Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Jason Rapert contradicts himself in Channel 7 interview. Surprise.

Posted By on Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 6:35 PM

click to enlarge MEMORABLE MEMES: Rapert's eruption prompted lots of comedy on social media, with the help of photoshop and other tools.
  • MEMORABLE MEMES: Rapert's eruption prompted lots of comedy on social media, with the help of photoshop and other tools.

Sen. Jason Rapert's threatening
 social media rant over being asked a political question by a constituent has drawn attention from local TV stations, with both Channel 4 and Channel 7 giving Rapert a chance to explain himself.

Remarkable stuff. Channel 4 brought in a political lobbyist, Bill Vickery, who used Rapert to pass a bill for Uber trumping the taxi industry. Surprise. Vickery says Rapert was justified in threatening a questioner.

Channel 7 had Rapert on for an extensive interview. Let me boil it down.

* After telling me and the world over the weekend that constituent Lance White, who complained on Facebook of brusque treatment by Rapert at a Lowe's parking lot in Conway, had not prompted the threatening tweet, he essentially confirmed that it WAS White who had set him off. He said his Facebook post about being "harassed" in a parking lot and being armed and ready to shoot was directed at someone who asked a question about how he'd feel about being refused service by a Muslim in a driver's license office. 

“He said ‘if your wife was at a DMV getting a license and a Muslim refused to give her a license, would you be okay with that?’ And I said ‘probably about as okay as I am with you walking up to me in the parking lot and getting smart with me’,” said Rapert.

This is entirely too similar to what White reports he said at roughly the same time to not be the same person But note a little word that ol' Jason just happened to drop into his account. White recounted to me his encounter:

I asked, if I were working at a DMV, and due to my religious belief, I refused to sell a drivers license to a female, would he support such a behavior. I never mentioned a specific religion.

Sounds like Rapert whistled the old Muslim dog, always good for mileage in his district. And if this wasn't White, did TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE give Rapert a hypothetical at Lowe's about the DMV? What do you think?

* Rapert won't tolerate people who hold different beliefs. He made much of the fact that his questioner supported same-sex marriage, a position that made him unworthy of conversation apparently. He personally vilified White — though he was not the person who threatened him, he told us several times — for his politics over the weekend, too. As if that justified his rude and threatening behavior.

click to enlarge IN RAPERT'S OWN WORDS: Senator says it was improper of us to quote him saying this. So he took it down. Not that he was sorry.
  • IN RAPERT'S OWN WORDS: Senator says it was improper of us to quote him saying this. So he took it down. Not that he was sorry.

* He said he didn't regret his intemperate post but said he'd taken it down because, as 7 put it, a "local news  publication" (that would be the Arkansas Blog) had used it "improperly." What he meant to say, as he has said in previous episodes: "No fair. You quoted me. And proved I'd said it by running a picture of my Twitter account." 

Rapert repeated his frequent complaint that he fears injury in public because of multiple threats. The State Police told me it had indeed looked into multiple complaints of threats by Rapert. Spokesman Bill Sadler said it had found none to be "credible threats" of imminent harm and had no open investigations. I'll have the documents on the complaints in hand soon, thanks to the FOI Act. I predict the threats will amount to complaints about social media comments and questions Rapert doesn't want to answer.

For somebody that boasts so readily of all the firepower he keeps around his house, Rapert sure sounds like a fraidycat. Complaints have been given to authorities today by people offended by Rapert's threatening Tweet. They think such a comment by a concealed carry permit holder to what even Rapert now admits was no more than a political question, strikes many as a violation of terms of concealed carry permits.  I don't like the odds of either a) the State Police jerking Rapert's license or b) Rapert changing his ways. But he'll at least have to answer questions from somebody in a position of authority about it.

PS - It would be ungenerous of me not to thank Rapert for the immense exposure and dramatic jump in readership his tirades provide for us on Twitter, Facebook and the Arkansas Blog.

PPS UPDATE — The State Police file is interesting. An enormous amount of staff time has been invested over several years into complaints that tended to be — as one trooper said — "inflammatory but protected speech." Some of the comments are ugly. One message, believed to have arisen from a foreign source, copy pasted text from an NBC story about the slaying of a Yugoslavian family and closed with a wish it would happen to Rapert's family. An extensive investigation never could pin down a source, but investigators surmised it came from abroad from someone who spoke poor English, or wasn't very smart. A behavioral expert concluded it wasn't a real threat. Another incident Rapert complained about came from a caller who said he hoped Rapert would get his ass kicked "by the Constitution." Again, not exactly threatening. Police did respond more urgently to a Facebook comment that "this man should be shot" in reference to his politics, but it came from a federal prisoner. Iowa State Police investigated the sender of one note, who'd never been to Arkansas and had no plans to do so. The State Police provided added patrols at one point, but scaled them back when no solid leads developed. Rapert pressed for prosecution of all responsible for threats, but none developed. He also reported receiving phone calls with people cursing and slurring words. He received some profane comments, including from a Jonesboro man who said, when Rapert complained that he was threatening, that he was engaging in protected political speech.

Rapert objected early this month when a comment from a "Joe Blow" was just added to the file because of a line about gunning people down. The comment seemed over the line, Rapert wrote the State Police. The comment:

Jason, your Facebook page is b.s. And we don't need forded f***ing Jesus. The day that happens is the day everyone will use their Second Amendment rights and gun down every goddamn spiritual rapist

Rapert also reported, after being tipped by Rep. Bob Ballinger's wife, that commenters on an Arkansas Blog item were trying to figure out where he lives. He added, 'The Arkansas Times has fabricated several articles about me and tries to incite people to say awful things on a regular basis."

Like tonight. He still insists his threat wasn't about Lance White. He still won't say who. I still don't believe him.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (65)

Showing 1-50 of 65

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-50 of 65

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Watch the trailer for 'Shelter,' the Renaud Bros. new doc on homeless kids in New Orleans

    Check out the trailer for "Shelter," the Renaud Bros. new feature-length documentary about homeless teens navigating life on the streets of New Orleans with the help of Covenant House, the longstanding French Quarter shelter for homeless kids.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Viewed

  • Milligan aide: "Gay jokes are back on ya bunch of homos!"

    Hunter Hatcher, who started as Outreach Coordinator for the Treasurer's office under Dennis Milligan in 2015, took to social media to explain how things will be different in Trump's America (Hatcher is currently on leave from the state job but slated to return in December).
  • Open Line

    It's yours.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Donald Trump breaks promise, will not release tax returns

    • "I'd bet my last $10 on it. But here's the deal: We'll see Trump's tax…

    • on January 22, 2017
  • Re: Open Line

    • Boss Tweed paid HIS lackeys on time. "Even the firm that hired actors to cheer…

    • on January 22, 2017
  • Re: Open Line

    • If you want to see traitor trumps plan for lower health insurance look at OSCAR'S…

    • on January 22, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation