Unsurprisingly, it turns out there is more than one side to things.
I highly suggest reading this QCTimes article about the whole VanFossen/Webb thing. I even more highly recommend reading the private (nothing's private when you're a city employee) emails and correspondence about this. The documents, which the Times obtained through a FOI request, can be found on the QCTimes site under Multimedia. Of course everyone's favorite citizen, Susie Bell, plays her own part as well.
It turns out its all us bloggers' fault. By providing a place where anonymous people can say things, we are somehow the cause of all this. Or... maybe its a certain Alderman that can't seem to control himself. Nope, must be the inanimate blogs. Fortunately its the Colonel who people are after this time, so my not-so-anonymous self is relatively safe. Especially considering this quote from the QCTimes article:
Jan. 23, 2007 — Dolan, via e-mail, asks Malin whether he should look into the blog allegation. Malin responds and says, “I think Cindy may have grounds for legal action against the author and the blogmeister — she isn’t a public official and shouldn’t be subject to this kind of stuff.”
I'd like to post this piece of legal info for anyone who feels like coming after "blogmeisters."
Section 230 of Title 47 of the United States Code states:
"No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."
That means that just because this is my blog, doesn't mean I'm responsible for everything some dingbat says on here. Its a good thing. (For more info, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation's bloggers rights section, whose banner has quietly resided on the link bar of this blog for over a year)
So... what now, besides a big giant mess that could have been avoided if the 1st Ward had gotten to know the person they were electing?
I think the number one priority should be to block anything ending in .blogspot.com from all city computers with the exception of the Library, Public Information folks, and possibly the council. This extreme measure was taken in the past for Fly's wildly popular blog. I don't really like this solution. I know a lot of city folks read the blog, and even sometimes provide information that helps citizens. If a city employee is trying to get information out there, a blog shouldn't necessarily be looked at as so different from any other form of communication. Unfortunately though, some people have spoiled it for everyone, as always seems to happen. The citizens of Davenport aren't paying our employees to sit around reading about political happenings, and CERTAINLY not sit around posting confidential, personal information or rumors.
I hate to say it, but ban us Craig.