I received a comment to my post on St. Louis area prosecutors targeting anti-Obama speech. I’ll post, here, the comment and my reponse. I hope the commenter, Bill, is on the up-and-up.
I’m an old high school friend of (St. Louis Circuit Attorney) Jennifer Joyce. Watching that initial KMOV report was like a punch in the gut. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I talked to her on the phone today to try and get her side of the story.
She was very upset at the report. She insisted that she never said or implied that they would ‘target’ anyone or look into any violations of ethics codes and doesn’t know where that line originated. She had zero interest in pursuing any legal action against anyone for any political statements or ads and acknowledged that those kinds of issues wouldn’t involve her office anyway. As far as she was concerned her role would’ve been a typical ‘rapid response’ kind of thing.
She asked KMOV to release the entire unedited footage on their website and they refused. She was reluctant to seem too confrontational with the press that had ‘wronged’ her. (It occured to me after the phone call that this was kind of odd, given that she was so committed to getting the truth out there) In the past, she had considered bringing her own camera/recorder to press events but, again, considered it too accusatory. She said the one bright spot to all this was that now she felt she had ‘carte blanche’ to insist on her own recording devices.
For my part, I explained how the report looked to the rest of us and how, even without the ‘targeting’ language, it looked entirely inappropriate to have two prosecutors standing side by side on behalf of a candidate. I’m still upset about this but she’s shown honor and integrity for as long as I’ve known her and I wanted to try and get her side out there.
Thanks for the update. The reason I was kind of mild (for me) on the subject was that I know a lot of good police officers, city and county, who praise both Joyce and McCulloch. (And I think I went to DuBourg with Jennifer’s brother.)
I’ll take your word, for now, as the truth. I have the greatest respect for our law enforcement folk, including our prosecutors. What disturbed me about this story was the fact that it damaged Joyce’s and McCulloch’s credibility as law enforcement officers–something we cannot afford.
Please pass along to Jennifer my sincere hopes that this matter is cleared up in her favor and that Republicans have nothing to fear in criticizing Barack Obama. While I’m a Republican and a conservative, I have no desire to hurt her reputation if she’s done nothing to deserve my vituperations.
I post this, not out of fear of harassment, but out of my hope that the KMOV report was simple media sensationalism or advocacy. I want to think that lawyers who give up big bucks in private practice to protect us from the dregs of society are noble and upstanding, regardless of party. If my commenter’s statements are factual, then I apologize to Jennifer Joyce for any insult to her character my original post created.