Saturday, April 21, 2018

Some thoughts on the Jayda Kyle murder, Billy Long, Eric Greitens and this week's top 10 posts for Turner Report/Inside Joplin

I have a hard time believing some of the comments I read both on the Turner Report and on my Facebook page.

You might think I am referring to the comments on posts concerning the Jayda Kyle murder case, but those I find understandable- in those, the readers are commenting on the murder of a three-year-old child. It is the type of crime that shakes us to our core and commenting on public forums, even when the comments are sometimes cruel and hurtful, provides readers with a partial antidote to the helpless feeling that comes over us when this kind of unimaginable act occurs.

I have seen some who comment that people need to keep their comments to themselves because this is none of their business.

And while I would prefer that the comments be toned down, please do not tell me that the Jayda Kyle murder is not our business. That heinous act, just like the murder of Jonathan Munoz-Bilbrey only a few days earlier, are everyone's business. When a child is taken from us in such a senseless fashion it affects all of us.

We wonder what kind of evil exists in our community, we all take a look at our own loved ones and it makes all of us wonder if we ever really know the person who lives next door.

Those comments are understandable.

What I have a hard time understanding are some of the comments that have been made on political stories.

The Eric Greitens charges

There is no witch hunt against our governor.

I am sick of these people to put a partisan spin on every story that comes along.

The Eric Greitens story is not a case of Democrat vs. Republican, it is a case of right versus wrong.

The Greitens sympathizers point to the prosecuting attorney who has filed charges against the governor in St. Louis and she certainly is a Democrat, but let us not forget that the House committee that released the damning report on Greitens behavior and said that his alleged victim was credible, was heavily Republican.

The attorney general who investigated the suspected misuse of Greitens' veterans charity The Mission Continues is a Republican.

The attacks on the woman Greitens allegedly blackmailed are way out of line. House members from both parties found her testimony credible and while Greitens is quick to say everyone is out to get him and is already warning people to watch out for more bad stuff to be revealed by his enemies (not a good sign), he never comes out and says that he would never do such a thing.

Apparently the only mission he wants to continue is to the White House.

Billy Long, Las Vegas and meals

Some of the same people who are backing Greitens and label anything Republican as a beacon of light have been criticizing my coverage of Seventh District Congressman Billy Long's financial campaign reports.

First, a clarification- I have never written that Billy Long is using taxpayer money to go to Vegas or to wolf down these meals. In each post, I clearly state that the people who contribute to his re-election campaign are the ones who are footing the bill.

I write these posts because they give us an insight into how Billy Long is representing us. Since he took office in January 2011, his donors have paid for him to take approximately two dozen trips to Vegas.

There is no indication that any of these trips are for campaign events or for educational purposes, both of which are allowed under federal law. He did hold a Weekend in Vegas campaign event a couple of years back, which was noted in the Turner Report, but the campaign report filed the next quarter did not show any contributions that were made to him during that time period.

Even more importantly, while he has made about two dozen trips to Las Vegas since he took office, he has yet to have even one town hall meeting.

Long did hold one telephone town hall meeting, which consisted or four pre-screened calls, addressed no issues and is an hour of my life I will never be able to get back.

One comment said everyone does this stuff and that I was wasting time writing this.

That is nonsense. Everyone does not do what Billy Long does.

I have looked at the campaign reports for Missouri's other members of Congress. They don't fly off to Vegas for regular junkets and charge it to their contributors. They charge meals, but most of tAhem appear to be for genuine campaign events.

I write about this because it is abnormal, it gives an insight into Billy Long's character and because somebody has to write about it.

Top Posts for This Week

What do these area news stories have in common?

-Jeff Koch leaves the Joplin R-8 Board of Education

-Jarub Baird is sentenced to 12 years in prison

-Attorney General Josh Hawley says there is enough evidence to charge Eric Greitens with felony computer tampering

These are all Turner Report posts that received thousands of views and in past weeks might have ranked number one, or at least in the top five of the weekly list. This week, none of those posts even made the top 10.

The Top 10 lists for the Turner Report, Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries are printed below with links to each of the posts:

The Turner Report

1. In jailhouse letter, accused Jayda Kyle killer says "I've never been a part of anything so wrong and so corrupt"

2. Neosho Superintendent Dan Decker placed on leave, cleans out office

3. Request for speedy trial for accused Jayda Kyle killer withdrawn

4. Contributors foot the bill for Billy Long to take two more trips to Vegas, eat nearly $8,000 in meals

5. Joplin City Councilman after resignation: I am so very sorry I let you down

6. Joplin area Starbucks stores, stores nationwide to close May 29 for racial sensitivity training

7. Greitens indicted on second felony charge, charged with using veterans charity donor list to finance campaign

8. Rebecca Sears appointed acting supeintendent for Neosho R-5 School District

9. Settlement apparently reached in Exploration Station lawsuit

10. Neosho R-5 PR director offers no reason to News-Leader for Decker being placed on leave, but sends information about Goodman project

Inside Joplin

1. Galena man killed in crash at corner of Murphy Boulevard and Connecticut Avenue

2. Man arrested by Joplin Police says he found cocaine on the ground, which is fortunate because cocaine is his favorite drug

3. After chase, JPD arrests man who claimed to be federal agent, yelled for people to "kill the officers"

4. Joplin man killed in residential fire at 2902 McConnell

5. Jasper County Marriage Licenses April 2-17

6. Detective's work in removing child from potentially abusive situation earns him JPD Officer of the Month honors

7. Jasper County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions

8. Joplin woman arrested for auto theft

9. Joplin Police Department Arrests April 16-18

10. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. Chance Jewell

2. Kai Williams

3. Ambra Magee

4 Mike Blood

5. Stephen Newcomer

6. Donnie McKeehan

7. Carol Ryan

8. Paul McCoy

9. Tony Greenwood

10. Mike Cole


The Turner Report/Inside Joplin continues to report news that is not available from other area media sources, but this is a one-man operation and it takes money, especially to provide in-depth, investigative reporting, as well as important news about our community, crime, courts, and to continue to provide free obituaries and not charge grieving families hundreds of dollars for something that was once considered news (and is still is at the Turner Report/Inside Joplin.)

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Anonymous said...

Here’s my problem with the way you cover Billy Long.

I don’t give a rats behind how much he goes to Vegas or how much he eats on his dime. In fact, I think it’s a lot like bullying the fat kid. Easy target. The way you are like a dog with a bone about him actually says a lot about your character Randy, more so than his. I’m sorry to be so blunt about it but that’s how we roll here on The Turner Report.

I want to read about what my representatives do with the power they have been given. Who contributes to their campaign and is there the appearance they vote to benefit contributors? Do they walk the talk? Things like that. Heck, most all the politicians only show up
at election time. They’re all pretty much alike.

You do an excellent job reporting in so many ways. Your dog with a bone approach serves you well. (and your readers!) Thank you for all you do.

Anonymous said...

Here’s my problem with the way some of the earlier commenters complain about how Randy covers Billy Long.

I do give a rats behind how much he goes to Vegas. I do give a rats behind that he takes campaign contributions and uses them to live high on the hog in Las Vegas, including expensive dining at fine eating establishments. Most of his constituents can't afford to do this with their money, even if they aren't smart enough to realize this before they vote for Kernal Billy Long again and again.

Claiming that this Las Vegas tourism is on Kernal Billy Long's dime when his Las Vegas fun is paid for by his campaign expenditures (hello- how do you think Randy gets the details in the first place) is like claiming that Kernal Billy's campaign contributions are the same as Kernal Billy's income. Which AFAIK they are not, (as he pays no taxes, yet he spends apparently without any purpose to either his legislative activities or for his constituents), but correct me if I'm wrong.

In fact, I think it’s a lot like August Gloop or Veruca Salt (see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). I suspect that Randy would cover Billy the same if he were 6-3 and a fit and trim 236lbs like Donald Trump claims to be, or if he was another Rick Santorum not requiring size 3X sweater vests (3X is a guess- Kernal Billy may be 4X or larger?). Anyway, I can't speak for Randy, just taking a WAG here, that it's not so much about bullying the fat kid, and more that Kernal Billy Long is an easy target. The way you are like a dog with a bone about him actually says a lot about your character Randy, more so than his.

It's hard to imagine Kernal Billy Long sticking to something that probably pays as little as the Turner Report does, and which does not offer frequent trips to Las Vegas for whatever reasons whenever needed. Not to mention that running this website leads to people getting all bent out of shape because their facts are exposed for all to see causing them to post piss and wind or worse in retaliation.

I’m sorry to be so blunt about it but that’s how we roll here on The Turner Report.

I want to read about what my representatives do with the power they have been given.

Sad to say, some congress critters don't do diddly in DC other than to rubber stamp like a good alec kochroach and stay fat and happy. The Kernal claims at least everything he has done in the press releases reposted here at the Turner Report. If you can't figure out what legislating the Kernal has been up to from his press releases, maybe that's because there might not be much legislating there. Better ask Kernal Billy at his next Las Vegas constituent townhall!

Who contributes to their campaign and is there the appearance they vote to benefit contributors? Do they walk the talk? Things like that.

Some commenters seem to think that they can post a comment and order up a full investigative journalism series on whatever topic trips their trigger! Do they hope to goad Randy into doing some Pulitzer Prize reporting on a shoestring budget? One hopes the squeaky hinge remembered to contribute generously to the Turner Report so some of the expenses to do the type of in depth reporting requested can be financed.

Heck, most all the politicians only show up at election time. They’re all pretty much alike.

Really? All pretty much alike? Except they really aren't. Kernal Billy Long is special in some of the ways that only SW Missouri Republicans can appreciate apparently. Well, and the Kernal's big money donors apparently appreciate something, even if they tend not to be from SW Missouri (unless I miss my guess).

You do an excellent job reporting in so many ways. Your dog with a bone approach serves you well. (and your readers!) Thank you for all you do.

Anonymous said...

It's not uncommon to hear on the news about some politician taking advantage of perks of office. Just recenty the news reported on our tax dollars being spent to purchase outlandish priced office furniture, using private jets when commercial would do. It seems to me Billy Longs failure is his seeming insensitivity or awareness of how it makes him look.

Since he's spending political contributions, perhaps a more effective approach would be to challenge, expose the contributers and hold them accountable.

At any rate, it's old news. Time to stop beating that dead horse. I don't even read those articles anymore because they essentially just say the same thing, over and over and over..........

Anonymous said...

Your comment was weak, unoriginal and did even formulate any type of credible argument. Low brow attempt at imitation..weak effort at best.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the forum, Mr. Turner. It's valuable to the community. In my opinion, your coverage is well rounded and topical for your audience. Investigative journalism is hard work and rare in a one-person operation I should think. Well done!
And to my fellow readers, if you haven't supported the blog financially, please consider it. He'll even let you disagree with him.
PS - I am NOT Randy or related to him.