Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Freedom Snatched: Tale of Two Toledoans, Part I

There are two cases involving attacks on individual rights and freedoms. Two Toledoans got in trouble by exercising their freedom of expression and speech. The first involves that from 15 minutes to forever fame Joe-the-Plumber. The second involves a black professional female, Crystal Dixon, who dared to utter a politically incorrect position. Being black, you would expect that she would be the most unlikely person to be accused of discrimination.

So, what do these two Toledoans have in common? It is the abuse of their civil liberty. Where is the ‘American’ Civil ‘Rights’ Union (ACLU) when REAL violations of rights occur?

Standing With Joe, Petitioning Gov. Strickland to Terminate Perpetrators



The first tale involves the highly publicized case in which the Toledo, Ohio resident dared to ask the then Presidential candidate Barack Obama an penetrating question. It was what transpired in the aftermath of “Joe the Plumber” that is of great concern to many freedom loving people and organizations including the Ohio Christian Alliance (OCA).

In a press release today, the Ohio Christian Alliance stated,
The Ohio Christian Alliance (OCA) today is calling upon the Ohio Legislature and Governor Strickland to address and truly hold accountable those responsible for the improper investigation of Mr. Joseph Wurzelbacher. . .

"Chris Long, OCA President, said “This issue is not a partisan battle. It is, however, a direct threat to individual freedoms of every American to participate, engage, and question candidates and office holders on a variety of subjects. The issue simply stated is, "Does the state government have the right to investigate private citizens simply because they ask questions of candidates and/or office holders?"

“When it came to light that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and the Ohio Department of Taxation all initiated investigations on Mr. Joseph Wurzelbacher for no apparent reason other than that the partisans within those agencies were seeking to discredit this private citizen, it was obvious that this was an abuse of power and an overreach by state governmental authorities. This is simply an outrage.”

“According to the Inspector General’s report, these investigations had no legitimate state government purpose. The directors involved in the unwarranted investigation violated the public’s trust, and consequently should be terminated from their respective positions at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to begin to restore the public’s confidence once again in these State agencies. The public’s confidence in these agencies has been sorely damaged from the revelations of these improper investigations.”

“Governor Strickland, to date, has been slow to move on this matter. His actions initially were simply to place the director of Job and Family Services, Helen Jones-Kelley on paid administrative leave. Only after the release of the Inspector General’s report of November 20th did the Governor see fit to place her on unpaid administrative suspension for one month. By his actions, Governor Strickland is obviously not taking this matter seriously enough.”

“If Governor Strickland wishes to truly address the seriousness of this issue, he needs to take the purposed steps of terminating the employment of those directors responsible for this misuse of their positions of authority to access confidential databases for no legitimate state government purpose. . .”

“If this goes unchecked, it will have a chilling effect in future elections and on possible advocacy work of private citizens who will worry whether their letter, phone call or questions of any political candidate or office holder will prompt an investigation by state agencies. All Ohioans should have the freedom to openly participate in their government without fearing reprisal from some government agency.”

TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION

This is why we must not let Mr. Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher AKA Joe the Plumber stand alone. To pressure the Governor of Ohio to take real action, the Ohio Christian Alliance has initiated a petition, which you may sign by clicking
here.

In fact, what follows is the exact text of the petition, which I signed yesterday and I encourage everyone to sign today:

Dear Governor Strickland,

I, the undersigned, join with other Ohioans in urging you to terminate immediately the employment of those State employees responsible for the unlawful investigation of Mr. Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher. These individuals have breached the public’s trust, and a strong message needs to be sent. You have the executive authority to act upon this matter, and as a citizen of this State of Ohio, I urge you to exercise your executive authority and remove from office those individuals responsible for this violation of the public’s trust
.

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