The chairman of the Arkansas Democratic party was killed today:
Bill Gwatney, the chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, was shot in his office in Little Rock Wednesday morning and died a few hours later, police officials said.
The officials said a single gunman fired three shots at Mr. Gwatney, a former state legislator, in the party’s headquarters a few blocks from the state Capitol and then drove away.
Mr. Gwatney was rushed to the medical center of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, but a friend of the Gwatney family, who asked not to be identified, said doctors determined that his wounds were inoperable. He died several hours later, police officials confirmed.
No real idea on motive yet, but it sounds like a disgruntled employee from what little I have heard on tv. Gwatney looked really young in the picture at the Times.
Brother Flaming Taser of Warm Reason
I read over at GOS that the killer did not work for gwatney nor know him. Or so it seems.
O/T but…well…this is sad too but in a tragic comic sort of way
At least they got the perp alive.
No, the Pork Chops 86’d his ass. Now no one knows WTF is the motive.
And while I’m going to get flamed for noting this, the chair of the AR GOP is a jackass.
Nice sentiment, but is there a reason that, even in a statement like this, you can’t show enough class to at least recognize that his title was “Democratic Party Chairman”? Even in offering condolences, is there a clause in the GOP’s state charter that requires their chairman to sound like an asshole?
Lets not jump to conclusions about motives…
but yes, I am expecting more stories of nutjob conservatives who go on mass murder sprees against targets perceived as “liberal”.
The Moar You Know
I thought that was in the introductory packet that one receives on joining the party.
Malkin and Hewlett are already engaged in whining about how they’re being blamed, before any meme about right-wing nutcase blogger culpability has even hit. Call it preemptive whining – yes it’s come to that.
According to CNN, the Arkansas DNC denies that he was ever an employee.
The Moar You Know
Well, with the bodies on the liberal side piling up, and not one dead Republican in the bunch, I’m beginning to think blaming the right wing is pretty goddamn justified.
What’s the old saying–lay down with dogs, get up with fleas? It’ll be a looooong time before I feel badly about right-wing bloggers getting smeared with anything, given the shit they’ve flung over the last, well, since blogging started.
Oswald did it.
Counting down the time until the first Putz, “If only Dem’s were armed” post, in three, two….
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that he was a right-wing whack job. So that leaves us with 2 cases of murders by right wing whack jobs of liberals in recent weeks. Sounds sort of like something other people would refer to as political violence i.e. terrorism?
As everyone keeps tucking these instances under the carpet, look for right wing political violence to rise in the coming years. I feel like it is 1992 all over again really.
Sorry, what was it about 1992? Was there violence by wingers upset over Clinton?
Ever see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang?
I hate it when that happens.
So that someone could have shot him after he surprised Gwatney? Isn’t that basically what happened anyway, assuming you consider the police to count as ‘someone’?
I’m provisionally out there on that limb with you.
Still, to be fair, we’re both jumping (or at least stepping) to a conclusion here. The “disgruntled employee” rumor doesn’t seem to be checking out, though, which pretty much leaves a personal or political motivation. And if there were a personal motivation, you would think someone would have recognized and ID’d the guy by now.
So, yeah, I’m leaning towards the “hit job by right wing wacko” narrative too.
So he was off by a few years. Or do you not remember Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing of 1995?
Oh, right right right…can’t believe I missed that. Thank you. It’s the end of the semester and I’ve had like 12 hours of sleep so far this week. :)
BTW, can’t wait to read Orcinus’s take on this.
He was a Hillary delegate, claims that he was killed by the Obamathugs so that he could not vote for Hillary at the convention at the PUMA blogs in about 10 seconds.
He also built up a huge Obama org in Arkansas after Hillary quit.
Countdown to right-wing nutjobs like Maureen Dowd to start saying the Clintons did it in revenge…10…9…8…
The version of “disgruntled employee” I heard was not that he worked for the AR Democratic Party, but that he worked at one of Gwatney’s car dealerships and had been laid off.
The unemployed are flipping out. They got no income, no healthcare. They’re scared shitless about how they’re going to keep the lights on. Or some other anxiety that is just as devastating, depending on how strong you are. A lady recently jumped from a 20 story building downtown after being fired from her job.
And *certainly* no mental health care is available to keep them from cracking and to keep the emotionally weaker ones from doing things like this.
The dude that opened fire on the Unitarian church was unemployed, too.
I don’t know the specific financial circumstances of either man, but I don’t think that matters so much. The stress of looking for work in today’s uncertain environment can be crushing to your self esteem and render you feeling powerless and exploited by others. It’s a perfect recipe, for someone who is already ‘out there’ but not being treated, for murder.
I guess Malkin and her ilk will eventually get around to blaming Gwatney for his own death for firing this guy.
I’m beginning to think blaming the right wing is pretty goddamn justified.
Now, now. At a time like this to be thinking of “who killed whom” is just petty partisanship we should all be above.
Man that’s awful.
Not that they’re pathetic attention whores or anything. Nope. Not a bit of that.
The police said that the shooter was NOT employed by Gwatney’s car dealerships. Even though that technically leaves open the possiblity that he was recently sacked, I assume the HR department of a 3 location car dealership is aware of all the recent sackings, if the police didn’t ask for that explicitly in the first place.
The shooter, Tim Johnson, was sacked by a Target store.
Google turned up a 2007 court case in Searcy, AR involving a Tim Johnson who’d been injured during a steelworking job.
If it’s the same guy, then I expect the events went: Job injury->no more steelworking-> lower-paid jobs such as Target -> pent-up rage.
I wonder what he wrote on the wall at Target…
Which might get him walking into Target or the company he did steel work for and going postal on the people that fired him.
It doesn’t explain him walking into the AR Democratic HQ and shooting the Democratic state party chairman.
I suspect the path was more like this:
Job injury -> no more steelworking -> lower-paid jobs such as Target -> pent-up rage -> reading/watching right wing eliminationist rhetoric in books, on the radio, on the web, or on Fox News -> explosion of pent-up rage on the identified targets / implied cause of all that’s wrong in his life.
I wonder what he wrote on the wall at Target…
“I’ll win you yet, Jodie Foster”
While we’re listing right wing terrorists in this country, let’s not forget Eric Rudolph – Atlanta Olympics bomber who was basically sheltered by the locals who supported his abortion clinic and gay bar bombing campaigns.
We’re obviously fighting the war on terror in the wrong place. And Homeland Security is playing the part of the Keystone Cops spying on left wingers as the right wingers go happily about their rampage.
JGabriel lays it out like I would…another unemployed wingnut who loses his shit and blames liberals for his misfortune.
Funny you say that. I have heard a story that there used to be a mental institution down the road from Searcy near Bald Knob (I believe). When the institution ran out of money and closed down, they just opened up their doors and let all the wards go. Upon hearing this an aunt and uncle of mine who has lived in Searcy for the last couple years remarked “That (the story) explains a lot…”
I hope I am wrong, but I have a bad feeling that if this is politically motivated then this is not end of it. One nut just encourages others. If it is politically motivated, I wonder if he identified his victim in advance or if he was just a target of opportunity. Either way, this is just sad to hear about. Unnecessary death is always something to feel like shit about. It is wrong, and it should not happen but it does. Senseless. Mindless. Death.
While the left has had its own nutcases who decided to be violent, why is it that the right seems to have more violent lunatics (abortion clinic bombings & killings, abortion doctor killings, Oklahoma bombing, the UCC church killings and so on)? Something is encouraging this behavior IMO.
Unfortunately, even if this was a politically motivated killing, it would not be looked at as a terrorist attack. If people on the left start dying as a result of right wingers stepping off the ledge then I hope our government is ready to address it. Because if they ignore it or downplay it, more innocent people are going to die.
If you’re a worshipper at the Republian god of trickle down and your life is going to shit and the only trickle is tinkle – who you gonna blame? Certainly not the Party of Christ and Values – godless heathen Democrats…
It is really sad, lots of lives ruined for senselessness.
These people simply cannot face reality.
They have been voting against their own best interests for years, belligerently shitting in their own hats and righteously insisting it smells like a rose.
And when reality finally makes them wear their own goddamn hat, they can no longer pretend it smells like a rose and they go bonkers.
And even then they still refuse to believe it’s their own shit.
Being a member of the party of personal responsibility means it’s always someone else’s fault.