Prosecuting Parodies

In case you don’t subscribe to the ScottsdaleTrails Twitter feed or follow the ST Facebook page [and why not?], I posted a link last night to a story about Jim Ardis (said to be a Republican), the mayor of Peoria, IL (home of construction equipment mega-manufacturer Caterpillar) ordering police to track down whoever was responsible for a parody Twitter account mocking him.

Sounds like a page right out of the book written by anti-First Amendment AZ so-called Republican incumbent legislator, Michelle Ugenti. You may recall that I ridiculed Ugenti early in 2013 for sponsoring a bill to make such parodies a felony in AZ.

Peoria police got a warrant, raided a home, seized property, and detained three people for questioning. The Twitter account, @PeoriaMayor, has been suspended.

A follow-up story reports that the ACLU has sued the mayor, other city officials, and the police department on behalf of the Twitter user whose civil rights were violated.

The most disturbing part of the story to me is that three judges were separately involved in facilitating this action. The Peoria Journal-Star reports that two judges (Kirk Schoebein and Lisa Wilson) signed off on warrants to get information from Twitter and Comcast. A third judge, Kim Kelley, approved the actual raid.

I guess this just goes to show that AZ Republicans (and AZ jurists) don’t have the exclusive franchise on stupidity and hypocrisy. Surely we (Republicans) can do better?

Let’s hope Ardis and Ugenti are soon shown the door back to ignominious obscurity.

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  1. Ugenti has violated Scottsdale sign code with 2- 4′ X 4′ campaign signs set up at the NE corner of Via Linda and Shea Blvd. I certainly hope she is not re-elected. We citizens deserve better. Vote for Bob Littlefield to replace her for District 23. BTW – code enforcement knows to remove her signs unless she does first.

  2. Ugenti reminds me of an episode of Cheers from many years ago where Carla is competing with some gorgeous babe named “Shawnee” for the title of “Best Waitress” in the bar. Carla is doing somersaults carrying a tray of drinks and not spilling a drop while Shawnee is tripping all over herself and is totally worthless.

    The winner? Of course it was Shawnee and when Carla asked the judges how they could possibly pick Shawnee over her, their answer was “Hell, just look at her!”

    It’s Kind of like Ugenti. She is definitely a member of babedom in looks but some of her actions seem a bit odd. If she runs against Bob Littlefield she will be going against a good man with a good record on the Scottsdale City Council plus she will not be judged only by a bunch of horny drunks in a bar like poor Carla.

    Incidentally, good piece in the Scottsdale Republic (6-14) today, John.

  3. Ugenti’s “Prison for Parody Bill” who could ever forget! It made national news you know. It appears that Arizona politicians have the thinnest-skin imaginable. Ugenti, has no problem passing laws allowing criminals into crime free HOA’s, allowing fireworks to burn down the state or kicking the disabled out of their handicap accessible vehicles. But how dare those “constituents” write “harmful” things about us!

    I think the ACLU will make mincemeat out of the three judges and the Mayor. I hang my head in shame that I considered myself a Republican. In politics a sense of humor keeps your head above water. Of course these two “politicians” are on a sinking ship without a life-preserver.

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