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Florida Congressman Wants Blogging Critic Fined, Jailed

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the gov't-we-deserve-is-a-canard dept.

Censorship 549

vvaduva writes "Florida Rep. Alan Grayson wants to see one of his critics go directly to jail, all over her use of the word 'my' on her blog. In a four-page letter sent to [US Attorney General Eric] Holder, Grayson accuses blogger Angie Langley of lying to federal elections officials and requests that she be fined and imprisoned for five years. Her lie, according to Grayson, is that she claims to be one of his constituents. Langley, Grayson says, is misrepresenting herself by using the term 'my' in the Web site's name."

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549 comments

Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526326)

I am not a lawyer. From the letter [foxnews.com] the complaint seems to be divided into two parts (note that "the Committee" refers directly to MyCongressmanIsNuts.com):

As explained below, Ms. Langley and the Committee falsely represented to the Federal Election Commission that the Committee "supports or opposes more than one candidate." In fact, however, the committee name corresponds to a website that attacks me and only me, while soliciting contributions to be used against only me. Moreover, Ms. Langley has falsely depicted herself as a constituent, in order to further this scheme.

Although you may claim it's just another stupid technicality that Florida Rep. Alan Grayson clings to in order to shut down a website that is probably too painfully close to the truth for his comfort, there is another complaint other than the use of the word 'my.' Now, if you visit the about us page [mycongressmanisnuts.com] on the committee in question's site you can find:

Central Floridians formed My Congressman Is Nuts PAC as a response to the outrage and embarrassment within Central Florida over Alan Grayson's liberal positions and childish approach in Washington, D.C. We could no longer sit by and accept his inappropriate behavior and leftist big government agenda. He does not represent the values of Central Florida.

Emphasis mine. Now a key part to the argument is that since it is a PAC with pac registration [fec.gov] , it receives taxation status benefits from the government making it subject to the law of United States Code Title 18 Section 1001 [cornell.edu] .

I mean, he might have a case here if that US code applies to PACs. I'm not sure. Were I in his shoes, I would have instead taken the angle of attack related to the title line of the site which is "Alan Grayson is Nuts" and proven that I am not legally insane. Actually, I wouldn't have done anything. As Barbara Streisand might have pointed out that before this news I had never heard of nor visited My Congressman Is Nuts but now I have scanned the entire site out of curiosity.

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526394)

Childish approach? He's just mimicking the Republican Standard Operating Procedure. Yeah I can see how that's childish.

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526530)

Childish approach? He's just mimicking the Republican Standard Operating Procedure. Yeah I can see how that's childish.

I'm not sure if you're trying to say that the Democrats are no less or more childish than the Republicans (if you are, I agree with you) but you do know that he's a Democrat with, of course, a history of controversies [wikipedia.org] , right?

You seem to be confused in thinking it's "Republican Standard Operating Procedure" when in reality it's "Politician Standard Operating Procedure."

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (1, Troll)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526860)

You seem to be confused in thinking it's "Republican Standard Operating Procedure" when in reality it's "Politician Standard Operating Procedure."

Not true. Democrats have stood idly by for too long while Republicans get up in the House and make hyperbolic speeches about 'death panels' and 'socialism' while the Dems have just tried to be Mr Nice Guy in the hope that the voters will reward them. They don't. Republicans have become masters of the art of pressing the emotional buttons over and over again even if their message is laced with lies and half truths, while Democrats have tried to counter it with facts, figures, and logic. As you can see from the 2000 and 2004 elections, the voters respond much better to emotional messages (particularly the emotion known as 'fear' as Karl Rove and Dick Cheney know too well) than they do to something as mundane as logic.

All Mr Grayson is doing is what Democrats should have been doing years ago. Republicans want to talk about death panels and pulling the plug on grandma? Fine, they should be prepared to listen to the other side using the same kind of emotional language.

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526992)

All Mr Grayson is doing is what Democrats should have been doing years ago. Republicans want to talk about death panels and pulling the plug on grandma? Fine, they should be prepared to listen to the other side using the same kind of emotional language.

I typically vote for Democrats rather than Republicans because they don't do the same hyperbolic bullshit, or at least don't do it nearly as often. If they're going to start pulling this crap, then I'll henceforth start filing "voting for a Democrat" in the same category as "voting for Sarah Palin".

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30527026)

Holy shit, are your eyes really that crossed or is your brain damage that complete? I hope that some day you can step back and see exactly how incredibly backwards your statements are. I know you won't though, because you're just as blinded by ideology as the people you claim to be against. God bless you, and merry Christmas.

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (-1, Troll)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527030)

I too would like to apologize to all the dead people. I am sorry that I let Republicans kill you by depriving you of health care, and your income. I am sorry that so many stood by while Republicans cozied up to big business, allowing them to send your jobs our of the country, and helping them to smash your unions.

I'm sorry that Republicans are such cunts, and that we've done little to point out what huge cunts they are. We'll do better in the future.

It's about time that more people started saying things like this. It's our nation, and our world, on the line here.

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527040)

Republicans have become masters of the art of pressing the emotional buttons over and over again even if their message is laced with lies and half truths

What, and Democrats haven't done the same thing? Were you around for the debate on social security privatization? If you listened to them back then you'd have thought that the GOP was aiming to put America's seniors into concentration camps.

As you can see from the 2000 and 2004 elections, the voters respond much better to emotional messages (particularly the emotion known as 'fear' as Karl Rove and Dick Cheney know too well) than they do to something as mundane as logic.

And the 2008 election was immune? Barack Obama's entire campaign was one of sweeping emotion. Emotion that "change" was on the way, emotion that we'd be able to "rise above" our "petty differences", emotion that he would "transcend" race, etc, etc.

You really can't claim that the Democrats are any better. Democrats and Republicans use the same playbook. If you think any differently then you must be a partisan for one side or the other.

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (-1, Troll)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526870)

You seem to be confused in thinking it's "Republican Standard Operating Procedure" when in reality it's "Politician Standard Operating Procedure."

No, I don't buy that. When you just throw up your hands and say they're all like that you basically let the problem continue. You have to hold people and groups accountable for their actions. The current crop of people running the Republican party are repulsive in the extreme, and they've pretty much been that way since the 90's, and as bad as the Democrats can be, the Republican party is worse.

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (4, Insightful)

john82 (68332) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526792)

Childish approach? He's just mimicking the Republican Standard Operating Procedure. Yeah I can see how that's childish.

Right. Just so we're clear about this...

Democrat is to Republican as:

C) Pot is to Kettle

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526958)

Or, more likely a non-USA commentator who read "Rep. XYZ" as "Republican XYZ" instead of "Representative XYZ".

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (5, Funny)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526984)

Democrat is to Republican as:

C) Pot is to Kettle

A clearly inaccurate analogy. Everyone knows there are no black Republicans.

...

Okay, Steele, but I'm not sure he's Republican so much as he is plain nuts. *dives out window to avoid getting served with libel papers*

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (3, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527080)

That's the kind of thing a drunk guys says at a party to try to appear insightful. Actually, it's not. It's just plain stupid. A lack of diverse choice in political parties is not the same thing as having two equivalent choices.

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (1)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527082)

Right. Just so we're clear about this...

Democrat is to Republican as:

C) Pot is to Kettle

Careful! The answer is not [imgur.com] always C!

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526610)

I would have instead taken the angle of attack related to the title line of the site which is "Alan Grayson is Nuts" and proven that I am not legally insane

So when did you stop being a kiddy-fiddler? You weren't? Prove it.

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526764)

Alan Grayson is Nuts

Name calling is uncivilized and indicates that the person doing the name calling has no case and probably should not be listened to on any substantived matter. It, however, a matter of free speech.

It should be perfectly legal for me to say that Kay Bailey Hutchenson has all the attributes of a drug smuggler, if in fact she is not one. That Bush and Limbaugh are terrorists because they were,and probably continue to be part of the illegal drug trade(trade in prescription drugs without valid prescriptions is still part of that trade), and Bush has said that Drugs==Terroism. Or that Sentor Vitter supports slavery becuase he employs protetutes, and in many cases protitutes are effectively slaves.

The problem is, that as true as all these things may be, it does not actually forwarda rational dabate. So while guaranteed as a right, it isright we should learn to use wisely, and not one we waste friviously.

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526876)

Were I in his shoes, I would have instead taken the angle of attack related to the title line of the site which is "Alan Grayson is Nuts" and proven that I am not legally insane.

That's kind of like responding to the domain mycongressmanhasnuts.com by proving you're not a squirrel.

Re:Her Constituent Status Is Only Part of It (1)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526894)

It's clearly a parody web site and is protected Free Speech under the 1st Amendment. The complaint shouldn't get any further than an initial hearing and a motion to dismiss by the defendant for lack of merit.

Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526342)

Grayson [wikipedia.org] is a joke. Ignore him and maybe he'll go away.

Re:Joke (4, Interesting)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527088)

Grayson [wikipedia.org] is a joke. Ignore him and maybe he'll go away.

I've tried to ignore him, yet it's difficult when you actually live in central FL and you hear about him in the news on a weekly basis. I'm not even a republican, yet I cringe every time I hear him being interviewed- he's got an enormous ego and an even bigger mouth. He's the most annoying kind of politician- one who believes he's a populist yet no one actually likes him. Out of all of the reasonable people that democrats had running in the 2008 election for my district, we somehow ended up with a guy who can't debate without personally insulting people, refers to those who disagree with the current healthcare legislation "murderers", called a woman a "whore" on national television, etc... there's nothing professional about him. No surprise that he's trying to get some blog critical of him shut down.

Alan Grayson like a liberal Jack Thompson, only he still has power. He's a disgrace to my district, and frankly, I'm embarrassed that my neighbors in central FL were either stupid or ill-informed enough to elect him.

Yes, I said MY district.

Come get me, Mr. Grayson.

Let me be the first to toast the congressman... (0, Offtopic)

mmell (832646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526354)

with a tall glass of frosty piss!

Re:Let me be the first to toast the congressman... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526414)

I think you've confused him with Barney Frank.

Isn't slander illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526358)

I thought slander was still illegal...

Then again, there is nothing more American than lying.

Re:Isn't slander illegal? (1)

TheDarAve (513675) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526578)

That'd be true if it was slander. This is basically a political op-ed site, which is protected under the constitution. The slander against bloggers/websites has been tried before and found to be afforded the same protections as any print publication, which includes print publications by political opinion entities.

Re:Isn't slander illegal? (0, Troll)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526854)

Sorry, she's a PAC, not a blogger. She's fund raising by fraudulently claiming to by his constituent.

That's illegal.

But hey don't let the facts hit you in the ass.

Re:Isn't slander illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526944)

I don't see anywhere in the body of the article that it says he's *her* congressman. Given that, I assume the title is from the viewer's point of view, as it would be in "mycorporation.com" or "myfreecreditreport.com"

Posting anonymous because I said this in another thread and I don't want the mods.

-C. Walrus

Re:Isn't slander illegal? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30527084)

The PAC consists of three members. She isn't in the district, but the other two are in the district meaning she is in the minority.

Cliffs Notes (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526370)

So... two people acting like children, one takes it way too far?

Color me surprised. Not that it doesn't belong here, but this is less tech story and more a human story.

Re:Cliffs Notes (3, Informative)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526536)

Not that it doesn't belong here, but this is less tech story and more a human story.

I agree with you. But one interesting (somewhat) relevant aspect of this article is the fact that it was online. Does it make a difference that it was a blog? Would he have any different legal footing if she had said this on television or on the radio? The web version certainly does leave a quite tangible trace of the "crime". Finally, if anything becomes of this, will it set a precedent? These are certainly interesting topics to explore.

Oh, the irony (5, Funny)

mariox19 (632969) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526380)

According to the article, the blogger criticized the congressman for his "childish approach" towards governing.

Well, he sure showed her!

Re:Oh, the irony (1, Informative)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526674)

She's not a blogger but a former republican party official trying to raise funds to unseat Grayson.

Unfortunately, she is doing it in a fraudulent way which could be in violation of the law and land her in jail.

It's a pity when facts get in the way of a good story.

Re:Oh, the irony (3, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526796)

She's not a blogger but a former republican party official trying to raise funds to unseat Grayson.

It strikes me that she's both. I mean, that certaily looks like a blog to me...

Re:Oh, the irony (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526858)

Bloggers and policitians are now mutually exclusive groups?

Is it stated anywhere on the blog that the author is impartial? By "could be", do you mean it is, or just might be in a more restrictive country?

It's a pity when relevance gets in the way of good facts.

Re:Oh, the irony (4, Informative)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526882)

My understanding of the situation (from the discussion of this same story on Fark a day or two ago) is that the main charge isn't even misrepresenting where she lives; it's telling the FEC that her PAC raises money for many candidates while actually only raising money for one, which lets her get around donation limits.

Re:Oh, the irony (2, Insightful)

theascended (1228810) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526884)

The two (blogging and being a former R party official) are not mutually exclusive. Your assertion that she is being fraudulent is purely conjecture... just like Grayson's.

It's a pity when sanity gets in the way of a good political snipe.

Streissand effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526382)

Streissand effect much?

Seriously, this isn't going to work, at worst they'll change the name of the blog, except this time tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people will know about it instead of the relatively few that probably knew about it before. Is it really worth it? Wow.

welcome to China^h^h^h^h^hUSA (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526388)

Where political speech can land you in jail.

I call bullshit (0, Troll)

guspasho (941623) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526390)

The linked article is by Fox News, the media arm of the Republican party. That alone should make you question every word of the article.

Re:I call bullshit (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526666)

Why? Should anything the New York Times reports on a Republican also be assumed to be false? Don't be so intellectually lazy.

Re:I call bullshit (3, Interesting)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526898)

Why? Should anything the New York Times reports on a Republican also be assumed to be false? Don't be so intellectually lazy.

New York Times != Democratic equivalent of Fox News.

MSNBC might be a bit closer, but then again I can't think of who their equivalent of Glenn Beck is.

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526972)

Hmmm... how about... yes (kidding, sorta): http://www.slate.com/id/2082741/

I never assume that any single source is telling all of the truth, all of the time. Beyond that, I also assume that even if the article is the truth, that it has bias.

Re:I call bullshit (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526684)

As opposed to material that should be read unquestioningly?

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526686)

The linked article is by Fox News, the media arm of the Republican party. That alone should make you question every word of the article.

I'm a republican, and although I enjoy watching Fox News... One should always take such television stations with a critical view.

At least they can't get as crazy as talk radio. Now that's a source that you need to be 100% skeptical of.

Re:I call bullshit (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526720)

What about Glenn Beck? My cable system bills him as a talk radio host.

Once in a while I tune in and see how long it takes him to say something stupid or confused. I am never disappointed.

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526762)

It appears you have attempted to make a right-leaning post. Your internet credentials have been downgraded. Your access is now confined to sending email forwards to your relatives and coworkers that accuse government officials of being terrorists.

Have a nice day,
The Management

Re:I call bullshit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526700)

The linked article is by any news organization, the media arm of the one party or another. That alone should make you question every word of the article.

FTFY

Really -- you'd just accept MSNBC, CNN, or ABC at face value? If so, go to: http://www.guspashoisnuts.com/ [guspashoisnuts.com]

Re:I call bullshit (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526722)

If you prefer, this [orlandosentinel.com] and this [cfnews13.com] predate the Fox story by several days.

Re:I call bullshit (2, Insightful)

the_macman (874383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526740)

Yay. I'm with you on this one. At the moment Rep Alan Grayson is a champion of truth, justice, etc etc. All the qualities you'd actually LIKE to see in a congressional representative. So I was a bit surprised when I read the headline. Then I clicked the link and realized it went to foxnews.com. Fox News has been trying to paint Rep. Grayson as a nutjob for a LONG time. He gets in the way of their agenda.

First line FTFA

My, my, my. Florida Rep. Alan Grayson wants to see one of his critics go directly to jail -- all over her use of the word "my."

A bit sensionalist don't ya think. I bet halfway through the article it talks about how he wants to kill babies and eat their brains. Well I chuckled, closed the link, and moved on.

Nothing to see here folks.

Re:I call bullshit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526778)

The linked article is by Fox News, the media arm of the Republican party. That alone should make you question every word of the article.

Well vs. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, PBS etc...

I guess since the ratings speak for themselves, to quote Chris Pine as Kirk "Why don't you get a few more guys and the fight will be fair."

When has Fox ever falsified anything? CBS and CNN anyone?! I would acknowledge that Fox has a large number of Conservative commentators. That is commentary.
Since all you watch is mainstream media, I should cut you some slack, since they don't know the difference either.

Re:I call bullshit (4, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526812)

Please enlighten us on what news source is not biased? Every professional news source is in the news management business as opposed to the news reporting business.

Re:I call bullshit (4, Funny)

berashith (222128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526822)

When are you liberals going to learn ... the republican party is the political wing of Fox News.

Aren't all voters constituents in a sense? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526404)

I've always been bothered by the idea that voters who elect representative officials are limited to talking to just those officials on matters that have national scale and scope... in other words, just about everything the federal government does.

I mean, why shouldn't I as a citizen of the state of Abstraction be able to ask the Senator from the state of Facts to vote for a proposal that is in the best interests of the American people?
g=

Re:Aren't all voters constituents in a sense? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526878)

You can but they tend not to read you letters or return your calls since they are only beholding to the people who actually elect them.

Hence the term, Representative.

The question, really, is this: (4, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526406)

Is lying, in a political context, a crime? If the Vice President lies about wmd in Iraq, is that a crime? If Monsanto lies about their political contributions, is that a crime? If a blogger lies about her relationship with a Congressman, is that crime?

Re:The question, really, is this: (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526652)

Lying in a political context is hard to prosecute, unless it rises to the level of libel, which has a pretty high bar for public officials, and an even higher bar for political speech about public officials.

Lying on forms filed with the government is illegal, though, under a blanket "don't lie to the government" law. The jail part of the complaint seems to be for allegedly misrepresenting the PAC on the filing documents with the FEC: the filed documents claim the PAC isn't aimed at any particular opponent, but the website clearly is aimed at one opponent.

Re:The question, really, is this: (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527078)

Lying in a political context is hard to prosecute

Otherwise, the entire legislative and executive branches would be in jail ;-)
     

Re:The question, really, is this: (4, Interesting)

CrazedWalrus (901897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526772)

Besides, the domain name makes sense from a different context: the viewer's. When a viewer in his district goes there, it would be ostensibly be *their* congressman. It's like "MyFreeCreditReport.com" or "MyCorporation.com" or whatever. They're not claiming ownership -- they're offering service for the viewer, with a name relative to the viewer.

Should we sue Intuit because they're claiming ownership of corporations created at mycorporation.com?

Re:The question, really, is this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526866)

What she's doing wrong is claiming to be an issue group when she's actually attacking a specific congressman. The whole "My" thing is a smokescreen that Faux News is focusing on so people don't see that the real problem here is that the Repugnicans are funding these little astroturf groups to go after each Democrat, and so help their Repugnican opponents in 2010 - funneling money into these groups and pretending that they are *not* funneling soft money into campaigns.

Re:The question, really, is this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526914)

What's a crime is putting this in the company of lies over political contributions by a major corporation or lies from the VP about wmd in Iraq.

This is not the same. This is a blogger who frames their speech in the context of being a constituent of someone who represents the district nearby.

Re:The question, really, is this: (4, Funny)

Tangential (266113) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527032)

If we are going to treat lying as a crime (and IMHO breaking campaign promises is clearly lying) then there are going to be a whole lot of people going to jail. I foresee lots of openings in Washington. I won't name any names, but there would be 435 vacancies in the House of Representatives, 100 in the Senate and 2 in the Executive Branch.

This guy is an idiot and an embarassment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526440)

Just Google him and look at his moronic attention-seeking antics. He's a wannabe Trafficant, and there is no story here.

Streisand.... (-1, Troll)

18_Rabbit (663482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526460)

While I generally like Rep. Grayson because he doesn't roll over and take it in the ass from the republicans like most democrats do, in this case he's going to end up streisanding this wingnut blogger.

Re:Streisand.... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526750)

The fact that she's a wingnut, either right or left, doesn't enter into it. Even Rush deserves freedom of sppech (and to be ridiculed for his speech).

Many of my views are liberal/progressive, many are conservative, most are pretty libertarian, but this guy needs to be voted out. IMO nobody that wants any form of censorship should be in government.

Re:Streisand.... (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527086)

So now stopping someone from lying about what their PAC is for, to get tax exempt money, is censorship? I'm with you on freedom of speech, but Grayson isn't aruging against the mean words on the site, it's the fact that she's breaking campaign finance laws.

While Grayson can be entertaining (3, Interesting)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526472)

He can also be a jackass. Jail for a website?

If only congress had people like him who were standing up on the right side of the issues. This and other comments (health care == Holocaust??) show he's a nut.

*sarcasm* Thanks Florida.

Re:While Grayson can be entertaining (3, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526986)

health care == Holocaust??

No, but denying health care to people resulting in the deaths of thousands sounds pretty close to me.

You know what's gonna happen? This profit-over-human-life doctrine is eventually going to be abolished, and it will be remembered in the future the way slavery is remembered now. A small number of special interests and their hillbilly followers thought it was a great idea at the time, but eventually peoples' values changed and the full extent of the suffering and loss of life became clear.

BTW, his use of the word 'holocaust' was entirely appropriate. 'Holocaust' is not a word that has been reserved exclusively for the Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis. If people are dying in their hundreds every day at the hands of profit making health insurance extortionists, then to call it a holocaust is putting it fucking mildly.

Grayson should be impeached (1, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526494)

Also, she should sue him for civil rights violations; specifically, her first amendment rights. This man has no place in government (TFA didn't say if he's a federal congresscritter or a state guy)

He apologized in October for calling a female adviser to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke a "whore."

She should sue for slander. Get this guy out of government and into the poorhouse!

Re:Grayson should be impeached (-1, Redundant)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526712)

It's political speech aimed at fund raising. There are laws that govern that.

She's a former republican party official trying to raise funds to unseat Grayson.

Unfortunately, she is doing it in a fraudulent way which could be in violation of the law and land her in jail.

It's a pity when facts get in the way.

Re:Grayson should be impeached (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527050)

Those laws are widely expected to be struck down [wikipedia.org] as a violation of the First Amendment in the next month or two, though. Cases like this seem to be one of the better arguments for the "strike them down" side. I'm not a big fan of corporate money influencing politics, but throwing someone in jail because they're a "former republican party official" with an anti-Congressman blog seems pretty repugnant to free-speech principles.

Re:Grayson should be impeached (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527074)

It's political speech aimed at fund raising. There are laws that govern that.

Yes the First Amendment governs that.

She's a former republican party official trying to raise funds to unseat Grayson. Unfortunately, she is doing it in a fraudulent way which could be in violation of the law and land her in jail.

Fraudulent how exactly? By using typical political tactics to pull support her way? Sounds like this is par for the political course then, and that the one already in power is trying to silence her.

Re:Grayson should be impeached (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526836)

He's in the house of representatives in the 8th district of Florida.

Clear Submission Bias (-1, Flamebait)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526498)

And OF COURSE, /. forgets to add "D-Fla" to the Reps name.

Anyone think, even for a second, if Grayson was "R-Fla" that it would have been missed?

Yeah, didn't think so.

This is what conservatives and libertarians mean when we are talking about "liberal bias" in the media. Those soft, subtle things used to quietly tweak the story to emphasize or de-emphasize precisely the point of view the writer wants his or her readers to end up with after reading the story.

Interestingly, TFA is from Fox News, which pretty much NEVER fails to note the party of a political official in a scandal, regardless of the party they are in, including this one.

Nice omission there /.

Re:Clear Submission Bias (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526640)

I know brother, Thankfully it is not nearly the level of Bias on MS "Text my blackberry please" [newsbusters.org] NBC.

Media should be Ashamed, They always yelled about people receiving Republican marching orders of some sort, While they have been doing it. thou dost protest too much, methinks I would love to get me some of those marching orders from the Republicans because that would mean they actually are not in shambles and chaotic.

Re:Clear Submission Bias (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526672)

Interestingly, TFA is from Fox News, which pretty much NEVER fails to note the party of a political official in a scandal, regardless of the party they are in, including this one.

Right, Fox News just lies [mediamatters.org] about what party the scandal-ridden politicians belong to.

Seriously, after they repeatedly represented scandal-ridden Republicans as Democrats, and misrepresented footage from previous events as being from more recent ones (tea parties, Palin book signings) to make crowds look larger than they actually were, I don't know how anyone can hold up Fox News as a paragon of journalistic integrity anymore. And please don't trot out the old tired argument that "everyone else is just as bad or worse". The fact is Fox News routinely does this sort of thing, and acting like they're in any way "fair and balanced" is just absurd.

Re:Clear Submission Bias (-1, Troll)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526956)

Media Matters?

Seriously? The George Soros funded Leftist political apparatchik site? You expect ANYONE to take you seriously when you quote THEM?

Buwaaaa haa haa ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaa.... *whew*! now THAT was funny!

Re:Clear Submission Bias (1, Insightful)

Virak (897071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526704)

And when there was the story a little while back about the Republican who raped his daughters and was trying to censor news about it where Slashdot didn't mention his political affiliation, that was a clear example of Evil Liberal Bias too, right?

If this is what you mean when you're talking about "liberal bias" then it's no wonder everyone looks at you like you're a paranoid lunatic.

Re:Clear Submission Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526998)

Link?

Re:Clear Submission Bias (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526760)

Everything has a bias to it. Slashdot has a libertarian leaning bias, Dailykos has a left bias and Fox News is right leaning. It is the reader's job to look critically at what other people say and decide for themselves regardless of the political slant. As for leaving off the D-fla next to his name, I'd say that you could look at it two ways: 1) a party shouldn't be singled out in media or 2) party affiliation is irrelevant; the conduct of a particular congress critter is what is important. Mostly I'd say that 2) is most correct as much of the problem in politics is that people mindlessly vote along party lines eg. republicans/democrats as a whole are evillll instead of crosscritter X is specifically an arsehat. It's irrational.

Re:Clear Submission Bias (1)

carrolljim (412715) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526830)

Actually, Fox News does occassionally omit the partisian labels, and even switches them (http://mediamatters.org/blog/200906240026 [mediamatters.org] - assumedly this is inadvertant, although folks more suspicious than I tend to infer malacious intent). That doesn't make the omission here any better, of course.

It's fair to say there has been a severe lack of civility on both sides of the aisle, highlighted mostly on the Republican side, I think (Cheney telling Leahy to Go F__k himself, the rep who shouted "you lie" during the presidential address, etc), although Rep. Grayson clearly enjoys lowering the standards himself.

Re:Clear Submission Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526960)

Well, Fox News apparently forgot Mark Foley was a Republican, and listed him as Mark Foley (D-FL). Same for the Republican governor of South Carolina after his affair.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/24/fox-news-identifies-sanfo_n_220377.html [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:Clear Submission Bias (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527048)

And OF COURSE, /. forgets to add "D-Fla" to the Reps name.

Anyone think, even for a second, if Grayson was "R-Fla" that it would have been missed?

Yeah, didn't think so.

This is what conservatives and libertarians mean when we are talking about "liberal bias" in the media. Those soft, subtle things used to quietly tweak the story to emphasize or de-emphasize precisely the point of view the writer wants his or her readers to end up with after reading the story.

Interestingly, TFA is from Fox News, which pretty much NEVER fails to note the party of a political official in a scandal, regardless of the party they are in, including this one.

Nice omission there /.

Are you fucking kidding me? Fox 'News' can be relied on to mislabel a Republican [mediamatters.org] involved in a scandal with a D almost every time the story breaks.

Worthless (-1, Offtopic)

Shadow7789 (1000101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526508)

Maybe it's just me, but I felt like the author just looked up "Operating Systems" on Wikipedia and picked out the ones he liked. I mean really, Windows ME? We all know it sucked, but it wasn't in the last decade, and making a "exception" for it just makes the author sound uninformed.

Huh? (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526626)

Methinks you posted in the wrong submission thread.

Re:Huh? (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526690)

I dunno - he did mention Windows ME. Me, my - I think Shadow7789 is looking at some hard time in the near future.

What law? (1)

eWarz (610883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526510)

I'm sorry, I must be dumb. Someone please explain to me, exactly WHAT law is she breaking? I read the complaint.

Thou shall not critize a member of Congress (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526748)

I am pretty sure the FCC is headed that way. Congress would just as likely modify their Congressional Incumbents Protection Act (McCain/Feingold) to keep any criticism of a sitting Congressman. Why not, its not like they care what you think until its time to vote.

It all comes down to arrogance not seen since the late 1700s in France. The "ruling" class while "elected" has no problem in engineering a system by which they cannot be criticized (see McCain/Feingold) but will change laws to prevent people from voting against them (redistricting - Voter Rights Act - not prosecuting thugs at election sites - philly).

Grayson is an embarrassment to his district, but like voters in Louisiana proved, money in the freezer does not mean your guilty, just stupid. Remember all Congressmen and bad except yours.

Re:What law? (-1, Troll)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526832)

http://wdbo.com/localnews/2009/12/grayson-files-complaint-agains.html#more [wdbo.com]

Kind of helps to read, doesn't it.

But I guess if you want to swallow whole, "Florida Congressman Wants Blogging Critic Fined, Jailed," as the truth, especially the "blogger critic" part, as opposed to "Former Republican Party Official using Web Site to Raise Funds to Unseat Representative," then you must be a Fox News viewer.

PACs have to play by the rules (2, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526534)

She can say (just about) whatever she wants as a private citizen--constituent or not, but if she's taking political contributions as a PAC, she needs to play by the already much-too-lose campaign finance laws.

MySpace? (1, Interesting)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526632)

So if she can go to jail for using that particular name on a site, can I go to jail for having a MySpace page? What about MyYahoo? MyWay?

Of course. (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526788)

After all, have you ever clicked on "My Computer"? Y'know, that's just Billy G's way of letting you know who's computer it really is!

My, my, my!

Re:MySpace? (-1, Flamebait)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526904)

Hey Jackass. Read the Complaint.

http://wdbo.com/localnews/2009/12/grayson-files-complaint-agains.html#more [wdbo.com]

She was claiming to be his constituent, when in fact she was not. She was doing this while fund raising.

That's illegal.

Re:MySpace? (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527060)

Wow...thanks for that. Another delicately worded reply to a redundant link with absolutely no new information . As far as I can tell from the website provided in your link, the only time she infers she's a constituent is in the name of the site.

I'd like Americans to remember... (1)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526662)

Whenever an elected official does something silly like this, remember that we elected these people. We've no one but ourselves (and/or our idiot neighbors) to blame.

Surpise! Fox has misrepresented facts. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30526856)

I know Fox makes it sounds like some DEMOCRAT wants a CONSERVATIVE web site taken down because they used the word "my", but thats simply not true.

The letter was written to claim that Ms Langley requested permission to create a non-partisan voter education committee for her district. However, the webpage that represents this committee is clearly not bipartisan and falsely claims to originate from the district in question. It is illegal and considered tax fraud to do this.

I really hope I don't find many more headline stories that are from Fox's falsification/opinionation version of news. I like slashdot.

Thanks for the clarification. . . (3, Interesting)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526990)

Now I remember why I almost never read/watch Fox news. I was scratching my head wondering what the connection is between a domain name, and lieing to the Federal Elections Commission. Last time I checked, a DNS registration is not submitted to the FEC.

Reading that statement, I knew there had to be more to this story, but good luck getting it from Fox News. They must really think everyone is stupid (or maybe they just *don't* care about non-stupid people - we aren't in their demographic, I guess).

Quoting Fox News on slashdot (2, Funny)

Stevious (73794) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526892)

priceless.

Likely reason (1, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30526954)

I suspect that a not-so-technically-savvy politician got pissed at the blog contents and then turned to his lawyer and said in a huff: "Find some way to shut that [bleeping] blog down! I don't care how you do it, just find a way."

The result is a bunch of silly lawsuit claims that have a slight chance of tying up the blog and blogger for a while.

I wonder... (1, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527018)

If I called Rep. Grayson "My least favourite douchebag", would that get me in trouble? Or perhaps "My personal definition of an asshat"?

I wonder what got into the people of Florida to elect such a pathetic waste of oxygen. Clearly this guy isn't qualified to run a fast food joint, much less make decisions affecting the lives of thousands of people. Maybe everybody will get lucky and he'll drown from looking up too long during a rainstorm.

Website no longer necessary (3, Informative)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30527044)

Langley criticizes Grayson on her Web site for his "inappropriate behavior" and "childish approach" toward governing, and claims he "does not represent the values of central Florida." Grayson has pretty much made her case for her with this inappropriate and childish attack on her web site. The term "Streisand Effect" also comes to mind. I hope mycongressmanisnuts.com carries advertising, 'cause this dick move is going to drive a metric shitload of traffic to the site!
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