and personal email, not a state government email account.
As public servants, state employees should strive to conduct themselves with professionalism and appropriate decorum in their interactions with the public. This is a serious matter that is being addressed.
People for the American Way, meanwhile, is calling for Cox to resign.
Now, I’m sure Cox is feeling quite satisfied with himself for “sticking it to the libs.” But right wingers like him, and Erick Erickson, and Breitbart, may not realize that their harsh rhetoric and bully-boy tactics may get them fame among their own — and a contract with CNN — but it isn’t helping them persuade normal people to their cause. You know why people tend to back away from conservatives? Because of the perception that they are heartless, violent, and dumb (similarly, people tend to back away from the far left because of perceptions that they are amoral, inflexible and assume they’re superior to everyone else.) People like Cox reinforce the worst stereotypes of conservatives.
But then I’m a progressive so I just assume he’s too dumb to know that.