consultants are sandburs

Friday, August 02, 2013

Another blogger in Ramsey, Brad Carlson. His belief system has little overlap with mine, and he seems to not publish minutiae of Ramsey politics.

This is notice more than recommendation, the site, and the about me.

From the photo, a Twins fan, and given things dismal these days, he should try out for a starting pitcher slot. He cannot be much worse than the younger arms appear to be.

To Carlson's credit he published more about the posting of the Laura Brod photo and the Wade and Laura Brod press release than other right leaning bloggers, stating:

To say politics is nasty business is an understatement. In an effort to thwart a political career of an individual whose political leanings one dislikes, one will resort to becoming an amateur sleuth in an effort to dig up scandalous background information on that person.

While I've seen some pretty despicable stuff in my time as a political observer, the recent character attack on former GOP state rep (and current member of the U of M Board of Regents) Laura Brod reaches a new low. Apparently somebody got a hold of a racy photo of a scantily clad Brod while she posed very provocatively while in bed.

The photo appears on a single-serve Tumblr site called "ThisIsAPictureOfLauraBrod." It first came to City Pages' attention on Monday when an anonymous email provided a link to the site. Several days later, a link to the site was tweeted out by Shawn Towle, a former DFL activist and publisher of the political site Checks And Balances.

"She's on TV speaking for the party on occasion, she sits on the Board of Regents, so she has a particular public reach," Towle told City Pages in explaining why he tweeted out the link. "And if you're going to be a moralist, and state your opinion on what you think should be happening, then when you have indiscretions I think you're fair game."

Gotta love that leftist logic. Never mind if the photo was obtained illegally and then redistributed without permission. As long as someone with whom you disagree politically is exposed as some sort of hypocrite then the ends justify the means or something.

In a joint statement released by Brod and her soon-to-be ex-husband Wade, they specifically addressed the issue with the photo.

The Brod Family loves each other, and we stand united against anyone who would seek to do us harm. Specifically, someone has posted a photo - which was illegally disseminated - on the Internet for the sole purpose of embarrassing our family and damaging our reputations. We cannot begin to explain why someone would be so mean, and so hateful. Nor can we overstate the humiliation they have caused.

As embarrassing as this entire incident is, we know the larger nightmare of harassment, cyber-stalking and privacy invasion is not unique to us, and we plan to fight back with everything we have. This matter has been referred to the FBI and we are pursuing all legal means possible to prosecute whoever is responsible for the illegal dissemination of this material.

I'm not someone who typically gets any enjoyment out of someone else's pain, regardless of how insufferable or unlikeable [sic] the person in pain appears to be. With that said, I will not shed one tear on behalf of whomever has to endure the consequences (jail or otherwise) for getting this photo out into the public domain.

Interesting - City Pages is criticized, as is the presently anonymous person who posted the thing on Tumblir. Carlson, unlike me, does not speculate what politics of direction and motivation were underlying the decision to publish. My speculation is somebody within the GOP did not like the Coleman/Brod uberPAC situation with its suggestion that some fence-straddling tell them what they want to hear Guv/Senate candidate might want a possible Brod candidacy killed in its infancy, and got an early start on things.

Whodunit? Brod knows who took the photo [hopefully the set of potential photo snappers is sufficiently small], and both of the Brods are on record as wanting to get to the heart of things; so presumably Brod is telling law enforcement what she knows. The Daily has discretely covered this story of one of the University's regents, here and here, with a focus on possible legal entanglements the publishing culprit may face; i.e., the earlier item notes:

The revealing photo, posted on a Tumblr blog Monday afternoon, shows Brod lying on a bed. A link to the blog was anonymously sent to several local media organizations, including the Minnesota Daily, Monday afternoon. The story first emerged on City Pages' website Thursday afternoon after Checks and Balances, a local political website, tweeted out a link to the photo.

In a statement first released Thursday, Brod and her husband Wade said the photo was “illegally disseminated” for the “sole purpose of embarrassing our family and damaging our reputations.”

“We cannot begin to explain why someone would be so mean, and so hateful,” the statement said. “Nor can we overstate the humiliation they have caused.”

Brod and her husband said that the larger issue of privacy invasion is not unique to them and that they are pursuing “all legal means possible to prosecute whoever is responsible for the illegal dissemination of this material.”

The end of July Daily report expands:

University law professor William McGeveran, who studies digital privacy, spoke hypothetically about internet privacy cases in an interview with the Minnesota Daily on Monday.

If private information — like a photo — is obtained through hacking, then it could be prosecuted as a federal crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, McGeveran said.

“By the way,” he said, “the crime wouldn’t actually be the posting of it then — the crime would be the way it was obtained.”

If the information wasn’t obtained illegally but was posted online without the subject’s consent, it could result in a civil lawsuit for invasion of privacy between the subject and the person who posted the content, McGeveran said.

These kinds of cases can be complex, he said, because they often deal with embarrassing information.

“It can be very hard on plaintiffs because you end up potentially bringing more attention to the private information by suing,” he said.

I'd like to sic a Watchdog on the perpetrator. Tree the perp, and bark loudly and long.

My value system does overlap with Brad Carlson's to the extent both of us would like to see due punishment metered out. I would like it to be a very public thing, while Carlson expresses no opinion that way. Carlson so far is the only GOP-leaning web publisher who has aggressively talked of identification and punishment. Others leave an impression of blind-eye wishing that the entire thing might quickly blow over into yesterday's news, with the less said now or later, the better.

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