Pshaw, we’ve been doing that at Peach Pundit for years

Apparently, its now legal to engage in anonymous political speech.

I like Bill Simon’s take:
Now, the media-types at the AJC (Downey, Tucker, Bookman, King) are worried sick because, all of a sudden, their monopoly on false statements and inaccurate viewpoints will lose the value it once had.

What is really disturbing about the above article is the number of elected officials who voted for the bill who said they had no idea that it would change the rule. Maybe we need a constitutional amendment to limit the number of bills each house of the General Assembly can pass in a single day. Then they won’t hurriedly pass 400 bills on Sine Die.

Going back to anonymous speech, I think it has a place, but its place is very limited in scope. Most anonymous political speech is nasty trash talk that serves no purpose. See any comment on this forum by “boyreporter” or “GodHatesTrash”. They are anonymous chicken-s–ts who would never dare post what they post under their real names.

You should see what I originally had to say about the General Assembly in the 3rd paragraph. I might have said it anonymously, but I decided that name calling and stereotyping was not something I considered appropriate to post under my real name (I’ll post it under my anonymous handle “Icarus”).

I’ve got more respect for Bobby Kahn, SpaceyG and Chris Huttman, people who I strongly disagree with politically, for using their real names or identifying themselves than I do for the people whose politics I share yet hide their identity.

55 comments

  1. griftdrift says:

    “Now, the media-types at the AJC (Downey, Tucker, Bookman, King) are worried sick because, all of a sudden, their monopoly on false statements and inaccurate viewpoints will lose the value it once had.”

    What about Wooten?

  2. To hide behind a name is merely agreeing that either what you are advocating is incorrect, or that you just do not care enough about what you are saying.

    We have these people in Dodge County, and I’ll assume everywhere, who will tell you one thing then go ‘cross the street and sit in their house knowing what they told you isn’t how they feel. But they hide behind a public facade, because they are too afraid of what people might say or that they will be proven wrong. I call ’em spineless.

    It’s easy to hide behind a name no one knows and throw rocks, because who cares if that name gets brusied – but it takes courage to stand up for you believe with your own name on the line. People ought to be held more accountable for the things they say than they are now anyway. It’s not like all our politicans run around saying one thing only to reneg on it a few years later.

  3. Progressive Dem says:

    Most anonymous political speech is nasty trash talk that serves no purpose. See any comment on this forum by “boyreporter” or “GodHatesTrash”. They are anonymous chicken-s–ts who would never dare post what they post under their real names.

    Does this only go for the few liberal anonymous posters on Peach Pundit, or does it pertain to the vast number of right-wing anonymous posters at this site, too?

  4. Three Jack says:

    the problem with regulating speech, especially that of a political nature, is you end up with over zealous pols passing ridiculous restrictions like mccain – feingold.

    congratulations to senator wiles for working to reverse restrictions on political speech.

  5. Doug Deal says:

    Three,

    The Dems now call that McFourMoreYearsOfBush – Feingold.

    Chris,

    I have to defend boy and GHT. If you do not like what they say, or think it is not factual, then correct them. Eliminating anonymous speech, as you suggest, means that you would have thought the Federalist papers illegal. The very documents supporting the adoption of the constitution crafted by those authors what now protects our freedom of speech.

    If the people who proposed the Constitution saw no harm in anonymous political speech, what do you think the original intent of the Constitution and Bill of Rights was?

    People who claim to desire freedom are all too often exposed by their love of the force of government against things they oppose.

  6. Andre Walker says:

    Farris,

    You make a very good point.

    It does take, as my favorite state Representative Alisha Thomas Morgan would say, more “guts” to sign your name to something than it does to hide behind a computer screen using a not-so-creative pseudonym.

    Personally, I believe John Wiles’ anonymous political speech law should be number one on the agenda when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.

    I’d like to know who’s paying for these mailers, robo calls, yard signs and other political paraphernalia so that if they start telling lies, the public can hold them accountable.

  7. Grift,

    Writing with a Pen Name before the digital age and writing with one now are a little different. If I signed up with a new name, let’s say “Horris Brimley” and began hurtling insults at people there would be little to stop me.

    I seem to recall there being a right to free speech, not a right to hide behind false names. I will admit pen names have been important throughout history, but the internet is a different beast – furthermore, I can’t see a purpose for mudsliinging to be shrouded in secrecey. If you are going to take a candidate/policy down, why would you need to hide if you are right? It seems to me that this will encourage unwarranted claims aganist people who may not deserve them.

  8. griftdrift says:

    Nothing to stop you. Just as there is nothing to stop people from judging you based on your content. Just as they’ve judged boyreporter and GOPeach. System works. The anonymous people on the internet thing is a sideshow that some “real namers” like to try to use as a scarlet letter for the rest of us.

  9. See, that I can understand. I just can’t wrap my mind on the benefit of being able to send out political literature/phone calls/etc. with purely a brandname, unless that name was associated with some well known person.

  10. Chris says:

    Doug,

    I didn’t say it should be illegal. I’m saying its bad form and leads to a much more gutter style of politics.

  11. Three Jack says:

    chris, how could anonymity lead to more gutter politics? according to most reports, we are living through the dirtiest, nastiest, campaign in american history.

  12. drjay says:

    Ronald Daniels // Sep 15, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I guess I just miss the benefit of being anonymous.

    for strictly mudslinging it is probably pretty lame to be anonymous–but-if you fear for some sort of retribution from your county sherriff, or you are in a sensitive position but feel compelled to speak out and don’t want your relative that works in the, insert state agency here, office to be outed or something like that anonymous speech in the political arena does not seem so so shady

  13. Chris says:

    About as Real as “Steve Perkins”.

    Everyone knows “Steve Perkins” is just one of Sheppie’s many aliases. Like “Bill Simon” and “Chris Farris”

  14. Rpolitic says:

    Everyone knows who I am and I can tell you that even recently I have been threatened by folks about making a living if I continue to talk about certain companies, campaigns etc..

    I have not yet come to my decison, I still have to pay the mortgage, etc…

    Oh and as someone who was arrested on conpspiracy to violate the former law, conspiracy not that I did anything, I can tell you it is a dangerous thing since you never know who will use the law to for political revenge.

  15. StevePerkins says:

    The Communists in the UN trying to put fluoride in our packets!

    We can’t allow them to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids!

    (and I thought Shep was one of YOUR sockpuppets)

  16. Chris says:

    Nope, I’m just another Sheppie sock puppet like you and Bill Simon.

    I’m told that Marc Roundtree is really just BJ Van Gundy’s stage name. Earl Erheart is just a compilation of several house members and Eric Johnson is a space alien.

    The bigger question is has Sarah Palin shot Bull Moose, and thats why he doesn’t post here anymore?

  17. There is no more “Sheppie.” Only “Cobb…………”

    But really, I’m just a sock puppet of Bull Moose. He’s the one pulling all of the strings of me, Farris, Simon, etc.

    On a serious note, will this law let some developer dump $5,000,000 in a county commission election or two to make sure they did favorable rezonings without having to disclose they were behind the independent expenditure?

  18. Chris says:

    3J:

    I’m sure its probably easier to just buy a few county commissioners than to pay all the lawers and engineers to do it by the book.

  19. GOPeach says:

    Tucker & Bookman have ZERO credibility!

    I have caught them in umtold false statements and inaccurate viewpoints .

    When I see ANYTHING with their names on it, I quickly toss it in the pile papers used for :

    a). Lining the bird cage
    b). Packing up breakables
    c). Covering the table so we can eat watermelon

    Yep those are the best things to do with Tucker & Bookman articles.

  20. GOPeach says:

    Chris –

    GOPeach does NOT post nasty trash talk !!!!!!

    Most of the time I am kidding with you fellas! 🙂
    I get a chuckle and a very large grin out of your replys….. ” Peach is yadah yadah yadah” …

    I am such a sweet lady who has slaved in the GA GOP when NOBODY had the valiancy to do so. Most of you boys have NO idea what it is like being a voice crying in the wilderness ( aka Blue State).

    No Chris, Baby – I am not nasty… I am just “old-school” honest!

  21. GOPeach says:

    Posting on the Front Page is good for Sheppie’s claim to fame but in reality – where it counts…..

    Cobb Needs someone to give a rats fanny about unseating a liberal State House Representative who voted to raise taxes 9 times in the last session!

    Looks like Sheppie needs to spend time caring about his neighborhood – getting POSTING yard signs up that will unseat that zombie.

  22. Chris says:

    Cobb Needs someone to give a rats fanny about unseating a liberal State House Representative who voted to raise taxes 9 times in the last session!

    Which RINO is that?

  23. Game Fan says:

    I could always go back to my real name “Dorabill” which I forgot what it was at the time. Never one of these “multi personality” type bloggers. Sometimes they slip up and respond under a different name. Happened with a Romney supporter I think along with some “Ron Paul supporters” who were just there to create racial or religious havoc. Of course the damage was done. I can never look at a Jesuit the same any more.

  24. GOPeach says:

    Chris Angel –

    Sheppie’s State House is Representative is a Democrat!!! That’s right a DEMOCRAT!!!

    Sheppie spends so much time and energy trying to be important at The RNC …. yet he can not work to UNSEAT a Liberal Democrat.

    Sheppie -or – Sheepish? … You decide!

  25. Chris says:

    So, we all worked to elect a liberal democrat to governor two years ago.

    There are lots of liberal democrats who will never be unseated. I’m not gonna fault Jason for not peeing into the wind.

  26. Tea Party says:

    Dateline Dunwoody:

    During the last three years I posted using this nom de plume regularly on GoDeKalb.com and occasionally here.

    Y’all patiently listened to my concerns about the incorporation, and now many of those concerns must be dealt with by the new city council.

    During the heated Dunwoody political process I got to meet a good many pol operatives mentioned here, and others below the radar. In the end I ‘outted’ myself from my pen name, because the ‘insiders’ at GoDeKalb.com pretty much had already done so. Anonymity is overrated on blogs, folks.

    Though, I admire Sen. Wiles for coming out early on in the Dunwoody incorporation to encourage Sen. Weber to, ‘…tell your people this is going to cost more…’, which Dan did do, this is a bad law.

    Point is, the only folks that seem to be expressing support on Sen. Wiles cleverly drafted legislation are folks in the business of politics, pol operatives.

    Having listened to all the points on this topic, from previous posts, and this one, I maintain the few benefits of anonymity in mailers is grossly overshadowed by the potential and probable BS that will occur with false information, days before the election event.

    As to blog anonomity, it is a whole lot less secure than one might think. Carefully triangulating realtime statements and blog world statements often reveal who the poster is without any technical means.

    Freedom of speech is not perpetuated by allowing ones’ pol operatives to bash each other prior to an election. If one has to rely on pol ops for their news, one deserves what they get.

    Max Lehmann

  27. Bill, I was speaking in the hypothetical. The point is whether is the stopping point? In today’s day and age, should it be $5,000 or $50,000? What is the drawing line?

    The election you originally brought this up in is one where someone (Bill McKinney) spent more than $5,000 and was prosecuted for it.

  28. I never meantioned slander and he wasn’t prosecuted for slander. He was prosecuted for not disclosing. He was also distrbuting signs, built a website, and other activities.

    Like I have told a lot of people, getting a slander judgment when you are a public figure, even a limited purpose public figure, is darn near impossible. If you want to be in politics, you just have to realize it comes with the territory and suck it up. The more of a leader you are, whether as a party leader, a candidate or an elected official, the more likely you will have people saying untrue things about you.

  29. Chris says:

    EXCLAMATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! will get Cynde elected. You don’t need Sheppie, who is busy protecting use from those damn ruskies.

  30. You know, I remember back in the day when George Grindley and I would be out until 4AM putting up yard signs when some Democrat named “Terry Johnson” was running to try to unseat him. That was 8 years ago now. How time flies.

    Terry might have won that one, but only two year later, I was able to help Ginger Collins beat him for the state senate.

    Sweet revenge.

    And there was GoPeach, and her alter-ego, GoPeachHere…oh wait…they weren’t there. Nevermind.

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