PRESS RELEASE: Joint Committee on Governmental Accountability Holds First Hearing

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri legislators took the first steps to investigate the response to the unrest in Ferguson and surrounding areas. The Joint Committee on Governmental Accountability held its first hearing today (12-11) to gain a complete account of what happened before and after the grand jury’s decision on Nov. 24, 2014.sen-kurt-schaefer

“The leaders of Ferguson have continually said the governor has failed to communicate with them,” said Dempsey. “We will go into this investigation without any preconceived notions and let the testimony of those involved tell the story.”

The Joint Committee on Government Accountability, was established in 2004 by state statute allowing the committee to look for inefficiencies and misconduct in state government. This is the first time the President Pro Tem and House Speaker felt the need for the committee to be empaneled.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, was elected chairman, and said while these hearings are a good start, the investigation will take months.

“Clearly the events that unfolded in Ferguson have had a huge impact on the history of Missouri,” said Schaefer. “The issue has sparked not only statewide problems, but nationwide turmoil as well.”

The committee will also conduct its own independent analysis regarding state resources available if they should be necessary in the future.

“I am honored to be elected chairman of this bipartisan committee and look forward to leading the investigation into the state’s response to events in Ferguson. As we begin this investigation, I want to assure Missourians that this committee will work tirelessly to understand the events and decisions surrounding the state’s response to the violence and destruction that took place in Ferguson and the neighboring communities. The men and woman of our Missouri National Guard and the Missouri Highway Patrol serve our state with great pride and dedication. They deserve to have an in-depth review of decisions and policies that lead to their deployment and utilization,” said Schaefer.

The next hearing is expected to be held in the next couple of weeks.

PRESS RELEASE: Joint Committee on Governmental Accountability Holds First Hearing

Gov. Jay Nixon’s Spin on Ferguson Failures Illogical and Weak

Gov. Jay Nixon is spinning his failure to competently handle his responsibilities as Commander in Chief of the Missouri National Guard during the riots in Ferguson November 24 and 25th.

When questioned as to why the National Guard wasn’t deployed when needed, as promised to the Mayors of Ferguson and Dellwood, and to the St. Louis fire fighters, Gov. Nixon says it’s because he didn’t want a Kent State situation:

“You didn’t want to have a Kent State situation,” Nixon continued, referencing a May 4, 1970 incident in which Ohio National Guardsmen killed four university students and wounded nine others during Vietnam War protests.

“You certainly didn’t want to have a situation where Guardsmen who had only been there a few hours, who had not been used to the very kinetic atmosphere of people throwing things, screaming things at the very front tip of that spear,” said Nixon.

“That was the plan. I think it has prevented loss of life.”

Nixon’s comparison is a strange one.

It’s also weak and illogical.

It’s called a false dilemma:

A false dilemma (also called black-and-white thinking, bifurcation, denying a conjunct, the either-or fallacy, false dichotomy, fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses, the fallacy of false choice, the fallacy of the false alternative, or the fallacy of the excluded middle) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option.

Here’s the false dilemma Nixon’s trying to create:

He had a choice between sending in the National Guard and them killing people,

or,

letting Ferguson and Dellwood burn.

And because he chose to hold the National Guard back, no one died.

But, there are other alternatives, starting with having open channels of communication with Bob McCulloch’s office so when he says, “I was thinking about making this announcement at night,” he could say:

giphy

He wasn’t in contact with McCulloch though. McCulloch said he hadn’t talked with Nixon for a month prior to making the announcement.

So there’s one alternative.

Another?

Nixon points it out in his comment.

“You certainly didn’t want to have a situation where Guardsmen who had only been there a few hours…”

So have them in place before the announcement.

They were placed around Clayton. Why not place them in Ferguson?

Why weren’t they where the likelihood of trouble was the greatest?

The idea that 22oo National Guard troops, placed in key and highly visible position, wouldn’t have prevented the fires is absurd.  And if the looters and arsonists were stupid enough to lob firebombs at the National Guard, they chose the act.  They suffer the consequences for their choice.

Here’s another alternative: Nixon could have spent a little more time on the phone with the mayors of Ferguson and Dellwood and a little less on the phone with Valerie Jarrett.

In this alternative, Nixon knows a little more about what is going on and what is needed on the ground in Missouri, rather than what the White House wants in Washington, DC.

There are other alternatives, but what bothers me most is that no one is pointing out that when the dust settles and all you can say is, “Well, at least no one died,” you probably shouldn’t be patting yourself on the back.

You should be hanging your head in shame:

Gov. Jay Nixon’s Spin on Ferguson Failures Illogical and Weak

“Missouri Governor Jay Nixon turned his back on fire fighters when they needed him most” (Video)

I know I’m a couple days late on this, but I wanted to make sure it got the attention it deserved here.

Fox 2 journalist Chris Hayes covered a press release from the International Association of Fire Fighters regarding the treatment of St. Louis firemen during the Ferguson riots. They were promised protection.

They were left out to dry:

On the night of November 24th, they had the manpower to fight fires, but no protection from National Guardsmen. IAFF representative Mark Woolbright, who’s also a firefighter said, “We were led to believe there would be some kind of protection and barrier around us to do the work and to do the job we were sent there to do.” He added, “This job is dangerous enough without having to worry about bullets flying around you or over you.”

The night of the riots, St. Louis Police Chief Joe Belmar said he heard around 150 shots and the AP said fire fighters were held “at bay.”

So you’ve got fire fighters being shot at while they are trying to put out fires and despite being promised protection, they were defenseless:

“It turned out that the Governor’s words were nothing more than empty promises and pathetic political posturing of the worst kind. As a result, fire fighters were often found in unsecured and dangerous positions.”

This could not have been the plan.

Who would have gone along with this?

“So, if there’s rioting and they start burning businesses like they did the Quik Trip, the fire fighters will go in and start tackling them as they arise.”

“Right, and if there’s shots fired at the fire fighters?”

“Hmmm?”

“What happens if the rioters start shooting at fire fighters? It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. There’s operating experience on this.”

“Oh, right. Well, if that happens, you’re on your own.”

“Ok. Well, that sounds goo–wait, what?”

“Yeah, good luck.”

“What, what about the National Guard?”

“Well, we don’t want a Kent State situation, do we?”

“I guess not. Well, folks, we’re on out own. Let’s go.”

I’m guessing that conversation didn’t happen. And if it wasn’t the plan to leave the fire fighters exposed, when did it change and why didn’t they know about it?

When did the plan change from fighting fires to letting the city burn? And who made that call?

Valerie Jarrett?

Here’s Hayes’s video report:

“Missouri Governor Jay Nixon turned his back on fire fighters when they needed him most” (Video)

Disgraceful: Missouri Mayors Can’t Reach Nixon While Their Towns Burn, But Valerie Jarrett Can

disgrace

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch finally reached critical mass regarding Gov. Jay Nixon. He’s shown enough incompetence that even they are through defending him.

An article this morning includes two things the Dispatch directly connected.

First, that mayors in Missouri couldn’t reach Nixon while their cities were buring, and second, Nixon was on the phone with Valerie Jarrett the night it all went down:

On the night of Nov. 24, as rioting flared anew in Ferguson, the question quickly arose: Where was the Missouri National Guard presence that Gov. Jay Nixon had vowed to bring to the streets, prompting global headlines?
Nearly two weeks later, with the fires out and the rubble mostly cleared, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III still doesn’t have an answer to that question — nor to the subsequent questions about what comes next. In fact, he can’t even get his calls returned.

“I was concerned about the National Guard not being deployed. Both myself and other officeholders were not able to get through to the governor,” Knowles said this week. “I don’t expect to just call the governor’s cellphone … but I called the people I had as his contacts, and I got nothing.”

He’s not the only one who was shut out. The silent treatment was bi-partisan:

“I’ve never talked to him. Never. Not one time,” Jones said of Nixon. As of this week, he was still trying to get an appointment. “I haven’t heard from him at all, which is disturbing.

“What happened on Monday (Nov. 24)? I’d like to have an explanation,” Jones added. “I’d like to talk about … possible funding solutions for some of these business owners. I just want some answers.”

However, Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s chief advisor, had no problems getting Nixon on the phone:

“Valerie Jarrett [a top adviser to President Obama] has talked to Gov. Nixon twice, once last night and once this morning,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters on Nov. 25, the second day of rioting, according to a media pool report at the time. Schultz said Jarrett was “receiving updates on what’s happening on the ground there and also promising to stay in touch.”

The contrast was not lost on Nixon’s detractors.

“Valerie Jarrett had multiple conversations with the governor of Missouri … when he was not communicating with the mayor of Ferguson,” Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, complained in a national Fox News appearance the following day. “Missourians are all scratching our heads saying, ‘Where was our governor?’”

While cities in his state were burning, mayors couldn’t reach Nixon, but Valerie Jarrett could.

While he promised the National Guard to protect property, they never arrived.

And the night these things were happening, the White House was on the phone with the governor, making Lt. Gov. Kinder’s question even more important – did the Obama White House lean on Gov. Nixon to hold the National Guard back and let Ferguson burn?

Gov. Nixon isn’t talking.

In fact, reporters who have filed Freedom of Information Requests have been told they can expect them December 23.

You read that right:

The person to answer is the commander in chief of the Missouri National Guard, Governor Nixon. Gannett investigators filed public records requests with the Guard and the governor’s office. The Guard responded that all of its records are exempt from disclosure under Missouri law. The governor’s deputy chief of staff responded that his officer was working on the request, “you should expect to hear back about the status of your request by no later than December 23, 2014.”

We requested an interview with Governor Nixon, driving to Jefferson City after giving his staff a day’s notice. “The governor won’t be available tomorrow, but we’re also not scheduling any interviews at the current time,” his spokesperson replied.

Nixon was willing to go to the media center of Missouri, Cape Girardeau and take questions from local reporters though, where he patted himself on the back for how great things went in Ferguson:

Really, the choice that night was whether we’re going to lose lives or lose property. When you have that many hundreds of people shooting guns and running throughout the area and looting, I think it was important to preserve life, and I think all of the unified commanders, as well as the guard’s folks, did a great job of that. We didn’t have a single shot fired by a single law enforcement officer, and we had hundreds of shots fired out. We didn’t have a single shot fired by a national guardsman, and we had none of them significantly injured. So while it was a difficult thing to watch, and challenging, in many ways, I think that when we look back at this, having those law enforcement officers out first, having the guard there behind them, was in fact the best way to do it.”

That’s what’s known as a “false dilemma.”

A false dilemma (also called black-and-white thinking, bifurcation, denying a conjunct, the either-or fallacy, false dichotomy, fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses, the fallacy of false choice, the fallacy of the false alternative, or the fallacy of the excluded middle) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option.

One additional option is to have a visible National Guard presence in Ferguson and Dellwood that would have discouraged and prevented the rioting and looting, still resulting in no shots fired and no loss of life.

And one final question: why is Nixon ducking media outlets like he clearly is, putting off FOIA requests until Christmas, but holding press conferences in Cape Girardeau?

You can answer that in the comments.

Disgraceful: Missouri Mayors Can’t Reach Nixon While Their Towns Burn, But Valerie Jarrett Can

Now the Only Missourians Nixon Hasn’t Allowed to Be Looted are the Looters

B3VOQq8IMAAE-XM

When the Ferguson Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown was announced, it came a week after Gov. Jay Nixon called a state of emergency and mobilized the Missouri National Guard. Despite the three months of prep time, and the mobilized National Guard, Ferguson burned.

The business owners whose property Team Nixon failed to protect, a majority of which are minority owned, face near catastrophic losses.

Understand this: their property was destroyed by lawless rioters and looters. They’ve been robbed of the cost to replace everything that was destroyed.

Now, because Nixon failed to do his main responsibility, protect the rights of the citizenry, many of these businesses need interest free loans:

With support from a coalition of public and private sector organizations, the Small Business Relief Program will provide up to $1 million in support to businesses impacted by recent events to help them recover and grow their businesses. The public-private partnership includes the State of Missouri, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, North County Inc., and local lending institutions. State funding will be utilized for zero-interest loans to meet the immediate needs of businesses impacted.

“State funding” means money Missouri tax payers have to surrender to the government.

That means every producer in the state is helping to rebuild Ferguson and every Missourian suffers for it.

Money that could go to better schools?

Gone to Ferguson.

Money that could rebuild crumbling bridges?

Gone to Ferguson.

Money that didn’t have to be seized by the looter class and could have resulted in stronger businesses and higher wages?

Gone to Ferguson.

And we’re supposed to see this as compassion.

Wrong. It’s a continuation of the robbery we witnessed in Ferguson, only this time it doesn’t crash through the front window with a bandana across its face.

It comes in the form of forced philanthropy.

‘Well, what are we supposed to do, let those businesses go under?’ says the altruistic moral busybody.

Of course not, but let’s not assume it has to be government that keeps those businesses afloat.  It doesn’t.

But that’s a distraction from the point, which is, these loans shouldn’t have to be made in the first place. These businesses shouldn’t have been destroyed. But since they are, now we’re being forced to subsidize the rebuilding of Ferguson at the point of a gun and we’re supposed to feel good about it.

I don’t. I’m angry about it. It’s immoral. Break it down. Because Nixon failed to prevent the looting, now a producer in another part of the state will have their property taken and given to someone else.

How is that moral? Would it be moral if the person whose business was destroyed took a gun and demanded you give them a portion of your property because the government didn’t prevent looters from destroying their store and they needed it to rebuild?

Of course not. So why do we see it as moral when the government does it? How can we collectively find something moral when done by the state when we find it immoral when done by the individual?

It does not follow.

‘But it’s just a little bit of tax money. It’s not that big a deal. Stop complaining,’ says the leftist politician.

Tell me this: what would that little bit of money have produced if it wasn’t seized by the government and sent to Ferguson? Would it have gone to a hard working Missourian to help make a down payment on a new house, resulting in a nice commission to a realtor who then spends it at a local retailer, who can then afford to hire a new employee because business is doing better, resulting in an unemployed Missourian getting off welfare and finding the self-esteem they lost when they signed up for food stamps?

We don’t know. We’ll never know because that money was removed from the market by the government and redistributed where they thought it was needed, in this case in Ferguson.

We’re supposed to feel good because we can see stores being rebuilt with that money, but we can’t weep for what the same money would produce in the free market because it goes unseen.

And we can’t see it because Gov. Nixon failed to protect Ferguson.

The failure of the Nixon administration to do its Constitutional duty results in everyone in Missouri getting looted.

Except the looters, whether they’re in Ferguson or in Jefferson City.

Now the Only Missourians Nixon Hasn’t Allowed to Be Looted are the Looters

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Nixon’s Failure to Lead a “Deep Deep Disgrace to the State of Missouri”

After taking the time to call a state of emergency so he could mobilize the Missouri National Guard, Gov. Jay Nixon then disappeared after the grand jury decision was announced. When the looting started, people looked to him to protect them. After all, that is the primary reason government exists: to protect the right to life, liberty and property of its citizens.

Instead, when Ferguson needed him, Gov. Nixon was in the wind. Mayors in the area couldn’t reach him. The guard they were promised arrived too late.

Chaos reigned the streets, and Ferguson burned.

It was a failure to lead, and “a deep, deep disgrace to the state of Missouri.”

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Nixon’s Failure to Lead a “Deep Deep Disgrace to the State of Missouri”

Lt. Gov. Kinder on Hannity: Either Nixon Took Orders to Withhold the National Guard or He’s Grossly Incompetent (Audio)

kinderhannity

During an interview with Sean Hannity today, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder hammered Gov. Jay Nixon for his failure to protect the city of Ferguson from violent protests, despite calling a state of emergency seven days before the announcement of the grand jury’s decision. Kinder again wondered why the Missouri National Guard was miles away when Ferguson was burning.

“At the hour of critical need, he has the Guard miles away and not deployed in Ferguson in front of those businesses where, if there’d been Guardsmen standing there, those businesses would not be burned,” Kinder said. “Missourians awoke yesterday scratching their heads and saying ‘How could this be,’ and it’s a scenario and a turn of events so improbable, there almost has to be someone that wanted that to happen.”

“Missourians awoke yesterday scratching their heads and saying ‘How could this be?'”

When pressed by Hannity as to what exactly he meant by that, Kinder said he wanted to know why a governor who called out the National Guard a week prior to the unrest would not deploy them when they were needed.

“It seems to me the governor is down to two choices,” Kinder said. “Either the governor took suggestions, or strong suggestions if not orders, from Washington, DC, from the Holder Justice Department or the Obama White House, or both. Maybe he got a call from Vice President Valerie Jarrett. In fact, she has confirmed that she’s been regularly on the phone with him. Either he is taking orders from somebody in Washington, DC, who I mention, about not deploying the Guard, or he’s grossly incompetent as a leader and a chief executive. Now which is it.”

Kinder also described the powers the Legislative Branch has to compel Nixon to testify under oath, describing investigative committees the State Legislature could, and Kinder says will, call.

“That panel will be seated early in the new year to investigate.”

He said it wasn’t certain the State Legislature could compel Nixon to testify, but said they could compel the people who work for him, including the Adjutant General of the National Guard. Kinder said he’s been told Major General Danner wanted to send his troops in to help, but was told not to.

“Someone kept them away when they should have been deployed. There should have been 50 guardsmen and women, armed, standing in front of those stores and they would not be burned out cinders today.”

Hannity asked Kinder what the future held for him and whether he was running for governor. Kinder did not answer the question, but he was talking when Hannity asked it and might not have heard it.

You can listen to the whole interview below.

Lt. Gov. Kinder on Hannity: Either Nixon Took Orders to Withhold the National Guard or He’s Grossly Incompetent (Audio)

Mike Brown’s Mom Blames Governor Nixon for Unrest in Ferguson (Video)

mcspadden

The parents of Mike Brown were on The Today Show this morning, discussing the last 36 hours in Ferguson. Savannah Guthrie asked Lesley McSpadden about the video circulating of her current husband screaming for violence after the announcement of the grand jury’s decision. She said she didn’t blame him for the violence or for stirring up the crowd.

She said someone else already had the crowd stirred up.

“It’s been stirring since August 9th. I wouldn’t hold him accountable for that. That comes from a higher power, an elected official, and it’s called the governor,” she said.

When asked to explain, she said “They stirred the pot.”

“They had everyone on edge. They had everyone in an uproar, and had the city on edge basically since August 9th.”

That last claim is hard to support, considering Nixon didn’t get involved with Ferguson until days after the shooting.

Unless you consider his lack of action part of what helped get everyone in an uproar, which is logical.

Here’s the full interview:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Mike Brown’s Mom Blames Governor Nixon for Unrest in Ferguson (Video)

Gov. Nixon, Tell Natalie DuBose There Was No Delay in the National Guard Response

Most of the businesses damaged in Ferguson were minority owned.

One of them was Cakes and More. It is owned by Natalie DuBose.

She sold her cakes at flea markets, saving up her money so she could buy her own store.

Last night, someone threw a chair through her front window.

Did she give up?

No. She grabbed a broom and got back to work:

“I’m baking today,” Dubose told CNNMoney, as the sound of broken glass being swept up can be heard over the phone. “We have orders to go out for Thanksgiving. I can’t tell the people — I won’t tell the people — that I’m canceling.”

Like many other small businesses, her bakery Natalie’s Cakes and More was vandalized Monday night in the wake of the grand jury decision not to charge Officer Darren Wilson with killing Michael Brown.

The shop’s main window is “busted out completely. They threw a chair in it to bust it out … It’s a big mess,” said Dubose, who opened Natalie’s Cakes as recently as June.

Despite the mess, however, Dubose says she will continue to bake. She can’t afford to give up now, having invested all she had into a business that was funded through bake sales at flea markets.

“I am a single mom, a mother of two,” she said. “This is everything that I own. I can’t walk away from it. I just got to start up and start baking again.”

She’s what America is all about. She’s an inspiration. She worked hard to get where she is, and when she faces difficulty, she puts her nose back to the grindstone and redoubles her efforts.

But she has a right to expect her rights to be defended by a government she surrenders her hard earned money to.

Her government failed her.

Gov. Nixon failed her.

Despite spending a week preparing for civil unrest, and despite the repeated efforts of Mayor James Knowles to get the National Guard to help stop the violent protests raging in his city, Gov. Nixon was no where to be found.

And the National Guard was missing too:

Mayor Knowles said the delay in response from the National Guard was “deeply concerning.

Nixon said there was no delayed response.

Tell that to Natalie DuBose.

Gov. Nixon, Tell Natalie DuBose There Was No Delay in the National Guard Response

Ferguson Mayor Finds Delayed Deployment of National Guard “Deeply Concerning” (Video)

A week ago, Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in the state of Missouri, mobilizing the national guard in preparation for civil unrest.

When the unrest came, the National Guard was no where to be seen:

What happened? Where were they?

That’s what Ferguson Mayor James Knowles wants to know:

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said Tuesday that National Guard troops were not deployed in time to protect businesses following the grand jury decision not to indict the officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

“Unfortunately as the unrest grew and further assistance was needed, the National Guard was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses,” Knowles said at a press conference.

Earlier today, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder wanted to know if the decision to delay the National Guard’s response was made in Washington and ordered by Team Obama:

How could you have a unified command in position prior to an event you were expecting and not respond in a timely manner?

You’re either wholly incompetent or willfully negligent.

Both are impeachable.

Article VII Section 1 of the Missouri Constitution

“All elective executive officials of the state, and judges of the supreme court, courts of appeals and circuit courts shall be liable to impeachment for crimes, misconduct, habitual drunkenness, WILLFUL NEGLECT OF DUTY, corruption in office, INCOMPETENCY, or any offense involving moral turpitude or oppression in office.”

Just saying.

Ferguson Mayor Finds Delayed Deployment of National Guard “Deeply Concerning” (Video)