We Are Duty-Bound to Bring You This Story of Three Indiana Judges and a Shooting at a White Castle (2022)

One has now abandoned her quest for re-election.

We Are Duty-Bound to Bring You This Story of Three Indiana Judges and a Shooting at a White Castle (1)By Charles P. Pierce
We Are Duty-Bound to Bring You This Story of Three Indiana Judges and a Shooting at a White Castle (2)

(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To This Post)

Being our semi-regular weekly survey of what’s goin’ down in the several states where, as we know, the real work of governmentin’ gets done, and where the criminals in their coats and their ties are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise.

We begin in South Dakota, where the lone prairies resound with wild calls of “What The Fck Is Wrong With These People?” From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Ravnsborg, a Republican, is the first official to be impeached in South Dakota history. He will at least temporarily be removed from office pending the historic Senate trial, where it takes a two-thirds majority to convict on impeachment charges. The Senate must wait at least 20 days to hold its trial, but has not yet set a date. Ravnsborg pleaded no contest last year to a pair of traffic misdemeanors in the crash, including making an illegal lane change. He has cast Joseph Boever's death as a tragic accident.

We dealt with this 2020 episode in previous semi-regular weekly surveys. Ravnsborg’s original explanation was…interesting.

Ravnsborg, who took office in 2019, was returning home from a Republican dinner in September 2020 when he struck and killed Boever, who was walking along a rural highway. A sheriff who responded after Ravnsborg called 911 initially reported it as a collision with an animal. Ravnsborg has said he did not realize he hit a man until he returned the next day and found the body. The Highway Patrol concluded that Ravnsborg's car crossed completely onto the highway shoulder before hitting Boever, and criminal investigators said later that they didn't believe some of Ravnsborg's statements.

For his part, Ravnsborg is going down swinging. He has his story and he’s sticking to it.

"In a few hours, your vote will set a precedent for years to come," Ravnsborg wrote. "No state has ever impeached an elected official for a traffic accident."
He also accused Republican Gov. Kristi Noem of interfering in the investigation and of supporting impeachment because of the attorney general's investigations into her behavior. After Ravnsborg fell out with the governor following the crash, he pushed a pair of ethics complaints against Noem to the state's Government Accountability Board. His office is also investigating whether an organization aligned with the governor broke campaign finance disclosure laws.

I refuse to side with either of these people.

We move along to Indiana, because we can’t pass up any story that includes the words, “judge,” “shooting,” and “White Castle.” From WRTV:

Crawford County Circuit Court Judge Sabrina Bell — one of three judges involved in a 2019 altercation that led to a shooting outside a downtown Indianapolis White Castle — said in a cryptic Facebook post Tuesday that she will "step away" after an undisclosed incident she was involved in. Bell's post mentions Crawford County Sheriff Jeff Howell by name and states, "his deputies showed me no favoritism…There is no conspiracy and nothing to find. Sometimes things are just what they are and people find themselves bored that someone's tragedy was not more exciting. That's the evil in this world. My time will come friends and I will share with you everything. I have nothing to hide and no reason to hold back any longer. I'm looking forward to speaking my truth and being able to heal from it and being free.”

Turns out there were three Crawford County judges allegedly involved in the incident.

Just after 3 a.m., court documents say a blue SUV driven with both Alfredo Vazquez and Brandon Kaiser went by the group of judges outside the White Castle and yelled something at them. Bell then "extended her middle finger to the occupants of the SUV.” Court documents state Vazquez then parked the SUV and went over to where the judges were standing. A heated verbal altercation between the two groups turned into a physical confrontation between the four men and at some point during the encounter both Jacobs and Adams were shot.
Judges Adams and Jacobs were both taken to the hospital where they were treated for their injuries and later released. Detectives later arrested Adams and the two other men involved, Vazquez and Kaiser. Judge Adams accepted a plea agreement to plead guilty to battery resulting in bodily injury on September 9. Under the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to dismiss six additional charges against Adams. He received a suspended sentence of 365 days.

I am impressed by the pluck and grit of Hoosier judges, especially Judge Adams, who seems to have got his licks in against a couple of armed hoodlums. Remind me never to make trouble in Crawford County.

Much as I hate to do it, we have to make a stop in Texas, where a local HVAC dude allegedly could have used Judge Adams to protect him against a big time conservative activist and his minions. From the AP:

Jared Woodfill and Gary Polland, attorneys for Dr. Steven Hotze, said the Harris County District Attorney’s Office told them Wednesday that Hotze was indicted over allegations against a former police officer, Mark Aguirre, who worked for Hotze. Aguirre had been retained to pursue a voter fraud investigation on behalf of Houston-based Liberty Center for God and Country, a nonprofit organization that Hotze runs.

You may not have noticed, but it’s getting crazy out there.

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Aguirre was charged on Dec. 14 with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after a man accused him of running him off the road and holding him at gunpoint in an effort to prove what authorities have called a bogus voter fraud scheme.
Aguirre claimed that an air conditioner repairman was the mastermind. He said the man’s truck was filled with fraudulent ballots when he ran his SUV into it on Oct. 19, according to authorities. Aguirre told police that he and some friends set up a “command post” at a Marriott hotel in suburban Houston that conducted 24-hour surveillance on the repairman for four days, according to a police affidavit.
Aguirre was free on a $30,000 bond. A message to his attorney, Terry W. Yates, was not immediately returned. Aguirre was paid $266,400 by Liberty Center for God and Country, police said.

Nice work if you can get it.

We move on to Georgia, where we get to use the following phrase without the slightest bit of irony: QAnon theories screw up mental health measure. From NPR:

On the surface, there wasn't supposed to be anything controversial about the Mental Health Parity Act. After years of ranking near the bottom in access to care, Georgia lawmakers crafted a bill that would require insurance companies to cover mental health the same way they do physical health…Only three lawmakers voted against the bill in the Statehouse, citing concerns over inclusion of language already used to define existing issues and provide care. Here's a leader of the Legislature's far-right State Freedom Caucus, Philip Singleton, who explicitly mentioned some hot-button cultural issues that ha[ve] motivated Donald Trump's voters.
“Under this language, treatment for things such as gender dysphoria and pedophilia are automatically included and would therefore be required to be covered, the cost of which will be spread out amongst all Georgians.”

Apres ça, les bananes.

PATRICK WITT: Which — no surprise — will include gender reassignment surgery, hormone blockers for kids and potentially even therapy for pedophiles.
Ultimately, lawmakers changed some of the language to appease the critics without substantially altering the bill. But other changes potentially weaken the mental health parity goals originally stated. This episode is another sign of how disinformation's grasp on American politics is becoming stronger.

These are the shock troops behind all those people who cheered when the judge overturned the mask mandate.

And we conclude, as is our custom, in the great state of Oklahoma, whence Blog Official Mukluk Tester Friedman of the Plains brings us the saga of a man who just wants a cool nickname to use on his Steve Bannon Fan Site. From The Oklahoman:

Commissioner Leslie Osborn is asking the State Election Board to kick a state representative off the primary ballot for the statewide seat because he asked that his name be printed as Sean "The Patriot" Roberts.

Oh, you’re no fun.

In a Facebook post, Roberts said Osborn is deflecting because she knows she will lose the election. "My team and I fully intend to fight to defeat this nefarious attack on my nickname," he wrote.

How do you feel about, “Goober”? No? OK, have fun in court.

This is your democracy, America. Cherish it.

Charles P. Pierce

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Charles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976. He lives near Boston and has his three children.

This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

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