Rep. Jimmy Dixon of Duplin County is notorious for eructing coarse pronouncements and unfounded accusations in public. For example, during one committee meeting , the Duplin County Republican recommended Gov. Cooper get a “spanking” and in another, claimed the Cape Fear public utility was politicizing levels of GenX in Wilmington’s drinking water.
But his recent rant about the hog nuisance lawsuits has broken the crass-o-meter. His casual and inappropriate use of the term “rape” diminishes the traumatic experience of actual sexual assault victims.
“How do you feel knowing you allowed the Texas lawyers to rape these [farm] families?” Dixon wrote, calling out law firm Wallace and Graham in a guest column published in the News-Argus of Goldsboro. (The piece is not online, but the paper confirmed its publication.)
Dixon posted a longer version of his offensive diatribe on Facebook, at 12:34 a.m. on June 30, with more references to rape: “Does it feel any different than when you raped the Kinlaw family? Probably not because you are getting ready to economically rape all the other families you have sued.”
Wallace and Graham, based in Salisbury, hired a Dallas-based attorney Michael Kaeske to argue the plaintiffs’ cases in federal court. Murphy-Brown, the defendant, is represented by McGuireWoods, which is headquartered in Virginia and has offices not only in Raleigh, but also internationally, including Beijing and Brussels.
Murphy-Brown has lost both cases, with juries awarding millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages to neighbors of industrialized hog farms.
Dixon continued his sexually obsessed prose, using the word “pimping,” while questioning Wallace and Graham’s expenses, of which he has no direct knowledge. “Have you shared with those good black neighbors of these frightened hard-working family farmers how much your expenses are going to be? Probably not. Because you know when they find out they are going to realize just how badly you have raped and prostituted them for your greedy benefit.”
He also criticized US District Court Senior Judge Earl Britt for allowing the cases to be heard. “He doesn’t have his thumb on the scales. His sorry ass is sitting on the scales!”
Dixon himself is a turkey farmer but is a close friend of the hog industry. In the first quarter of the year, half of Dixon’s $81,775 in campaign contributions came from agribusiness. He received $37,150 from various individual farmers and agribusinessmen and $5,200 from Smithfield, which owns Murphy-Brown. (This coziness could help explain one of Dixon’s parting shots: “I hope Smithfield has the moral courage to tell you skunks that they are going to fight you till hell freezes over!!!”)
And McGuireWoods — yes, that McGuireWoods — gave Dixon $1,000 on May 4, about a week after Murphy-Brown lost its first nuisance case.