Clueless Arizona GOP Heavies Demonizing Bloggers?

My friend Ken Marrero over at Blue Collar Muse has posted an interesting if not entirely infuriating story about GOP officials coming down on other officials and certain county employees for having the gall to talk to those eeeevil Arizona bloggers that have been doggedly reporting the corruption stories of county officials.

GOP officials of Maricopa County have been in a bit of trouble recently having been accused of wasteful spending, power grabs and criminal investigations. Marrero even notes that there is a Twitter feed used to needle these officials called CorruptAZSupes.

The barbs have been coming fast and furious and County Manager David Smith has decided to try and stop the bleeding. So, did Smith decide to clean up the Supervisor’s office? Nope. He’s decided to attack Republicans that have talked to the press and the bloggers. Classic shooting the messenger mistake.

Smith sent a letter to the County Attorney’s office demanding to know who had relationships with bloggers – or else! They even specifically demand to know about activity that might have taken place on an employee’s personal time and their personal computers! Specifically named in the letter is Michael Scerbo, the County Attorney PIO, who is SUPPOSED to be in touch with the media! While there are some traditional media outlets mentioned, blogs are specifically targeted. The Sonoran Alliance, The Cactus Alliance and Intellectual Conservative Arizona are all named in the letter as being eeeeeeevil bloggers that bad County Attorney employees shouldn’t have anything to do with.

This is akin to a digital witch hunt, a modern day, electronic HUAC. Are you now, or have you ever been a member of a blog?

Catch this nonsense as contained in the letter being circulated by Smith:

Have you, whether under your name, some form of pseudonym, or anonymously, ever posted a blog, note or other communication on the internet concerning Maricopa County, any of its affiliated constituents (as defined in the Ethical Rules)?

Within the last six months, have you communicated with any person, site or entity listed below concerning the entities of individuals set forth in question 1 (a list of persons and blogs follows)

Seriously? The County Manager of Maricopa County imagines he has the power and right to force individuals to report to him what blogs they’ve communicated with and with whom they are in personal, private communications?

Now, certainly there are rules regarding what information may be communicated by officials. There are absolutely ethical rules and limits on some information. Every lawyer knows his ethical limitations and rules. but this letter seems to me to go way too far and verges on a fascist sort of demand upon county employees.

Anyway, it is interesting that Smith’s first impulse is to attack the bloggers instead of clean up the corruption of his office.

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