A new era of nasty politics replacing civility and wit
Latest Foran-Turner, Perry-Malone do-to illustrates a new landscape
By Walter Brooks
You don't have to be THAT old to recall when politics was a gentleman's sport. Many can remember a conservative, 22-year veteran Republican US Senator named Leverett Saltinstall and a liberal Democrat freshman US Senator named Jack Kennedy co:operating and jointly filing a bill to create the 30,000 square acre Cape Cod National Seashore Park for the benefits of both their constituents and the rest of America.
Today Leverett would be drummed out of the party for "fraternizing with the enemy."
Cape Cod got a bad dose of this in two items on CapeCodTODAY this morning.
First, one of our bloggers, a Joe Malone supporter, who uses the name of the Cape famous Revolutionary era heroine, Mercy Otis, challenged 1oth District Congressional candidate Jeff Perry to answer rumors about why he resigned from the Wareham Police Department in 1992, rumors which have circulated in newsrooms for years.
To his credit Mr. Perry answered the charge in a comment saying,
"The statement that I was forced to resign is completely untrue.
"Flannigan's actions were wrong, but to suggest I was disciplined or charged with anything related is 100% false. I left the department in good standing to start my own private investigation firm. If anyone wishes to review my employment file, please contact me at [email protected]."
To his discredit in the same message to my email address, Mr. Perry added this paragraph,
"If every time I post or advertise on your site, I am going to be attacked by false statements, it leaves me with the choice of creating content that allows others to freely make false statement or not post/advertise on such sites."
Apparently he believes the threat of not advertising here will affect our editorial content.
UPDATE: Mr. Perry canceled his ad on Wednesday.
Mr. Perry couldn't be more wrong.
It only whets our appetite, and moves us to suggest he shove his advertising someplace closer to home. He'd be nuts to advertise here, heck, if he did he'd only be reaching tens of thousands of voters who might otherwise never know his rather extreme, right wing positions. I'm sure his opponent hopes he fulfills that threat and leaves our two newssites to his opponent's advertising alone.
If enough people take Mr. Perry up on that challenge to email, maybe we can put this story to bed, but while that snit was probably between a GOP candidate and a GOP party member who doesn't like him. The other snit today was between the candidates from both parties seeking the same job.
Cybersquatting is a federal crime punishable by up to a $1000,000 fine
Republican Patrick Foran is challenging incumbent Democrat State Representative Cleon Turner in the 1st. Barnstable District race.
Mr. Foran discovered that someone in Turner's office had allowed his website's registration to lapse, and Foran grabbed it - even though it clearly belonged to his opponent - CleonTurner.com.
That's against federal law (see our story here), and Tuesday afternoon, when Cleon called Patrick Foran about it, Foran said he would surrender the site back to its original owner.
To follow up, we send the following email to Patrick Foran:
"I had been informed that when Cleon Turner contacted you today about this problem, you told him you would surrender the url www.cleonturner.com back to him today."
Patrick Foran wrote back:
"The issue has been resolved."
Which doesn't really answer the question I asked, and as of right now the transfer hasn't happened, but we hope it will.
In the meanwhile Mr. Foran again demonstrated his acumen, or total lack of it, by this comment of the above story today,
"Regardless of CapeCodToday's hyperbole and accusatory article, Mr. Turner and I have resolved this issue today, in a private personal phone conversation, and in a professional manner.
"It should be noted, however, that CCT, as I understand, will be developing and hosting Mr. Turners campaign website and printed this article using inside information perhaps gained due to the nature of the services provided as it is my understanding that GoDaddy does not simply provide information to any who who (sic) asks."
Mr. Foran has his facts and ethics backyard, yet again.
What he calls "hyperbole", others call facts and, in this case, he had apparently committed a federal crime.
And CapeCodTODAY does not build websites for anyone, and his so-called "private personal phone conversation" was initiated by Mr. Turner NOT by Mr. Foran, and then only when Cleon Turner discovered the apparent crime.
And, Foran is wrong again about our informant and about GoDaddy.
The information did NOT come from anyone in Mr. Turner's office - it came from Spyro Mitrokostas who apparently heard it from other politicians.
And Foran is wrong too about GoDaddy, a major website registrar, which gladly answered our questions about the misappropriation of an opponent's web domain since they clearly know the federal law on the subject better than Mr. Foran does.
Quit when you're behind, Mr. Foran.
A wiser pol would know better than to pick a fight with anyone who buys ink by the gallon. Your statements are probably losing you supporters faster than you can misstate them.
The "Party of No"
Unfortunately these appear to be typical of politics in the 21st Century, and Republican politics more than their opponents.
The GOP "Party of No" doesn't remember that the people elected them to help ALL their constituents manage the government.
They even call the government the enemy in their rhetoric - and still cash their government pay checks and use government paid Medicare, etc.
It almost seems that the blossoming of communication sources has made it all possible. Would new groups like the Tea Party, the Militias and uncounted other smaller fringe groups, have been possible without the Internet?
Probably not, and yet the web is also credited with electing our first black President.
So I guess the problem is learning to use these new toys with respect and simple, human decency.
But I won't hold my breath, only my nose.