2A advocate's disappearing testimony: technical problems or purposefully silenced?

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In states like New Jersey the voices of lovers of liberty often go unheard. Whenever there are bill proposals or other measures that are proposed that will affect our fundamental rights, we do reach out to our legislators, or when needed, executive branch. Part of the process is supposed to involve this petitioning of our government, and there are very specific mechanisms in place to allow for citizens and interested parties to do so. Take for example the testimony that DC Project delegate Theresa Inacker delivered in December of 2021 in opposition of several so-called “gun control” measures in New Jersey. While Inacker was able to deliver her remarks, they’re noticeably absent in the recordings of that day’s proceedings.

This all came to pass when Inacker went back to the audio recordings from December 13, 2021 of the New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee testimonies concerning a bill package that was championed by Governor Phil Murphy. When Inacker went to the public site where that day’s recording is housed, she found that she was introduced to speak and then the recording went silent. This was not a blip, there is an actual two or so minute span where dead air was recorded. Except that dead air was not dead air, it was supposed to be a record of Inacker’s impassioned testimony against an introduced bill, A5030 Provides that firearms purchaser identification card is valid for four years; requires training prior to issuance of firearms cards and handgun purchase permits; revises procedures for passing of firearms to heir or legatee.

When I heard of this, I did not want to jump to conclusions. Stuff does happen and perhaps they were having some equipment issues? I sat down and listened to the full three and a half plus hours of recordings and found something very interesting. Inacker was the only person to have their full testimony not recorded. There were representatives from all the angry Commie Mommy groups such as Handgun Control Inc. (now known as Brady United), Moms Demand Action, et.al., and their testimonies did somehow make it into the record and are available for all to hear. Not Inacker’s.

A complete sidebar commentary on this topic, after listening to the testimonies, I was thoroughly nauseated by both some of the proponents of the bills as well as some of the lawmakers that introduced them. The testimonies, which are now a matter of public and historic record, include down right falsehoods and lies. One bill sponsor, the disgraced and thankfully not reelected Joann Downey, kept bringing up her father’s experiences as a police officer and his opinion as some sort of support of legislation that would impose illegal firearm storage requirements (per Heller) on the population. She certainly was misinformed on what she was discussing and yet spoke as if she was some sort of use of force expert on how long it takes to retrieve and load a firearm for self-defense. Downey kept defaulting to her former police officer Dad, his opinion, and how this one cop’s opinion should stand as proof that the bill would be proper. Thankfully Downey is no longer a member of the Assembly, where her stupidity shall not  continue to infect the already unconstitutional and ill advised laws on the books in the Garden State.

Not satisfied with the missing recording, I reached out to all the current members of that committee, as well as the Office of Legislative Services, and Legislative Information and Bill Room. I left my first piece of correspondence light an airy, lacking the fire and brimstone many of New Jersey’s representatives deserve:

From: [John Petrolino address redacted]
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>; “[email protected]” <[email protected]>; “[email protected]” <[email protected]>; “[email protected]” <[email protected]>; “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Cc: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>; “[email protected]” <[email protected]>; “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Subject: Question on Transcript from 12/13/2021 Judiciary Committee

Attention Assembly Judiciary Committee Members:

I’m writing concerning trying to procure a transcript/audio recording of a committee meeting that occurred on December 13, 2021. I’m a freelance writer […] and am working on a piece about the legislation that was being discussed that day. A5030 Provides that firearms purchaser identification card is valid for four years; requires training prior to issuance of firearms cards and handgun purchase permits; revises procedures for passing of firearms to heir or legatee; was the legislation that was being considered.

I have been reviewing the audio record of the committee meeting from that day, located at the following URL:

https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/archived-media/2020/AJU-meeting-list/media-player?committee=AJU&agendaDate=2021-12-13-10:00:00&agendaType=M&av=A

I noticed at 8 min 30 seconds, the speaker that was allowed to speak, their testimony did not get recorded. All the other speakers prior to that speaker had all of their remarks put on the full record.

Can this committee please answer to why the speaker was not recorded and put on the record? And, can you please direct me to where I may obtain a transcript or recording of the testimony?

Thank you kindly for your help in these matters. Please note that I’d like for our communications to be on the record concerning this.

Warmest Regards,
John Petrolino
[phone number redacted]
www.thepenpatriot.com

Of no surprise, not a single member of the committee responded to me. However, I did get one response the same day I wrote my request:

From: LegInfo <[email protected]>
To: [John Petrolino address redacted]
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Subject: RE: Question on Transcript from 12/13/2021 Judiciary Committee

Hello you have reached the Legislative Information and Bill Room.  This office disseminates information on pending bills and recent chapter laws.  This office suggest you reach out to the Committee at [email protected] and inquire with them to see what had happened?

Legislative Information and Bill Room

I did indeed reach out to that office, as indicated in who the emails were sent off to, but nothing. I followed up with all the same parties again a week later:

From: [John Petrolino address redacted]
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>; “[email protected]” <[email protected]>; “[email protected]” <[email protected]>; “[email protected]” <[email protected]>; “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Cc: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>; “[email protected]” <[email protected]>; “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2022
Subject: Re: Question on Transcript from 12/13/2021 Judiciary Committee

Attention:

The courtesy of a reply on the matter mentioned below would greatly be appreciated. To date, the only respondent to my query was: LegInfo <[email protected]> to which they stated:

“Hello you have reached the Legislative Information and Bill Room. This office disseminates information on pending bills and recent chapter laws. This office suggest you reach out to the Committee at [email protected] and inquire with them to see what had happened?

Legislative Information and Bill Room”

All parties copied in this email can see that [email protected] was included in my original correspondence.

I would like to know why the individual that was speaking at that point during the meeting did not have their testimony recorded.

Regards,
John Petrolino
[phone number redacted]
www.thepenpatriot.com

Having received no response, I waited a few more days and then got Inacker on the phone to discuss the situation further. Some of our conversation in part:

Inacker: Many people might remember when the entire group of bills was going up before the Judiciary, they were trying to ram through a multitude of bills at once. This was you know, the 50 caliber ban, the renewal of the Firearms ID card every four years and so many others. So I appeared at the hearing as the State Director for the DC Project in New Jersey. And as trustee of the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners. I was there to testify. It was on a Monday, you at that time, you had to actually provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test even get into the building. And I had Peter Elias with me that day, and he could not get in the building. So he actually waited outside. Right outside the statehouse. He was denied access that day. And that was very aggravating for us. But I was able to go in. And I waited my turn to testify on a bill.

Petrolino: You went and you gave this testimony, I’m assuming it was a home run of a testimony, I unfortunately, wasn’t able to take in the testimony, listened to it or read a transcript. You care to talk a little bit about that process?

Inacker: So I apparently, you know, what I said was heard by the members on the committee. However, when I went to go back to listen to the transcript, the official state record itself, it seems that my testimony has disappeared. As soon as I’m introduced, there’s silence for approximately two minutes. And then when the chair starts to ask me some questions, then the audio comes back on. But no one else in the three hours of testimony has been silenced. There were members representing the Brady Campaign that were there, there were members of Everytown and Moms Demand and of course, their testimony was not silenced. But for some reason, mine is silenced. And I find this extremely disturbing, as this is an official state record. You know, this is part of the record. I really am perplexed, and I don’t know what happened there. I have contacted my assembly members, my representatives, and I’ve asked them to initiate an investigation, because I’d like to know what happened here. I really don’t have any information. I haven’t gotten any information from them yet. I don’t know how they can go about this. But it is a very big mystery that I’d like to look into.

I personally have my suspicions about what occurred. I believe they purposefully did not record Inacker. I pointed towards one hypothesis in our conversation:

Now I recall. I mean, because I sat and I listened to the entire three and a half plus hour testimonies that were going on that day. And, you know, they introduce everybody, they say the Pledge of Allegiance, they list off all of the angry screaming commie mommy groups, some of them get to talk. I heard their speeches. And then I’m like, Oh, they’re getting ready to introduce Teresa like, this is awesome. I’ve got my popcorn bucket. And then it was like two minutes of silence. And, you know, the only time that we actually got to hear you talk after you said hello, I believe was when they were addressing you with some questions. So your question and answers were recorded on the record? Yes. I will note though, throughout the whole three and a half hour plus, recording, no one else was silenced. I want to let you know, I listened to the entire thing. And you could tell that they were turning the mic on and off at different times. But nobody was silenced. And I mean, you might not want to say you’ve been silenced. Or maybe you do want to say, it but I’ll certainly say it sure looks that way. And I find it rather suspect that the only woman that was testifying against all of these bills was silenced and that was you.

And that’s what I think is at the heart of the matter. Inacker goes against the narrative that’s presented by all these other women, who either speak knowingly falsely, from a perspective of ignorance, or really just don’t get how firearms and the Second Amendment works nor cares to. Inacker, a mother, a widow, and an advocate bucks what all these other groups have to say. The ilk of Moms Demand Action and the rest don’t have a copyright on motherhood or being a woman in the political arena. Try as much as they like, they are not the only, nor the prevailing voice in this debate. In fact, many don’t agree with what the anti-freedom caucus stands for, especially when the veil of their garbage rhetoric is removed.

I did end up getting a response eventually from the Office of Legislative Services. Their response? Well, you judge for yourself what it may or may not mean:

From: Whitbeck, Wendy [redacted address]
To: [John Petrolino address redacted]
Sent: Monday, June 6, 2022
Subject: FW: Question on Transcript from 12/13/2021 Judiciary Committee

Dear Mr. Petrolino,

This is in response to your inquiry concerning an interruption in the recording of the December 13, 2021 Assembly Judiciary Committee meeting at eight minutes and 30 seconds.

The approximately three minute interruption in the recording of the meeting may be attributable to the speaker not turning on the microphone, or inadvertently turning off the microphone, while testifying at the witness table.  If this was the case, the speaker’s comments would not have been captured by the recording equipment, although could be heard by the committee members and others attending the meeting.

It also is possible that the interruption was attributable to a brief, unpredictable technical issue with the recording equipment resulting in the three unrecorded minutes.  Although infrequent, OLS is aware of these technical issues occurring when committee meetings and public hearings are recorded to archive for subsequent listening.

For a recording of the testimony, please submit an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request for a compact disc (CD) copy.  Also, if you would like copies of the written testimony submitted to the committee on that date, please include that in your OPRA request.

The OPRA request form can be found at: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/opra.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Wendy Whitbeck

Wendy S. Whitbeck
Section Chief
Judiciary Section
Office of Legislative Services
New Jersey Legislature
[phone number redacted]
[email address redacted]

Alright, seems to be open and shut, this was clearly Inacker’s fault per the victim shaming, “stuff happens”, response I received.

This subject is not a closed matter. Both Inacker and myself will be following up and working to get to the bottom of this. In states like New Jersey, we have to dot all our i’s and cross all our t’s. Clearly we’re up against all odds and the political machine will do any and everything to subvert the voices of freedom minded individuals. This story illustrates that it’s all too important that we all engage in the process. We must check and double check everything. And also, it’s important to really take in what the opposition is saying, and oftentimes lying about, through their rhetoric when petitioning our so-called representatives. As for the committee members that failed to respond to my requests, shame on all of you. You all owe Inacker an explanation.

For a recording of my full conversation with Theresa Inacker you can find it HERE or in the embed below: