The City of Peoria is about to get its silly ass handed to it in federal court over Twittergate

THIS is one reason I am glad I no longer live within the boundaries of the City of Peoria:

Everybody remembers the time Jim Ardis, mayor of Peoria, Illinois, had his police raid a guy’s house because the guy was impersonating him in a Twitter parody account, right? The news went nice and viral last summer after police confiscated the guy’s computer equipment, iPhones, and Xboxes and charged another person at the home with possession of marijuana.

The victim, by which I mean Twitter account owner Jon Daniel, not Ardis, did not ultimately face any charges because he did not break any actual laws. Ardis did not pursue a route of contrition, but rather doubled down over the whole thing when the story went wide, insisting that his “freedom of speech” had been taken away by the parody online version of him.

With the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, Daniel has filed a federal suit against the city of Peoria, claiming his civil rights were violated by the raid. Arguments in the case are scheduled to kick off today in Peoria.

Lord, spare us the experience of living in a town where the mayor get’s all weepy and butt hurt over someone making fun of him.

The city is going to loose this case.

Congratulations, Peoria: The tech world still thinks this city is run by friggin’ morons

From Tech Dirt:

Back in April, humble Peoria, Illinois, made national news when its mayor and police department combined forces to shut down a parody Twitter account. The account, named after Mayor Jim Ardis, sent out a few days worth of sex-and-drugs tweets, something that very obviously wouldnot have come from a mayor’s actual Twitter account (exception: Rob Ford).

This very public display of stupidity may cost the City of Peoria, along with the many other defendants named in the lawsuit filed on behalf of the Twitter account owner (Jon Daniel) by the ACLU. Obviously, the First Amendment was all but forgotten in the mayor’s quest to make this account — one that was only seen by Mayor Jim Ardis and a handful of others — disappear.

As is to be expected in responses to allegations, almost everything damning is denied. The only allegations the city’s lawyers affirm are those that can’t be refuted. Freedom of Information requests by Matt Buedel of the Peoria Journal Star brought the warrant application and email conversations between the police department and Mayor Ardis into the public eye. As a result, the city’s plausible deniability options are extremely limited. But that hasn’t stopped the city from making some very questionable denials.

Today’s the day to show up and show your opposition to Mayor Ardis’s fascist-like tactics

butthurtEmails have gone out to Peoria-area elected officials to show up at a pro-Jim Ardis rally set to begin shortly before the start of tonight’s Peoria City Council meeting, which begins at 6:15 p.m. tonight.

I am encouraging people who are opposed to the fascist-like tactics Ardis used to silence a profane critic to show up in an informal counter protest.

For what it is worth, I will use my blog to actively campaign against ANY public official who rallies in support of Mayor Ardis today. You have the right to support who you want to. I have the right to oppose your re-election.

I cannot see has anyone who blogs, Facebooks or Tweets in Peoria could do anything other than actively oppose anyone who supports police raids for tweeting.

Another Website spouts off about ‘Peoria’s Führer’

butthurtArsTechnica, while no fan of Jim Ardis, suggests that all the comparisons to Hitler reek of Godwinism. I disagree. Sending the local police to investigate and arrest people who speak ill of the regime  is a tactic used by the Nazis (as well as by despotic thugs before and after WW2). Granted, Twittergate is nowhere near the scale of the Night of the Long Knives. But who knows how strident this armed opposition to vocal opposition could have gone. We won’t know because people of good sense and strong moral character stood up and said “Enough!”

An open letter to those planning to rally in support of Mayor Ardis on Tuesday

I hear from sources that those who support Mayor Jim Ardis over his decision to order the police to raid the home of the young man who posted vulgar messages on Twitter under the screen name “PeoriaMayior” plan to hold a rally before Tuesday’s city council meeting.

I do not agree with the sentiments likely to be expressed at this rally. Nevertheless, I support the right of Ardis‘ supporter to rally in his favor.

As someone who has criticized, and often mocked and ridiculed, the mayor for his actions, it is possible that some of these protestors may cast some shade on this very blog.  Nevertheless,  I support the right of Ardis‘ supporters to criticize or even mock this blog.

Some of these protesters might even use dirty words. They might even imply that I was too stoned or somewhat befuddled by illicit sexual activity to formulate a lucid opinion on the matter. Nevertheless,  I support the right of Ardis‘ supporters to imply that I am too drunk or stoned to have an opinion.

You see,as someone whose makes a very marginal living writing for a living, I tend to take a live and let live attitude toward things said about me.

‘Thanks for your input.” That’s my motto. You would think the mayor of Peoria would just laugh off the profane opinions of his detractors.

Which why I won’t be filing any lawsuits after that fact, claiming I’m all butthurt by all the criticism.


Mayor Ardis will apparently defend himself in the Twitter lawsuit by bitching about the media

Mayor Jim Ardis held a press conference this afternoon in response to the press conference held by the ACLU, which is suing the city in behalf of the dude who was arrested bu Peoria Police, apparently on orders from the mayor himself.

And who is Ardis blaming for all this?

Answer: The media.

From day one, Ardis says, the hated media reported that the evil Twitter account was labeled as parody. Which isn’t true at all media accounts have pretty much consistently stated that the account was not immediately labeled as parody.

And he bitched that the media have failed to fully and accurately report the content of the tweets.

So, we have a mayor who was so butthurt by tweets that were so profane and foul that the media failure to print them verbatim is proof  of how anti-Jim Ardis the media is. Or, it may have to do the mass media not wanting to offend the old ladies. Something like that.

As a courtesy to our butthurt mayor, I’ll repeat the profane and vile comments that he is under the impression gives him the right to order the unconstitutional raid on a private citizen’s home:

  • – “I’m up all night woke up with pussy on my breath and blood shot eyes and we got people talking about live tweeting”
  • – “I’m thinking it’s a tequila and stripper night”
  • – “Gonna be up at “a local bar” wolfing down some wings. Come check me out I’ll be signing titty’s?
  • – “2 fucking things to get off my chest. 1. If you don’t like Peoria and U wanna sit here and bitch den leave. 2. Who stole my crackpipe?

Ardis INSISTED that anyone who read this Twitter account would have no way to tell that it wasn’t really him. Really.

The mayor also said he and his family has also received death threats.

“I will protect my rights and the rights of my family at all costs,” Ardis said.

I’ll bet $20 these “threats” against him and his family came after he ordered the raid against the Twitter account holder, which means that Ardis bitching about the threats have NOTHING at all to do with the lawsuit that was filed.

And this “press conference?” It wasn’t a press conference. Press conferences are where politicians give brief statements and then answer questiions. Our believed mayor started the conference by saying he would read a statement, and not answer questions, and that he would not comment again until the matter was settled.

That didn’t stop Web reporter from asking whether an FOIA request for the mayor’s GMail account would reveal additional information.