Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gladney Press Conference: Blames Obama for Beating

In case you had any question whether the actions of Kenneth Gladney and attorney David Brown are politically motivated, you can now put those questions to rest. In an interview on KSDK, Brown and Gladney said that while they're "not going so far as to say that there's a vast conspiracy" (10:13), they're certainly happy to hint at a connection between the altercation and the White House's quote: "if they punch us, we punch back twice as hard"(6:00). They then go on to add that, "anybody can draw their own conclusions for that" but that "it's rather suspicious that this happened just moments before the town hall meeting." Brown also mentions Kathleen Sebelius saying to the SEIU, "Keep on doing what you're doing," (5:10) mentioning that it's "up to people to decide" whether that refers to beating people up. And after Gladney says that he was just out there to make a buck, Brown claims that they are fighting back against people who think we should "blindly follow what the government has to say," (3:20).

This venturing into far-our conspiracy land, suggesting that Obama would be not just evil enough but also stupid enough to order "thugs" to beat up people at rallies shows us exactly how seriously we should take these two characters. They have made a decision to hint that somehow the White House, the SEIU, and Sebelius are all co-conspirators in a plot to beat up merchandise vendors outside of local townhalls. I'm starting to think that the rest of their story is just as absurd as this part.

Other interesting things to note from the video:

(1) When Gladney is asked what injuries he has sustained, he refers the question to his lawyer (11:50), Brown, who says that "it wouldn't be prudent at this time" to share any information about the injuries. Really? Surely he could have at least explained what it was that caused Gladney to be in a wheelchair two days after the event, despite running around vigorously immediately after the incident. I don't think I've ever seen the victims of alleged beatings claim that they need to wait to say how they were injured before.

(2) They say that they never asked the NAACP to get involved (11:19) and say that the NAACP should be able to do "whatever they want to do." Yet, they happily show up at the NAACP offices in what is explicitly a protest of the NAACP, alleging that the NAACP has a political bias that shows that they only care about African Americans who are Democrats. Not only that, but they're showing up on a day where the NAACP offices are closed in remembrance of local civil rights leader Margaret Bush Wilson. You would think that if they had any moral decency whatsoever they would not show up at a protest for something that they don't even believe in.

(3) Gladney lies about what wares he is selling, claiming that they are all "Don't tread on me" buttons (7:40), which is directly contradicted by video evidence from the scene.

(4) Gladney also claims that he was working for himself (0:35), which is contradicted by what Brown told right-wing blogger Jim Durbin, who wrote, "The buttons were manufacture or purchased by Brown (that's how he knows Kenneth, who was selling them for Brown." Again, it appears that either Brown or Gladney is lying.

So let's review. Initially, the right-wing claimed that the video showed that Gladney was attacked by SEIU. After other people carefully looked at the video and realized that it did not show that Gladney was attacked, the right-wing changed their story and claimed that everyone knows that the incident took place before the video. Then, at a later rally, Bill Hennessy asks people to donate money to help pay for Gladney's medical bills. They raise over $1,100 according to Brown. They then say that the claim that Gladney doesn't have insurance is a left-wing conspiracy, and instead try to raise money for Gladney and Brown's "Constitutional Tour".
In other words, Brown and Gladney are milking this for every dollar they can get.

And what is the evidence? Now that right-wingers admit that the video does not actually capture the incident, they say the truth will be revealed by the "independent witnesses" at the event. And who are these "indepdent witnesses"?

One is David Brown, the lawyer who was already making money off of Gladney and stands to make much more on their Constitution Tour.

Another is the shrieking woman in the green shirt who clearly rushed over after the incident is over (on left side of screen):
And, of course, there's the "You Attacked Him!" man in the white shirt, who can be seen in this video having to be held back from attacking an SEIU member:

With no medical records released and an inconclusive video, the only evidence that Gladney was attacked is the "eye witness" testimony of right-wing ideologues who were seen picking fights earlier in the forum, or who have a financial interest in making this into a spectacle. As i have said before, I can't claim to know exactly what happened, but to me it looks like this is going to end badly for the local tea party leaders. I just hope it happens soon so that they can't continue to try to use this to derail health care reform.


  1. Running around vigorusly without his glasses I might add!

  2. I bet Mr. "I know the cops in this town"-((who was also on the scene, apparently directing "Towelie" (man in white shirt)to move away from the camera when the Union man yelled a bit too loudly for their taste about Elston being a minister.)) would also like the attempts to milk this dead cow to go away.

  3. A view of David at another event with his button board


  4. I am curious as to what exactly "The Kenneth Gladney Fund" is. Is this a legal defense fund? A non-profit educational project? A political organization?

  5. I believe that a non-profit organization such as an educational program or a legal defense fund must register in 39 of the 50 states in order to raise funds indiscrimitely online.

    Additionally I would then assume that the filing requirements of the Missouri Revised Statutes would have been followed.--

    407.462. 1. No charitable organization shall solicit funds in this state, nor employ a professional fund-raiser to solicit funds in this state, for any charitable purpose, unless it has filed with the office of the attorney general an initial registration, which shall be sworn to under oath and shall be in the form and manner prescribed by the attorney general, except that charitable organizations in existence and soliciting on May 1, 1986, may file such initial registration within one year of May 1, 1986. All initial registrations, and amendments thereto, shall be accompanied by a filing fee of fifteen dollars unless the attorney general, by rule, establishes a different filing fee. Amendments to initial registrations shall be filed as prescribed by the attorney general.

    A quick check on the Attorney General of Missouri's list shows no registered charity for Kenneth Gladney.


    The penalty in some states can be quite severe. See-

  6. In case you haven't seen this, here is the video from Kelly Owen's camera (she is the woman in the green shirt and she is also the Campaign for Liberty's County Coordinator. This appears to be mostly unedited and much longer than the snippet used for the "Are you paying attention" video. You can hear Elston screaming and begging when the police take him down. He laid down on the ground and said his shoulder hurt huh? Yeah, right.

  7. Thank you for setting the record straight here!