Party Out of Bounds and attacking unelected children of officials voted into office by Ohioans

And I don’t mean the B-52s.

I mean this at Right Angle Blog, posted by Matt Naugle and using Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s son as the target.

Blech. I don’t even want to link to it. And I don’t even want to be writing this post. I hate these kinds of posts, because I hate that in this world – that in the Ohio political blogosphere – there even exist people who will post such things. Thank goodness I don’t think I’ve even written more than a small handful of posts, if that many, like this one you’re reading now.

Other approaches to calling out that link include knowing that the existence of such posts simply reaffirms “that the Republicans are so inept in this state that they having nothing left but to resort to these kind of tactics instead of contributing to the public discourse to deal with the real issues facing our state.” I stole that from someone’s response to me about my outrage because he says it perfectly. And I know he’s right.

Another approach is to say that since there exists, on the left of center end of the political spectrum, individuals who do similarly mean-spirited posts with elected officials’ children in the picture, that it’s hypocritical to say that there is something wrong with this post. To which I respond, I’m sure there are myriad examples of exactly that. It’s one of the reasons I almost never read big box blogs or other popular but inflammatory blogs – they are counter-productive and provocative in the worst sort of way: by being mean and personal rather than about issues and change. But two wrongs have never made a right and I don’t see how not saying something does anyone any good.

Finally, I possess plenty of information that I’ve hated holding in secret, hated more and more so every time I see stuff like this. But that post on Right Angle Blog will not make me change my opinion about what is appropriate and what is not appropriate. There are certain absolutes.

I’m not turning WLST into a collection site for all the out of bounds posts by people on both sides – there must be someone doing that already, don’t you think? And so I don’t mean to be selective here. However, this incident has occurred in the Ohio political blogosphere, an organism in which, normally, I proudly tell folks I’m involved. Every post we make says something not only about ourselves, but about the company we keep.

Matt and I have had plenty of tete-a-tetes. At a minimum, Matt should give us the full rationale for how it is that it is okay for a blogger with his prominence to gain access to Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s son’s Facebook account, long enough and with enough acumen to copy and paste and post everything that he has on Right Angle Blog. If Matt is so sure that what he’s done is acceptable, then there is no reason why he wouldn’t supply his reasoning.

Here’s what I wrote to Matt earlier this morning. The subject line was: As a parent and a blogger, I’m disgusted.


This post on RAB goes beyond decency:

Brunner’s son is not an elected official. When’s the last time you saw anything on an Ohio poltiical blog about the Bush twins or the private citizen-children of any elected official? Just last week, Daniel Williamson suggested to me that it might not even be okay to ask about where state legislators’ kids attend school, because I wanted to know if they use vouchers and charters. How on earth you can justify this post about her son is unfathomable to me.

I’m not Jennifer Brunner, so you don’t owe me an apology. But you smear the Ohio political blogging community when you post items such as the one I’ve noted above. And you strike, purposefully, at the heart of a mother. How would it make your mother feel if it were you?

Don’t tell me about thick skin – this has nothing to do with that. Just as the ORP’s website publishing Jerid Kurtz’s mom’s contact info had nothing to do with thick skin but rather with reckless disregard and immaturity and impulse.

At a minimum, please provide an explanation for how it is that you believe the threshold to which you’ve now lowered yourself is acceptable to you on all levels. I’ve never seen an Ohio political blog post anything remotely similar and I promise you, I myself possess disgusting information about GOP elected officials which I’ve chosen to never publish. So I know we do not need to reveal everything we learn – because we are human and have some standards. Are you neither human or a person with standards?

Thank you for your time as always, but you need to explain yourself this time.


Jill Miller Zimon

Writes Like She Talks

Last thing: Last night, I attended the first-ever gathering of the Pepper Pike Democratic Club. There is no Pepper Pike Republican Club – I’m told that, as any kind of group, the individuals are apathetic and believe that they already are enough of a critical mass to keep PP red.

Guess what, folks? The Democrats see Bob Spada’s term-limited seat and Josh Mandel’s eventual ascendency in politics as prime meat for more Democrats and the Pepper Pike Dems who attended an SRO meeting yesterday can taste it.

The more Matt and others do stuff like this, the less and less the decent folks of Pepper Pike – who, believe me, want to see themselves as and want to be known for being decent – are going to continue to back away and then run away from the Republican party. Bob Bennett’s obstinancy and Matt’s failure to be appropriate are dissonant with the average Republican’s sensibilities. Thank goodness, or thank God. Whichever, whomever you like.

And let’s just apply this statewide, why don’t we? Because Matt and Bob, your party is out of bounds and pretty soon, if you don’t start acting like adults who care about issues and real change, your party is going to be out of office in a lot more places than it is now.

20 thoughts on “Party Out of Bounds and attacking unelected children of officials voted into office by Ohioans

  1. No doubt! But I was also wondering how it would make the mother of the blog author who tries to get attention by gratuitously posting those ignorant pics of someone the blog author doesn’t even know feel about her child doing such a gratuitous thing.

  2. Pho & Phyffe’s “Dream Police” Phorce. It’s inside of their heads Here we go again. No one elected Pho to be the blog “police”… But, as always, Pho falsely believes his editorial opinion is higher than anyone else.Schmidellpucky… is Pho to determine who is “wrong… wronger… wrongest” ??Oh that’s right… He’s God-like in his “little-man syndrome” delusions of grandeur and ignorance. As we speak, Pho is standing his ground on various topics that he’s long been proven wrong about.The proverbial blog police are inside of your head Pho. Quit acting like Andy Griffith’s side-kick Barney Phyffe.Pho… Phyffe… Phum… you’re both wimpy and dumb.The image Pho has of himself inside of his blog police head is not the real image that everyone else senses about him. It’s just his imagination getting carried away in Walter Mitty style!

  3. Ok, since you mentioned the Bush twins, I ask you: Does Naugle’s criticism of Jennifer Brunner’s parenting apply equally to the parenting of George and Laura? I mean talk about your selective outrage. Matt Naugle is going to piss himself over John Brunner after seeing the Bush twins on an American drunkenness tour? (And let’s also be clear on something else: the reporting on the Bush twins has come from the MSM, not from bloggers, and has often resulted from behavior that broke the law, such as drinking underage at UT.) The better question is not, “where is the outrage about criticism of the Bush twins”, the better question is “where is Naugle’s outrage about the Bush twins, since is he so interested in the sons and daughters of elected officials.” Furthermore, forget the twins, what about the rap sheet of BUSH HIMSELF?I would propose that if Mr. Brunner only chalk up a couple of DUI’s and chat up some congressional interns in some emails he’d be the PERFECT REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR OFFICE. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Anonymous.

  4. He’s cute. Too bad I’m so old.My opinion – you shouldn’t post other people’s pictures on the internet without their permission.If one person took their own pictures down, another person shouldn’t put them back up again. Cuz it’s just not right.

  5. Outrage from the Nanny State! OH MY!!!If Brunner is so intent upon governing all of our actions then maybe, just maybe, she ought to parent her own spawn. I will wholeheartedly agree that it is not right to pick on children, like when Chelsea was in her awkward stage as all children go through. I would never, ever condone the abuse the she was given. I really wouldn’t. However, once they are a legal adult, apparently all’s fair game according to Jill’s fellow Liberal DemocRATs. I didn’t see YOU, Jill, and the others WHINING about the treatment of the BUSH twins, or maybe I missed it. The kid and his old man are arrogant punks. They are fair game. Sorry to burst your bubble on that one……………

  6. Paul…aw…no – this isn’t a flame war – well, not from me. Let’s be clear here: I started this thing by emailing Matt and cc’ing many folks, on both sides of the aisle, because I wanted to hear from him – what the hell is he thinking? This post, like a lot of my posts, is me thinking out loud. Not so pretty huh?Others can do the flame thing – I really wanted to understand how Matt rationalized what he did – and he’s done that. I don’t agree with it at all, but he did it.

  7. Redhorse wrote: You can delude yourself into believing it’s okay for RAB to attack Brunner through her son, but what if someone were attacking Taylor through hers?That’s exactly my point. Sorry I didn’t say it or get to it more quickly. Man, I need to learn how to do that.

  8. It’s unfair to attack an elected official for the damn fool things her son posts on the internet. And no, I’m not just saying that out of self interest.

  9. I’m glad that the word-fighting arsenal doesn’t include nuclear weapons, otherwise the Earth would be scorched and we’d all be dead.

  10. anon, campaign staffers are one thing, children entirely different.You can delude yourself into believing it’s okay for RAB to attack Brunner through her son, but what if someone were attacking Taylor through hers?It’s wrong, period. Nothing more to expound on, and if you can’t see that, mercy upon you.

  11. You couldn’t be more wrong about this. Are you really saying the only political personalities we are allowed to criticize in blogs or print are those who are elected officials? That is utter nonsense. That would be everyone from Karl Rove to James Carville are off limits. Do you actually believe that? Of course you don’t. A political figure is open to criticism, period. And John is very much a political figure.Just because John is a son of the secretary of state does not mean he isn’t a political figure in his own right. He was a member of her campaign, he is active in campus politics and he will almost certainly run for elective office in the future. So, yes, he is a subject worthy of criticism. When a political figure post photos of himself breaking the law, it is the responsibility of the blogosphere to report on it. The only reason you didn’t is because he’s a Democrat. If someone active in, say, Blackwell’s campaign had posted pictures of himself breaking the law, you would be all over it, and you know. That makes you a hypocrite. If John was never a member of her campaign, if he wasn’t photographed with prominent politicians, if he was under the age of 18, maybe you would have a point. But instead, you are merely hypocritical to the point of the absurd. Shame on you for that. Your post was utterly disgusting.

  12. Hi Jill – RABid has a Remax real estate agent as a sponsor – I think it appropriate to contact him to let him know that he is sponsoring attacks like this. I posted contact info here

  13. Thanks for the comment and living through the moderation. I’m not savvy enough to switch to another platform though I’ve tried several times to migrate to WordPress. The moderation stays because of the spam that Blogger lets through. It’s trade-off, no doubt.I don’t feel the least bit insulted or picked on. I know what my limitations are and I self-censor – I do not visit sites that routinely write the kind of stuff that you and I agree is wrong as wrong can be. How many times do we tell others to “just ignore” or “don’t patronize that company” or otherwise neutralize the exposure to things with which one doesn’t agree?I’m not denying the existence of such stuff as you describe, or the wrongness of it – I know you know that.And I don’t think you’re upset that I choose to not read it. It’s hard for me to imagine that you’re advocating that I must read it so that I know it’s there and so that I can call it out. That’s counter to ignoring and helping reduce the readership of what we find distasteful.So – I confess – I’m not exactly sure what it is you would have me say or do differently. Are you saying that there have been things on blogs that I do frequent regularly that have been over the line in regard to kids which I should call out?

  14. It is hypocritical, in my opinion, to point out what Matt did and not address the fact that this has been done over and over and over again with younger children being the victims of this type of bs. I realize you’ve said you haven’t seen any of this, Jill, and frankly, I’d have to say I’ve seen way too much of it. I’m not writing that to insult you but from years of feeling like the one of the few people that will say “ENOUGH”. I’m growing very frustrated with selected outrage, especially here in our blogosphere. Time and time again I’ve posted my thoughts on threads when those on the left and those on the right do this type of thing where a child is made fun of because that child’s only “crime” is they have a parent who is a candidate or an elected official. I’m sick of the justifications people use to excuse the behavior of others and themselves as has been done in the email exchange that happened with this and in many other sitautions. It’s very simple…and at times I feel like I’m a broken record – “if it’s wrong – it’s wrong”. It’s wrong for EVERYONE who uses personal material to try to bash or make fun of someone to get their little web jollies. With the rare situtations when that materal directly applies to a candidate , an elected official or one of their employees 99.9% of the attack stuff that is out there directed at family members should be an automatic “this is wrong”. As I blogged on Glass City Jungle – this is also an even larger issue because time and time again high school and college aged students don’t seem to realize there are consequences that come with posting information like this facebook contained. People have been fired or not gotten jobs/internships because this type of material was discovered.I also have to add on a personal note – comment moderation makes writing thoughtful posts so much more difficult since the preview option never seems to work…

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