E-Harassment: New Fan to ICJL Blog!
Yesterday, our newest "reader" spent 16 hours, 16 minutes, and 21 seconds on our Blog. Definitely a committed visitor!!!
Unfornately, our new "reader" has also started putting very personal comments on some messages. Perhaps this "reader" is fairly new to the Blogosphere, and doesn't appreciate the time and effort made to keeping comments and discussion civil. For example, trial attorney Evan Schaeffer's Blog Notes from the (Legal) Underground presents some very enlightened discussion about tort reform. Evan points out his opinions on the issue and people like myself, Ted Frank from Overlawyered.com, and other "legal eagles" from both sides of the debate post comments. I have even guest blogged on Schaeffer's site. Heck, even John Hopkins is now a guest columnist at The Record.
However, this new "reader" to ICJL Blog has started commenting only in very personal and demeaning ways. It reminds me of a series of e-mails over a 43-day period, in which Ed Murnane - President of ICJL and the co-contributor of this Blog - was harassed with disparaging daily e-mails. The e-mails, one of which included a picture of Ed's house, were copied to the metro-east media.
I might write a future column about Political E-stalking, but for now I'd like to just address Mr. Anonymous, the person posting flames on ICJL Blog.
The IP address for this "Anonymous" poster (188.8.131.52) is also the IP address used for the Sorry Works Coalition Newsletter (184.108.40.206), which is sent by the spokesperson for the group Victims and Families United. This is the SAME entity that sent the 43-day e-mail barrage to Ed Murnane, the SAME entity that allegedly violated the constitutional rights of Karmeier campaign volunteer Dwight Kay, and the SAME entity that is rumored to have been involved in other antics from the Karmeier-Maag campaign.
In an effort to keep this Blog from denigrating into a mere existence of comment "flames" - I'm suspending "Anonymous" comments and removing all but one of the new "readers" comments, so everyone can see the anger in it's portrayal. I enjoy receiving comments from everyone else, so I'd hate to have to fully suspend "comments" altogether (like many other organizations have).
While I've been too busy to post daily on this Blog, I feel like we've been able to provide some alternative viewpoints on legal reform issues. Our ongoing research presented here - and at ICJL.org - has even been recently cited by PointofLaw.com. We have a sizable readership (more than you'd think), and I've received much positive feedback from people (from in the Capitol to several here in the Blog comments). While this new "reader" might have lots of time on his/her hands (don't get me wrong, I'm honored by yesterday's 16+ hour visit), I don't have time to "watch" for commenting "flames" all day long, I would like to think a "babysitter" for this Blog would not be needed.
Perhaps the "reader" will provide an apology to all of you - the ICJL Blog readership - for the "commenting" rights he/she has taken away from the Blog.
I should mention that, in the past year, the following invasions into privacy and intimidation tactics have been lodged against legal reform advocates just here in Illinois:
- The digging and cataloguing of trash from a state SENATOR who favors reform
- The publication of the home telephone number of that Senator's INTERN
- The investigation of the ICJL President's 20-year-old personal business records
- The invasion and intimidation of a Karmeier campaign volunteer's family
- The electronic mail harassment of the ICJL President and the media
- The filing of a frivolous lawsuit against the Karmeier campaign manager
- The surveillance of the Karmeier campaign manager's home
- The harassment of the Karmeier campaign by a suspicious documentary crew
I guess I'm just another victim in the trail of intimidation and insults.
Perhaps the new "reader" owes a "sorry" to all of the opponents of legal reform who choose to debate this issue in a more civil manner. Sorry, he's only giving all of you a BAD name.
And, in direct response to the "reader," thank you for proving the point of yesterday's column: that a vast majority of the "independent" opponents of legal reform are - indeed - either funded, founded, hired, sponsored, supported, etc., by trial lawyers. Despite Mr. Angoff's past professional experience as Democratic Governor Mel Carnahan's Director of Insurance, he is/was in fact "hired" by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. Therefore, he doesn't represent an unbiased look at the issue. Neither does the "Anonymous" commenter on this site.
I'll now end my response to our new "reader" by photo-blogging many supporters of legal reform, expressly for the enjoyment of our new "reader." Perhaps we can extend the length of his cyber-visit beyond the 18 hour 45 minute record he/she now holds.
Finally, thank you to all of the proponents and opponents of legal reform who read our Blog without attempting to drag it into the gutter.