From: Kelly Walters [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2009 11:32 AM
To: Rep_Bob_Buch@legis.state.ak.us; 'Sen. Lesil McGuire'
Subject: Punish Mike Doogan
Representative Buch and Senator McGuire,
I am extremely disturbed by the actions of your colleague Representative Mike Doogan. Doogan’s outing of Mudflats is extremely unethical and probably illegal. That he used state resources-legislative email account, state time, his constituent email list, etc. justifies the legislature taking prompt action against him.
The right to anonymity is critical to political discourse and plays an important role in checking our politicians. Anonymous communications have an important place in our political and social discourse. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that the right to anonymous free speech is protected by the First Amendment. A much-cited 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission reads:
Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.
The tradition of anonymous speech is older than the United States . Founders Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers under the pseudonym "Publius," and "the Federal Farmer" spoke up in rebuttal. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized rights to speak anonymously derived from the First Amendment.
The right to anonymous speech is also protected well beyond the printed page. Thus, in 2002, the Supreme Court struck down a law requiring proselytizers to register their true names with the Mayor's office before going door-to-door.
These long-standing rights to anonymity and the protections it affords are critically important for the Internet. As the Supreme Court has recognized, the Internet offers a new and powerful democratic forum in which anyone can become a "pamphleteer" or "a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox."
This country was founded on: Life, Liberty , and the Pursuit of Happiness. It really boils down to this:
The Supreme Court opinion is righteous and rooted in precedent and history. Representative Mike Doogan was irresponsible, unethical, illegal and blatantly wrong in his callous disregard for anonymous free speech. His ill-thought action is rooted in malice and envy and demonstrates he is absolutely and unquestionably unfit for public office.
This is an extremely urgent and important non-partisan legislative issue. It requires the highest and swiftest punishment that can be dealt to a sitting legislator.
Please demand the immediate resignation of Representative Mike Doogan.
image - Doogan and Bud