Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Times article explores Missouri background of Ted Cruz campaign manager

Longtime Turner Report readers are familiar with the name of Ted Cruz' campaign manager, Jeff Roe.

With the Cruz campaign under attack for alleged dirty tricks, the New York Times examined the background of Jeff Roe in an article posted earlier today.

Included was his role in the events that led to the suicide of Missouri State Auditor Thomas Schweich:

But as Mr. Roe prepared to manage his first presidential bid for Mr. Cruz last February, he faced new scrutiny at home. Days after he ran a radio ad mocking the physical appearance of Tom Schweich, a candidate in Missouri’s Republican primary for governor, by comparing him to Barney Fife, Mr. Schweich committed suicide.

Peers said Mr. Schweich had faced many demons; he also thought the chairman of the state’s Republican Party had falsely spread word that he was Jewish. But some Missouri leaders viewed the ad as a last straw, casting Mr. Roe as the avatar of a toxic campaign culture.

“Politics has gone so hideously wrong,” John C. Danforth, the state’s former three-term United States senator, said as he eulogized Mr. Schweich.

Mr. Roe has expressed condolences to Mr. Schweich’s family and horror at the death, but he betrayed little regret for the ad itself.

“I live in the windshield,” he told The New Republic. “I don’t live in the rearview mirror.”

Roe was one of the many Missouri political bloggers who have come and gone in the 13 years since the Turner Report started and one of the many controversies noted in the Times article was an attack he wrote when he was running his blog The Source in 2006.

The post resulted in a lawsuit against Roe, which was covered by the Turner Report, including the following post on January 23, 2010, when the case was dismissed:

Judge Nancy L. Schneider granted summary judgment in favor of Republican political operative Jeff Roe Thursday ending a libel suit filed against Roe three years ago by St. Charles County Commissioner Joe Brazil.

According to St. Charles County online court documents, Judge Schneider ruled that Brazil, as a public figure "has submitted no substantial evidence or no genuine issue of material fact concerning actual malice."

On the second count of Brazil's lawsuit, which alleged he had been injured by what Roe wrote in August 2006 on his blog, The Source, the judge ruled that Brazil had not provided evidence showing he had lost anything other than attorney fees.

Brazil filed the initial libel suit against Roe in March 2007, as detailed in the March 30, 2007 Turner Report. Brazil took the action after Roe attacked him in two posts on "The Source" blog just before the August 2006 State Senate primary, which was won by Brazil's opponent, Scott Rupp.

The first attack, printed Aug. 1, 2006, accused Brazil of being drunk and partying loudly. On Aug. 4, Roe printed the post Brazil found the most egregious, which Roe removed from his blog months after the lawsuit was filed:

According to www.darwinawards.com, in 1982, Brazil was attempting to pull off a senior class prank at McCluer North High School in Florissant, Missouri. Brazil plan was to deposit thousands of pounds of sand into the school’s faculty parking lot. Brazil even owned a dump truck that could be used to aid in the prank.
After quite a few beers, Brazil and his buddies loaded up the dump truck with sand and drove to the school. One of Brazil’s friends, Norval Pierce sat on top of the bed of the truck while Brazil dumped the sand. Brazil drove slowly while dumping, attempting to adequately spread the sand in the parking lot. As Brazil was driving, the truck jumped forward, throwing Pierce through the frame of the truck. Not realizing what had happened, Brazil continued to drive while drunk and dumping sand. Brazil proceeded to crush Pierce under the truck.
So now we have another instance of Brazil’s irresponsibility and not owning up to his mistakes. What else do we need to know Joe?

Roe's version of the story was disputed, not only by Brazil, but by others, including the Florissant police officer who made the stop and said no alcohol was involved, that it was just an accident, according to the O'Fallon Watchdog website.


Anonymous said...

Based on the Nevada exit polling, Cruz is a Christian who can't win evangelicals and a Spanish-speaking Cuban who can't win Hispanics. He's probably toast, and we'll probably know in a week, after Super Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

He is also Billy Long's campaign manager.