I'm sure this comes as a surprise to you ... not!, but we think even Democratic donkeys can become braying jackasses. Case in point: Alaska State Rep. Mike Doogan.
Rep. Doogan has chosen to spend a considerable amount of his constituents time, (and maybe AK State resources, and maybe violated AK ethics and laws and Federal laws), to out an anonymous blogger in Alaska who did nothing but chide him about email etiquette. It starts out like this:
Now that Christmas is past, and our bellies are full of figgy pudding, and pumpkin pie, lets lie back in our recliners with a snifter of warm brandy, put our feet up, stroke the head of our golden retriever, and ponder. There is much to ponder here in the North Land, but there is one particular subject that has come to my mind many times over the past two days. It involves a series of emails that occurred on Christmas Eve.Here's a sample of the aforementioned original email from Rep Mike Doogan:
“Are you people nuts? You send me — and everybody else in the legislature, from the looks of things — Spam and then lecture me on email etiquette — as if there were such a thing? Here’s an etiquette suggestion: Abandon your phony names, do your own thinking and don’t expect everybody to share you obsessions.”Now that seems a might rude to me, especially coming from a state employee, but he then took the lowest road of all. He devoted his time to finding out exactly who this AKMuckraker is.
From: “email@example.com”And then DID blast the blogger's name all over the internet!
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2009 2:55:14 PM
Subject: your identity
**********[Identity protected by this blog]:
I am reliably told that you are the anonymous blogger who writes Mudflats. I am planning to reveal this in the enews I send to my constituents tomorrow, and am writing to let you know this and offer the opportunity to comment.
Anonymous Blogger Anonymous No MoreOur country was founded on anonymity as basic to our freedoms. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, and the US Supreme Court agrees. Sheesh, even Clarence Thomas agreed!
The identity of the person who writes the liberal Democratic Mudflats blog has been secret since the blog began, protected by the Anchorage Daily News, among others. My own theory about the public process is you can say what you want, as long as you are willing to stand behind it using your real name. So I was interested to learn that the woman who writes the blog is Anchorage resident ***************. [Once again, we retract the blogger's name.]
Anonymous whistleblowers are protected by federal and state laws. So to see an elected rep out a blogger for revenge of such a petty nature is just disgusting and despicable.
What upset me the most was this blog plog post by AKM ending with:
And with that, Mudflatters, I need to take a little time off to assess things, and take stock of how life will be changing for me and my family.Why did AKM choose anonymity? Here are that person's reasons and our own:
I might be a state employee. I might not want my children to get grief at school. I might be fleeing from an ex-partner who was abusive and would rather he not know where I am. My family might not want to talk to me anymore. I might alienate my best friend. Maybe I don’t feel like having a brick thrown through my window. My spouse might work for the Palin administration. Maybe I’d just rather people not know where I live or where I work. Or none of those things may be true.I'll add yet another reason: If you read us, over time, or just read commenters over time, you get to know that aspect of the person. Knowing our names, our skin color, our sex or sexual orientation, doesn't matter a whit.
It's our thoughts & ideas that count, and the facts that we link to to support our opinions that count. Judge us on what we write, not your preconceptions of who we are by false categories.
I'm pleased to note that AKM is back blogging:
Thank You, from AKMuckraker.Now that AKM is outed, maybe that person will run for Doogan's seat. It's not my district, but I'll contribute to the campaign.
I have to admit this has taken a bit of getting used to. I’m not one to crave the spotlight, and I generally enjoy my boring little life. So, I’m needing a little time to regroup. Thank you all for the understanding, and indulging this naturally private and introverted blogger who normally posts pretty frequently. Public figures choose a public life. Private citizens don’t necessarily choose that.
If for no other reason than this:
A Bedtime Political ParableI hope AKM & Co have sweet dreams, but "We’ll have to find out what happens, and how it ends another night."
It’s been a long time since we’ve had a good bedtime story at the Mudflats. We’re overdue. (Plumps your pillow, smooths the hair off your forehead and tucks you in. Scans the shelf and pulls out a nice hardcover) I know! Let’s have a parable.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak