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JUDGE PHILLIPS: Why I declined to swear-in circuit clerk on Jan. 1, 2011

JUDGE PHILLIPS: Why I declined to swear-in circuit clerk on Jan. 1, 2011

April 30, 2012


A recent posting (see blog at www.mysaline.com “Received a letter in the mail about Dennis Milligan”) has rekindled discussion about my declining Mr. Milligan’s request to swear him in on January 1, 2011. I have been called a “misfit,” among other things, and an embarrassment to the judiciary. The Code of Judicial Conduct allows me to respond to such criticism.

I arrived at the courthouse January 1, 2011, to perform a ceremonial duty. I was volunteering my time...

Read the rest at http://bentoncourier.com/content/judge-phillips-why-i-declined-swea...

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Undertaker posted this:

"Sounds like we've got a real "Forrest Gump" character here.  "I'm not vewy smawt....."


I'm trying to help him.  It's stuff like this that pushes people who are on the fence about one candidate or another to the other side.  I'm trying to get the word out that there is no need for name calling.  Present your argument in a concise and respectful manner and you will convince more people.  Your previous post that begins: "I will be happy to be more specific.  The following were inaccurate and/or invalid positions presented by Judge Grisham Phillips in his timed-for-the-election "editorial."" is a really good example of how to present an argument.  I apologize if I offended Undertaker, I really am just trying to help explain why his method is not a very effective one.  

As I read his remarks, sir, I detected a man who was deeply offended by the use of the F word -- something you might want to consider before dressing down our friend, The Undertaker.

Not offended by the language at all.  It's just not an effective way to present an argument.

Well, the State certainly considered them "fired or dismissed," as they were and are being paid unemployment benefits.

And why in the WORLD would Mike Huckabee care one iota who the Circuit Clerk of Saline County, Arkansas is or is not, and why should WE care if he does? Maybe Mr. Milligan would be better served by getting endorsements from local attorneys, who should know better than Mr. Huckabee how well the office is being run, if that's really the truth, right? Oh. Wait.

Good point Truth.  Endorsements from local attorneys are more important.  When Milligan sent out postcards with his picture with Mike Huckabee it showed he is all about politics, not the job.  Maybe Myka Sample should have a postcard with her picture with local attorneys and judges as endorsements. 

So what if Judge Phillips wanted this information out there before another election. He works with these people very day and knows if they are doing a good job or not. I wished more people in these positions would advise us to how the elected offices are running. Then maybe our country would not be in the shape it is in. Maybe judge Phillips reallly does have the citizens at mind when hes making them aware of the elected offical and thier tactics.

You are dead wrong, sir.  No matter how many times you say it to the contrary, the facts will not change.  NO ONE WAS FIRED.  They were non-selected, and that means something.  No one's freedom of speech was denied to them.  That is an absolute lie.  The taxpayers paid NOTHING -- an unfortunate (and unwarranted) settlement was made from INSURANCE, paid by the county ANYWAY.  The lawsuits are not only NOT stacking up, they are fading very fast.  The clerk's staff is STABLE, and everyone is doing well.

You are ABSOLUTELY incorrect on all points.  The law was followed, with the full knowledge and consultation of the county attorney.  You do NOT know what you are talking about.  Cease and desist until you do.

Duck Bill said:

There was no lay off, these people was fired and replaced.  Freedom of speech was denied to one employee and the taxpayers paid for it.   The lawsuits are stacking up against Milligan and the clerks office 3 and counting.  

Yes, you are indeed off the reservation.  I agree with The Undertaker.  That is NOT the way things are done, nor will it be in the future.  The Old Way is in its last rites.  Elected officials ALWAYS had the power to determine their own staffs, but because one group and one party dominated the county for decades, it made lengthy services by staffs in elected offices possible.

Mr. Kidd had the authority to do it, but because of friendships and because he CHOSE the staff, the changes were never made.  A concept is in play here, one that you do not grasp nor does the judge.  An elected official has the capacity to determine who will serve on their staff -- PERIOD.  It is NOT up for negotiation.  It is the LAW.

YOU don't like it.  Noted.  The Undertaker also asks another pertinent question: Exactly how does someone violate an oath they have not yet taken?  We may even retract to the fact that even IF Milligan had taken the oath, his actions were NOT in violation of the Constitution or county law.  He did not "pre-judge them."  He made a CHOICE, and he did NOT choose THEM.

He was free to release them for ANY reason at ANY TIME -- IT SAYS SO IN THE COUNTY HANDBOOK.

Just because no one had ever done it before is the reason we are witnessing such rage.  The Undertaker is RIGHT, Williams, and you are WRONG.  Case closed.

T.A. Williams said:

I'm so far off the reservation, huh?  That's not the way things are done, huh?  Well, you're jumping and shouting about the Judge not swearing "your boy Milligan" into office because he felt he had violated the oath of office before he ever took the oath....I believe that's what you said?  "How in hell do ya do that when you ain't taken the oath?"  Hmmmm...Milligan had never taken office and let those girls go.  Did he "pre-judge" them based on the fact that they worked for his predecessor?  You talk big behind that mask Undertaker....keep talkin'.  It AIN'T getting you nowhere....Hoss!

Henry, I am inclined to agree with you.  And I understand that you are trying to help him.  But what I'm also sensing is that in his own rage, he is holding fast to a persona connected with his onscreen identity.  He is a threatening looking wrestler image, and he's emulating that in his texts.

I think his message is still getting through, but you make valid points about some being lost along the way when a presentation style offends them.  But does it really?  At the same time, it could be argued that it is drawing in the people, who are being entertained while being informed.

If this site was marked with civil, intelligent, normal people, I would probably not have chosen the screen name and image that I did.  But we passed civility far back down the road.  I read an exchange between Undertaker and Red Cedars in which Cedars used the "F" word in utter defiance, telling Undertaker to "shut the f---- up."

What do we do when anonymous bloggers like this really DO resort to the sort of abuse that the Dark Three falsely accused me of?  One of their techniques is to post a random comment that is completely disconnected from any actual comment made by me or others, and knowing that some readers can't or won't work their way back through a thread to discover that no abusive remark was made, they will throw something out there and glue it to the one they are attacking, creating the illusion that they did something wrong.

A good example of this was a recent exchange between Tripp and some female blogger, who actually accused Tripp of threatening physical violence.  It was pointed out to her that she was an anonymous person with an icon and screen name that was untraceable, much as mine is.  He couldn't find her to begin with to cause harm.

And what did he actually say?  Words to the effect of that "my next posting on the blog will slam your facts and you into a brick wall."  Tripp was metaphorically commenting that whatever he was going to post was going to have considerable impact.  Words posted on a blog cannot LITERALLY "slam" someone physically into a physical wall.  It was an obvious hyperbole to emphasize the force of the information, NOT physical force.

These kinds of abuses take place here on a regular basis.  If you listen to the Dark Three, our renegade Bryant aldermen, I and others have libeled them, defamed them, harmed them, hurt their feelings (I have to laugh at that one, I'm sorry, after the conniving and treacherous things they have done to our mayor), and even threatened them, for which they believe they are entitled to monetary damages.

BALDERDASH!  They are entitled to NOTHING.  I have caused no harm to anyone, including them.  They have done everything to themselves.  Their SLAPP lawsuit is doomed to failure (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, look it up.)  This is what Undertaker, you and I are all up against.  Unfortunately, Undertaker does not always handle things more delicately, although he was very kind to Linda Ives recently.

Hopefully, he will read your wise remarks and take their well intended advice.  You are a fine fellow.

Henry said:

Undertaker posted this:

"Sounds like we've got a real "Forrest Gump" character here.  "I'm not vewy smawt....."


I'm trying to help him.  It's stuff like this that pushes people who are on the fence about one candidate or another to the other side.  I'm trying to get the word out that there is no need for name calling.  Present your argument in a concise and respectful manner and you will convince more people.  Your previous post that begins: "I will be happy to be more specific.  The following were inaccurate and/or invalid positions presented by Judge Grisham Phillips in his timed-for-the-election "editorial."" is a really good example of how to present an argument.  I apologize if I offended Undertaker, I really am just trying to help explain why his method is not a very effective one.  

As I read his remarks, sir, I detected a man who was deeply offended by the use of the F word -- something you might want to consider before dressing down our friend, The Undertaker.

Not offended by the language at all.  It's just not an effective way to present an argument.

Dennis Milligan is a bully. He is a bully, bully,and a bully! Elected officials come and go. The ladys who worked in that office should have been left alone to do their jobs as in almost every other clerks office in the state and the country. What is legal is not the same as what is right. Judge Phillips, congrats on being a gentleman. Standing up for the little people. Might does not make right. Beat his bully booty Myca. Good luck

The adherents of the "New Way" certainly seem to be fluent in Newspeak (apologies to George Orwell).  Being fired now becomes being "non-selected."  Incidentally, Mr. Kidd did "non-select" one of his predecessor's employees; in fact, she was the Chief Deputy.  He did so during his first term, but only after giving her opportunity after opportunity to correct some personal problems that were interfering with her duties.

 

The adherents of the "New Way" have no difficulty with "Doublethink" (the act of simultaneously accepting two contradictory beliefs as absolutely correct).  They wail and gnash their teeth at the prospect that their anonymous status might be revealed, trotting out the first amendment as the basis for their argument.  But in the New Way county employees do not have free speech rights; judges do not have free speech rights; aldermen do not have the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,"  not to mention that the aldermen do not have a seventh amendment right to a jury trial nor the right to due process.  By the way, the New Wayers seem to believe that the right to free speech is somehow greater than the other rights afforded by the Constitution, but only for themselves, not for others. The Constitution does not rank the Rights in order of importance.

 

It seems to me that the worst advertisement for Mr. Milligan is his supporters.  Most elections are won because the voters vote against one of the candidates, not for the other.  We will just have to wait and see.  But as for me, I continue to say "no thanks" to the New Way ("Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss"--The Who).  Give me the American Way.

She already has a judge in her pocket.  The one who wouldn't swear him in.

Peter Glenn said:

Good point Truth.  Endorsements from local attorneys are more important.  When Milligan sent out postcards with his picture with Mike Huckabee it showed he is all about politics, not the job.  Maybe Myka Sample should have a postcard with her picture with local attorneys and judges as endorsements. 

Oh wouldn't it be convenient, BoydB, if you were right and all someone had to do to hurt Mr. Milligan was to support him.  Do you know how tired, how stupid, how manipulative, how ignorant remarks like this sound?  If you support him, you're only going to hurt him.  Yeah, right. 

Being fired is NOT the same as being selected, sir.  These changes happened at the start, not during a term.  As has been frequently pointed out (you CAN read, can't you?), John Boozman NON-SELECTED THE ENTIRE LINCOLN STAFF, BEFORE HE TOOK OFFICE.

Mr. Milligan, according to accounts, considered three women as unable to meet his needs (read that as they were abrasive, angry, fiercely loyal to Kidd and likely ready to sabotage him, much as Lincoln's people would have done) and for WHATEVER UNKNOWN REASON that he is NOT required to divulge, he issued letters of non-selection.

HE.....DID......NOT......FIRE......THESE......WOMEN.  There were three, not five.  Phillips can't count.

FREE SPEECH WAS NOT AN ISSUE.  FREE SPEECH WAS NOT AN ISSUE.  FREE SPEECH WAS NOT AN ISSUE.  Get it yet?  I can retype it as many times as needed.  Nowhere in this entire process was free speech involved.  Mr. Milligan never even met or spoke to Mrs. DePriest, a litigant with the odd and unlikely charge that Mr. Milligan non-selected her because she failed to support his candidacy(?!?)  Is she kidding us?  That is a proveable offense?  But you must understand, in order to circumvent at will employment, those seeking to sue must go to something that allows the exception, and that is violation of rights or Federal laws regarding discrimination.

Want a job back that you've been non-selected from in an elected office?  Run to Facebook and comment.  Tell others that you don't support them for election.  Then when the inevitable happens, let the shoe drop.  Make your charges.  Then settle out of court.

This is an outrage.  This is what happens when attorneys smell money and know how to pump a system.  This is also evidence that the Old Way ruled for so long, they never imagined being out of power, so they must punish those who will not retain their moles, agents, friends.  Give you the American Way?  It has not been in practice in Saline County for decades.

BoydB said:

The adherents of the "New Way" certainly seem to be fluent in Newspeak (apologies to George Orwell).  Being fired now becomes being "non-selected."  Incidentally, Mr. Kidd did "non-select" one of his predecessor's employees; in fact, she was the Chief Deputy.  He did so during his first term, but only after giving her opportunity after opportunity to correct some personal problems that were interfering with her duties.

 

The adherents of the "New Way" have no difficulty with "Doublethink" (the act of simultaneously accepting two contradictory beliefs as absolutely correct).  They wail and gnash their teeth at the prospect that their anonymous status might be revealed, trotting out the first amendment as the basis for their argument.  But in the New Way county employees do not have free speech rights; judges do not have free speech rights; aldermen do not have the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,"  not to mention that the aldermen do not have a seventh amendment right to a jury trial nor the right to due process.  By the way, the New Wayers seem to believe that the right to free speech is somehow greater than the other rights afforded by the Constitution, but only for themselves, not for others. The Constitution does not rank the Rights in order of importance.

 

It seems to me that the worst advertisement for Mr. Milligan is his supporters.  Most elections are won because the voters vote against one of the candidates, not for the other.  We will just have to wait and see.  But as for me, I continue to say "no thanks" to the New Way ("Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss"--The Who).  Give me the American Way.


You are a nitwit.  Look it up.  I posted it early.  That means a "foolish person."  Dennis Milligan is NOT a bully.  YOU and other attackers are bullies.  Your statement is so stupid, that I'm actually glad that you wrote it, John.  You have SUMMARIZED what the entire controversy is about.  You wrote:

"Elected officials come and go. The ladys who worked in that office should have been left alone to do their jobs as in almost every other clerks office in the state and the country."

THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT!!!!!   IGNORANT!!!!  YOU AND THE JUDGE!!!!!!!  YOU DON'T GET IT!!!!!!

There is a PURPOSE and a REASON for "at will" employment in an elected office.  You demonstrate it when you write things this stupid.  The judge affirms it when he PUBLISHES remarks reflecting his own ignorance of the law and its purpose, which is in part to protect public officials from nitwits like him who believe it is THEY who should decide who serves, NOT the elected official.

And when Milligan chose someone other than Phillips' friends, he punished him in the only way available to him -- to decline to swear him in as a childish protest beneath the position he holds, embarrassing and humiliating the clerk in a public forum, then expecting him to be silent to the press who was covering the event and give him a pass.  The press did not give him a pass, nor do I.

You have not just defined the problem, sir, you ARE the problem.  You and other nitwits who hammer endlessly on this subject bereft of the facts of the law or the circumstances.  You have, however, provided us with an absolute definition of the problem -- the false belief that elected (Democratic) officials come and go and their entrenched staffs remain unchallenged, ever in the reach of the ruling party.  If anyone exercises the privilege provided under law to establish their own staff, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!

Fortunately, you and your thinking are relics of the past and will be challenged until they are gone.


John Publius said:

Dennis Milligan is a bully. He is a bully, bully,and a bully! Elected officials come and go. The ladys who worked in that office should have been left alone to do their jobs as in almost every other clerks office in the state and the country. What is legal is not the same as what is right. Judge Phillips, congrats on being a gentleman. Standing up for the little people. Might does not make right. Beat his bully booty Myca. Good luck

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