Saturday, March 28, 2009

What Doogan Did and What Alaska's Progressive Bloggers Hope to Do

What Alaska Rep. Mike Doogan (D - Spenard) Did:

1. He lied. In his email to constituents and others, from March 27th, he wrote:

The identity of the person who writes the liberal Democratic Mudflats blog has been secret since the blog began, protected by the Anchorage Daily News, among others. My own theory about the public process is you can say what you want, as long as you are willing to stand behind it using your real name.

For several years, Mike Doogan knew the identity of Anchorage Daily News figure "Alaska Ear." During several of those years, Doogan worked near that person, while that person was anonymous. Many people attempted to find out who that anonymous person was. Doogan, who was also then a writer for the Anchorage Daily News, helped protect that person's anonymity. Alaska Ear, every week, hundreds and hundreds of times, commented on politicians in ways that anonymously criticized Alaska political figures.

Yet Doogan wrote to a constituent yesterday, "I don’t believe in anonymity in the political area. It’s too much like people wearing sheets and hoods for my taste." Did Doogan out Alaska Ear? No. did he protect Alaska Ear's anonymity? Yes.

2. He may have broken Federal Law:

Anonymous speech over the internet is entitled to First Amendment protection. Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (1997).

Anonymous internet speech in blogs or chat room in some instances can become the modern equivalent of political pamphleteering. McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm’n, 514 U.S. 334 (1995)

Many participants in cyberspace discussions employ pseudonymous identities. For better or worse, then the audience must evaluate a speaker’s ideas based on her words alone. This unique feature of the internet promises to make public debate in cyberspace less hierarchical and discriminatory than in the real world. Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky, Silencing John Doe: Defamation & Discourse in Cyberspace, 49 Duke L.J. 855, 896 (2000).

3. He may have broken Alaska Law:

A legislator or legislative employee may not use government assets for his/her own, or another person"s, private benefit, for a non-legislative purpose or for partisan political purposes. Government funds, buildings, equipment, and services should not be treated as the personal possessions of legislators or legislative employees.
AS 24.60.030(a)(2)

Sec. 11.56.850. Official misconduct.
(a) A public servant commits the crime of official misconduct if, with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or deprive another person of a benefit, the public servant
(1) performs an act relating to the public servant's office but constituting an unauthorized
exercise of the public servant's official functions, knowing that that act is unauthorized; or
(2) knowingly refrains from performing a duty which is imposed upon the public servant by
law or is clearly inherent in the nature of the public servant's office.

Sec. 11.56.860. Misuse of confidential information.

(a) A person who is or has been a public servant commits the crime of misuse of confidential
information if the person
(1) learns confidential information through employment as a public servant; and
(2) while in office or after leaving office, uses the confidential information in a manner not connected with the performance of official duties other than by giving sworn testimony or evidence in a legal proceeding in conformity with a court order.
(b) As used in this section, "confidential information" means information which has been classified confidential by law.

3. He may have broken Alaska's rather easygoing legislative ethics code. i'm still am working on getting the correct citation.

4. He may have violated U.S. and Alaska Civil Rights codes:

This is a violation of federal law and of the state common law right to privacy. The fact that he did it on state time and in his capacity is what is called “state action” for a section 1983 civil rights claim. The Mudflats blogger, who was absolutely entitled to comment on matters of public interest and equally entitled to do so anonymously, has a significant lawsuit against this clown. Were I admitted to the Alaska bar, I’d love to handle it. Since I am not, I very much hope that she finds a lawyer with experience in civil rights claims. In addition to awarding damages, they also award attorneys’ fees. That is the only way to stop this sort of abuse of public position.

5. He may have violated Alaska Democratic Party rules. More on that on Monday.

What AKMuckraker's friends hope to do:

1. We'll help protect AK Muckraker's rights. If we need to raise money to help AKM defend a case or business or position, there will be a lot of us there. If we need to hold fundraisers? - believe me, they will be big, fruitful events.

2. We will help AK Muckraker's family.

3. We will pursue the search for informed legal opinions on what violations Rep. Doogan may or may not have committed by his actions Friday morning.

4. We will pursue the search for his accomplice or accomplices.

5. We will request that the Alaska Democratic Party and Alaska Legislature review the possibility that Rep. Doogan has committed violations of rules governing the use of State of Alaska resources in his Friday morning actions.

Update - 11:50 p.m. Saturday: Sheila Toomey, at the Alaska Ear, may have just penned one of the most meretricious column entries in ADN history.

If the facts about Doogan and Toomey, as I related above and confirmed with several longtime ADN employees today escaped Toomey, it is sad. But if she realized Doogan's duplicity, and then penned her entry on the Mudflats case, she's as truth-challenged as her former colleague and accomplice in her longstanding masked activities, Mike Doogan.

note: Back in 1990, Toomey penned a column at the ADN under her own name that very cruelly and untruthfully hurt a person under my care. I've helped that person grow beyond the hurt. It is quite sad, 19 years later, to now see her as a probable Doogan accomplice.

Update - 12:10 a.m. Sunday: I asked several people who either have worked with Doogan or claim to actually know Billy Muldoon today, if Mike is Billy Muldoon. All said that Doogan is not Billy. Two claimed Billy is "another ex-ADN worker." I didn't take it any further, but the consistency of the statements lead me to believe that Doogan isn't Billy.


Philip Munger said...

I just posted this at Mudflate, which had been down for a while:

I just put up a "call to action" kind of post at Progressive Alaska, called "What Doogan Did and What Alaska's Progressive Bloggers Hope to Do."

AKM - Katie Hurley says "You go, girl!" Her 44th X 2 birthday is Monday. I got to lead a bunch of people in "Happy Birthday, Katie!" tonight. What a rush.

Anonymous said...

And to cap off the craziness, check out The Ear's response to this issue.

Full-blown hypocritical insanity.

I always hated ADN, but loved loved loved The Ear for many of the same reasons that I love Mudflats.

Ironically, I married into a huge Alaska Republican family, ties to The Anch Times, and was in The Ear at one point (in a good way!), but must now concede the fact that Toomey needs to go the way of the DooDoo bird...

Aussie Blue Sky said...

Phil, I noticed your heading:

"What AKMuckraker's friends hope to do:"

yet your points all commence with "We will" ....

and - happily - there is nothing on your list that requires hope to achieve it.

ps: I want Dirty Doogan to know that AKM's huge readership is just itching to fund a legal remedy. Do you think I should email him? j/k

Philip Munger said...


my experience is that if you aren't a constituent, he will tell you to go elsewhere. If you are a constituent, he'll merely tell you to "fuck off, idiot!!!" in a form letter, sent once per month.

Unknown said...

I can accept that Doogan probably broke rules acting as a state official, and the unveiling was certainly wrong in a moral sense, but if he were a mere private citizen and simply learned of Mudflats identity through no fault of his own, then it seems to me that Mudflats' right to anonymity would end where Doogan's free speech began.

It seems to me, not just in Alaska, but elsewhere, that there's a kind of mindset that seems to be prevalent among old media types. First, an internalization of the "fallacy of the golden mean" AKA "argument to moderation", a belief that fairness is the same as neutrality, and that somehow what's correct is always in smack dab in between the perceived sides of the issue, the center of the frame. In this case, it blinds them to the obviousness that Doogan made a transparent douchebag move, and compels them to color the wording to make it seem like a petty disagreement in which neither side is really correct.

Then there's a kind of defensive passive-aggressiveness that surfaces once the veil is lifted. Later today, the print people will read these blogs and feel the need to lash out in response to being criticized, either in print, or in a phone call or email, or in the comments like we've seen from that Anchorage Press guy a few times.

I don't mean this to be a stereotype of newspaper journalists, but like everybody else, many of them let the pressures of their occupation go to their head. I can feel similar forces at work in my mind too sometimes and I have to remind myself to put my job in perspective. Just my theory.

Annette said...

Phil, I found this at Gryphen's, Posted it at AKM in the forum.. and now I am passing it on to you.. not sure if it will help in your endeavor but maybe there are some ideas or something in there you can use.

They at least quote several of the same laws that you do and cases and they do have attorneys who do pro bono work on cases such as AKM's and may help her/him if she/he would decide to file suit against doogan.

Jaime from Wasilla said...


Thanks for this analysis about what Doogan did and why it was wrong. Without the blogginng by you, Celtic Diva, Shannyn Moore, AKM and others, many important news stories would never make it into the public consciousness. It is sad that once keen minds like Doogan and Toomey have become trapped in old paradigms that don't work. It's terrible when former progressives start acting and sounding like Rethuglicans. I can hardly wait to read your thoughts about Democratic Party rules.

Anonymous said...

I predict Doo will rue the day he outed AKM. Her talent at political commentary will only provide her with greater opportunities that Doo has only dreamt about. His influence and credibilitily is only diminished as she rises in influence in Alaska politics. Whether or not AKM files suit against Doo, he has made himself irrelevant.

Ratfish said...

Like the Knights of Malta, Doogan and Toomey are members of the militia of Sarah Palin, and are sworn to total obedience by a blood oath.

Unknown said...

Thank you Mr. Munger. I think that you may have discovered Mr. Doogan's source. What a vile person Ms. Toomey is. I think that both are so jealous of AKM's success they can't see straight.

I am very disappointed in the ADN for even printing that pile of garbage.

Unknown said...

funkalunatic said...
I can accept that Doogan probably broke rules acting as a state official, and the unveiling was certainly wrong in a moral sense, but if he were a mere private citizen and simply learned of Mudflats identity through no fault of his own, then it seems to me that Mudflats' right to anonymity would end where Doogan's free speech began.

I doubt that Doogan learned of her identy "through no fault of his own" since he was actively looking for it. Plus, learning of her identity and putting it out to the world are two different things. AKM had an absolute right to her privacy, just as I do. Mr. Doogan violated that right out of spite. It says a lot about what kind of a person he is. And the fact that you are defending him says a lot about what kind of a person YOU are.

Liz I. said...

Thank you Phil for your thoughtful analysis and promise of support. I feel better that you are in the battle to protect important political commentary from the malicious attacks of petty public officials.

As someone who lived and worked in Alaska for 14 years--and as a concerned citizen of these united states--I have a stake in Alaska and its governance. Like many others, I'll do whatever I can to support AKM and the critical contributions of political bloggers and others who work hard to shed light on folly and corruption.

Unknown said...

There is a reason why I am so adamant on our right to privacy. I once sent a letter to the editor and revealed my real name since it was required. The day after it was published I was attacked coming out of my own home to my car by someone who took exception with what I said. I have never again written a letter to the editor and post anonymously to the internet.

I understand perfectly why AKM choose to remain anonymous. Would you want to be on Sarah Palin's "hit list"? Would you want one of Palin's right wing nut-job supporters to have your home address and phone number?

I hope that AKM takes this to court. If she does, I will donate generously to her legal fund, as will many other bloggers. This is an important issue for anyone who wishes to blog anonymously and not expose themselves to all the crazy people out there.

Anonymous said...

If Alaska Ear was Doogan's source, I wonder if ADN would be liable or if they broke any laws.

tewise said...

You are exactly correct Kate. People like dingleberry and that nasty worman Toomey are to dense to understand common sense.

Thank you Mr. Munger for supporting the flats and AKM and most importantly our rights.

Sometimes people just make you wonder, what the hell they are thinking.

We are not going to be kept quiet.

tewise said...

I almost forgot Ms. Katie Hurley I really admire you. I love what you stand for and you are truly and inspiration.

With love from the south...

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this has been mentioned anywhere yet, but the right to privacy is explicitly stated in the Alaska Constitution. Article I - which is a declaration of rights, states in Section 22: "The right of the people to privacy is recognized and shall not be infringed. The legislature shall implement this section. [Amended 1972]." DO we even need to point out the irony that it is the legislature who is called on to protect the citizens of Alaska right to privacy? Anyways, among the many other statutes and code ethic violations committed by Rep. Doogan, I hope this one is added.

Anonymous said...

Ear's Toomey has asked restaurant owners in ANC to listen in on customers conversations for her column.

Restaurant owners resisted! Dumbass

FU Toomey you are a dinosaur

RunninL8 said...

Phil, thanks for putting the "We Will.." together. After all the nastiness of the past week I am so heartened and thankful that there are people like you, Linda, etc. out there.
If there is anything i can do to help please let me know.

Anonymous said...

Seeking re-election is going to be a bitch after this, Doogan.

LiladyNY said...

Good job Phil. Yes we will! Mr. Doogan and Ms. Toomey have NO idea of the storm their mean and petty vendetta has just unleashed. I think Mt. Redoubt's eruptions will pale in comparison.

Bones AK said...

Thank You Mr. Munger
Here is another item gleaned from one of the commenters on KOS, that may have legal implications.

The Constitution of the State of Alaska
Adopted by the Constitutional Convention February 5, 1956
Ratified by the People of Alaska April 24, 1956
Became Operative with the Formal Proclamation of Statehood January 3, 1959

Section 1.22 - Right of Privacy.

The right of the people to privacy is recognized and shall not be infringed. The legislature shall implement this section. [Approved August 22, 1972].

Question/comment? re: Meretricious.
Which definition were you using?
1) Apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity.
2) Archaic: of, relating to, or characteristic of a prostitute.

Actually when I think about it both seem to apply.

Bones AK said...

oops while I was typing my comment someone beat me to the punch about the AK Constitution

PackyJ said...

To quote Ear regarding the political arena: "If you can't take a punch, don't get in the ring."
That seems to be a good adage for Rep. Doogan to live by.
Rather than simply thanking people who sent him an email opposing his position, or even stooping to explain WHY they disagreed, Doogan's approach in his replies was to be snarky, condescending, insulting, and mean-spirited. It has to do with the fact that Mike is certain he's MUCH smarter than the rest of the world.
AK Muckraker committed the mortal sin of pointing out that Doogan was acting like a jerk, publishing unedited copies of some his reply emails as proof.
For that, "outing" her became an obsession with him.
This isn't about some higher philosophy espoused by Doogan of "having the courage of your convictions."
This is about Doogan behaving like a petulant child when someone dared to criticize him.
Perhaps two terms is enough, Mike. It might be better for you and Alaska if you focused on writing those detective novels.

Nan said...

These are the definitions I found for "meretricious":
1. alluring by a show of flashy or vulgar attractions; tawdry.
2. based on pretense, deception, or insincerity.
3. pertaining to or characteristic of a prostitute.

It seems oddly comforting that in spite of Gov Palin's dismissal of "pathetic, anonymous bloggers," the Ear has validated the legitimacy of political blogging in that "meretricious" column.

I'm good with that.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...

Seeking re-election is going to be a bitch after this, Doogan."

As if he really cares....

andib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marlys said...

bye bye Ear, so long...sniff, sniff. big sigh don't let the door knob hit ya in the ash.

..the hits just keep on coming

clark said...

a friend of mine a long time ago really had the wind taken out of his sails when the ear column [way before toomey's name was attached to it] wrote that his wife was having an affair. they ended up divorcing a year or so later. they had two young children. i always wondered if they might have put it back together, if their troubles hadn't played out on page B-2 of the sunday edition.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Doogan's folly has reached the national attention:

Doogan's arrogance has finally tripped him up.

Blue_in_AK said...

Ear was wrong not only in her snarky final comment, but in repeating Mudflats' name, when some readers of the ADN may not have even been aware of Doogan's newsletter. If she felt she just HAD to write about it, she could have left out the name. I see her as accessory after (or maybe before) the fact, and just as guilty as Mike.

Philip Munger said...


I don't think Sheila told Doogan. My sources indicate she was still unsuccessfully trying to find out two weeks ago.

However, one person who knew AKM's identity has been seen drinking with Doogan recently. When I looked that person in the eye at a party on Friday evening, he blanched and turned away.

Blue_in_AK said...

Are you going to out him? It seems only fair.

Philip Munger said...

No, I'm not.

I'm going to ask Doogan to reveal the anonymous source of his information. After all, Doogan seems to feel that anonymity is for the cowardly - unless you're Sheila Toomey. Then you're a muckraking, humorous, snarky heroine.

Doogan may have to reveal his source anyway, in a deposition or in some other form of sworn testimony.

Anonymous said...

"However, one person who knew AKM's identity has been seen drinking with Doogan recently"...a little booze and all common sense goes out the window.

Drunks wreck more than just their cars.


Anonymous said...

what really blows me away is how much importance people are attaching to this.

i mean come on already, let's get a life here, alright ?

to put things in perspective, i asked four random people what they thought about all of this, and not a single one of them knew what I was talking about.

it's akin to a blowhard like rick rydell, who huffs and puffs and beats his chest, but in the end only a very small percentage of people actually hear what he has to say.

in the big scheme of things, mudflats, and all of the other "progressive" blogs (god that term kills me, there's nothing "progressive" about this or the others who identify themselves as such) are making just a mere ripple on the big pond.

i feel sorry for those who go around life pissed off and angry all of the time, munger and beigel come to the forefront. i can't imagine that you're attracting a whole lot of new recruits to your movement with this kind of anger, I know that for me it's a real turn off.

Unknown said...

Kate - I'm not "defending" Doogan. He's a douchebag. I'm defending the First Amendment. What kind of person does that make me? If I know something, I have a right to share that knowledge, unless, like Doogan, I've voluntarily signed up to be held to a stricter standard. If a writer wants to remain anonymous, all they have to do is not reveal who they are. If their identity comes out, then they've failed in that regard. For example, I know that there's information out there and people who can link "funkalunatic" to my real identity, so I have no grounds to cry if somebody outs me.

Unknown said...

$20 says that anonymous right before my last comment is a butthurt old-media douche. Why so ironically anonymous, anonymous?

clark said...

anon. #36: i get that a lot, too. people i've talked to about that haven't heard of mudflats, and then they say, 'well, i think all bloggers SHOULD use their real names.' misses the real point.
it's important because of the larger constitutional and legal issues at play. if it's not a big deal for legislators to go around stalking and outing bloggers, will they be making a sport of it soon? ['how many did you nail today, john?'.] for most of us, toomey's justification seems a little flimsy.
ADN talked about not allowing anonymous commenting on its stories. how do you think that would work, exactly? never mind that many in the media are already not using their real names. would i have to go to ADN's office, like it was the DMV and appear with my birth certificate or other convincing evidence? would they install a chip in my computer or something? what if my computer is stolen, or hacked? they're going to track all that, make sure no one is sharing login info., etc.? no one posting on their spouse's account? no ghostwriting? would i have to use my real first name, even if i use a middle name or initials in real life so i don't get mixed up with my father?

hello said...

Yes, I would really like to know what the AK Democratic party is going to do about this representive (lower case intentional) behaving as he has. Why is his newsletter continue to appear at ?

hello said...

Why DOES his newsletter continue to appear at ?

Karen said...

Anonymous wrote:


"...i can't imagine that you're attracting a whole lot of new recruits to your movement with this kind of anger, I know that for me it's a real turn off."

You think? Wrong, in fact, you could not be more wrong if you tried.

lokywoky said...

There is another issue to this whole mess and it has nothing to do with Doogan and his scummy ideas of what is 'right'.

Revealing the identity of a female blogger, no matter what her politics is, especially when that blogger has taken great pains to remain anonymous or at least make sure her gender is not known creates a whole other problem in the blogosphere.

Unfortunately, once it is known that a popular blogowner is a female (if that wasn't known before) the blog will experience a massive increase in vile, filthy-mouthed sexual and sexist attacks from 'anonymous' bloggers - attacks that have nothing to do with the blogowners politics or opinions - just her gender.

If you don't believe me, just ask Digby at Hullabaloo what happened when someone outed her as a woman. Digby's masthead has a man on it. And she posted as Digby - a non-gendered 'handle'. Digby's blog was almost shut down due to the filth and violence. Now it is moderated - something that had not happened before.

And many female blogowners report the same kinds of hassles.

The problem with this kind of crap is that you never know when one of these filthy-mouthed violent types may decide they need to do something in the real world. And Rep Doofus has not only given AKM's name out - he told what city to start looking for her in as well - making their search much easier.

In these times when the Rethugs have riled up so much hate against libruls and others with racism, lies, incitement to violence and all the rest, this outing is actually more serious than just 'finding out who AKM is'.

So, everyone around her - please keep your eyes and ears wide open.