I had heard earlier today that Hal might be in some trouble - but, given his track record wasn't sure anything was going to come out of it. He might just not get out of this one too easily.
N.J. man charged in threats against legislators
By Ken Dixon
Updated: 06/03/2009 08:14:01 PM EDT
Click photo to enlarge«1»
HARTFORD -- A New Jersey man with ties to white-supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations was arrested on felony charges Wednesday after his Web log suggested that two Connecticut lawmakers and a state ethics officer should be shot.
Harold Charles Turner, of North Bergen, also known as Hal Turner, was arrested by State Capitol Police for inciting injury
The arrest came the day after his blog alluded to using guns against Sen. Andrew J. McDonald, D-Stamford, and Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, D-East Haven, co-chairmen of the Judiciary Committee and Thomas K. Jones, enforcement officer for the Office of State Ethics.
Turner, 47, was booked in New Jersey, pending extradition to Connecticut.
Capitol Police Chief Michael J. Fallon said Capitol Police officers made the arrest Wednesday afternoon with the assistance of New Jersey authorities.
"Mr. Turner's comments are above and beyond the threshold of free speech," Fallon said. "He is inciting others through his Web site to commit acts of violence and has created fear and alarm. He should be held accountable for his conduct."
Fallon didn't know Wednesday night when the extradition would be completed and when Turner would face formal charges in Connecticut.
"It is very clear to us at the Turner Radio Network that the state of Connecticut has become tyrannical and abusive," Turner wrote in his blog Tuesday.
He defended the Bridgeport's Diocese's lawsuit filed against the Office of
State Ethics in an attempt to contest possible penalties for failing to register as a lobbyist March 11, when dozens of buses brought parishioners from throughout the state to protest a bill that would have changed the way Catholic parishes would be incorporated.
"While filing a lawsuit is quaint and the 'decent' way to handle things, we at TRN believe that being decent to a group of tyrannical scumbags is the wrong approach," Turner wrote.
"It's too soft. Thankfully, the Founding Fathers gave us the tools necessary to resolve tyranny: The Second Amendment," Turner continued. "TRN advocates Catholics in Connecticut take up arms and put down this tyranny by force. These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning in others in government: Obey the Constitution or die."
Turner then promised to post the home addresses of Lawlor and McDonald on Wednesday. Both lawmakers, who were the chief legislative proponents of gay marriage after the state Supreme Court announced in October that same-sex couples should be allowed to wed, were targets of another threat in mid-March, when a New Britain schoolteacher was arrested and later received accelerated rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, veteran Rep. Christopher L. Caruso, D-Bridgeport, a Catholic who has made ethics reforms a key portion of his legislative agenda, said Wednesday it's clear that the Bridgeport Diocese should have registered as a lobbyist for the March 11 event, since Bishop William E. Lori set up the bus caravans from southwestern Connecticut.
"The law is the law and if an organization expends more than $2,000 then it must register as a lobbyist," Caruso said in an interview. "In this case the Office of State Ethics did inquire of the Diocese and the Diocese response was to file a lawsuit. I think it's in the best interests of the Diocese to comply with the law."
He said that religious institutions have to be held to state ethical standards like any other special interest.
"The law was created to provide full public disclosure on how money is being spent to lobby the Legislature," Caruso said. "The bishop took it upon himself to spend diocesan money and it's simply a matter of filing a disclosure."
Heidi Beirich, director of research and special projects at the non-profit Southern Poverty Law Center, said Wednesday that Turner is a neo-Nazi provocateur.
"He's been involved in Nazi circles for a long, long time," she said in a phone interview Wednesday from the law center's Washington headquarters, where it investigations racism and hate crimes.
We have been waiting a long time for this one. Given his posts from yesterday targeting three judges in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Hal might have just let his good-will with the feds overstep his bounds. We'll be watching.
Capitol Police Obtain Warrant To Arrest Radio Host Hal Turner
By DANIELA ALTIMARI
The Hartford Courant
7:59 PM EDT, June 3, 2009
State Capitol police on Wednesday have obtained an arrest warrant for radio host Hal Turner for inciting readers of his blog to "take up arms" against two Connecticut lawmakers and an official with the Office of State Ethics.
Turner, who has been identified as a white supremacist and anti-Semite by several anti-racism groups, hosts an Internet radio program and produces a blog. Last week, he published a post that promised to release the home addresses of state Rep. Michael Lawlor, state Sen. Andrew McDonald and Thomas Jones of the ethics office.
"It is our intent to foment direct action against these individuals personally,'' Turner's blog states. "These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning to others in government: Obey the Constitution or die."
And, he added, "If any state attorney, police department or court thinks they're going to get uppity with us about this; I suspect we have enough bullets to put them down too.''
Turner 47, of North Bergen, N.J., pledged to announce the officials' home addresses on his radio show Wednesday night, but he was arrested before that could happen. He was charged with inciting injury to persons or property and will be presented in a New Jersey courthouse Thursday for extradition to Connecticut.
"Mr. Turner's comments are above and beyond the threshold of free speech,'' Capitol Police Chief Michael J. Fallon said in an e-mail announcing the warrant. "He is inciting others through his website to commit acts of violence and has created fear and alarm. He should be held accountable for his conduct."
Turner's remarks followed a blog post in which he recounted the controversy over Senate Bill 1098. The bill, which would have changed the way the Roman Catholic church is governed, was pulled in mid-March following questions about its constitutionality. Last week, the Diocese of Bridgeport filed a federal lawsuit against state ethics officials who are investigating whether church officials violated lobbying laws by organizing a rally at the state Capitol earlier this spring.
Copyright © 2009, The Hartford Courant