Yes Kids, it's still going on. I'm stilling holding firm to your private browsing information - including the IP addresses that three Bryant City Councilmen would like to get their hands on to prosecute you for exercising your First Amendment Right to speak freely without fear of harm. And to speak particularly about those people in elected office. Those people who were elected to serve the public, not sue them.
Let's look back in time at what unfolded, shall we? In the following video from Today's THV, Dave Elswick of KARN and I both give the short story of what happened in February with city government in Bryant, Arkansas.
Fox 16's Katherine Johnson also did a great job of covering the story (click below).
There were plenty of "yes" RSVPs, but the weather turned cold and rainy that evening, so fewer showed up than expected.
Now that the plaintiffs, Adrian Henley, Brenda Miller and Danny Steele, have filed the papers that actually contain the statements they believe are defamatory - it has been filed under seal, meaning the public can't get a look at it - I'm still holding the bag for legal fees, since I needed an attorney to protect my interest in keeping MySaline.com members' privacy PRIVATE.
Nevermind that whatever statements these City Councilmen took offense to, they have done nothing but draw tons more attention to...
Nevermind that these City Councilmen had their own website, www.ImprovingBryant.com, which was used exclusively to exercise their own First Amendment Rights in bashing the current mayor, Jill Dabbs...
Nevermind that most folks in elected office would concern themselves with what's for the good of those whom they serve...
These plaintiffs have filed their specific claims under seal because they contend that MySaline.com and/or Shelli Russell has made a "media circus" out of this case. It is this contention that I will now rebut:
I was served with a subpoena around 400pm, Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012, asking for your (MySaline.com members and other visitors) private browsing information and a record of content dating back to March 2011. I told no one outside of my immediate family and very closest friends. Perhaps five trusted contacts.
About 9pm Wednesday evening, I was contacted by The Saline Courier's Editor, Brent Davis, who asked whether I could confirm that I had been served with such a subpoena. I told him I was unsure yet whether I wanted to go public with the news and I would call him early the next day, respective of his deadline.
About 730am Thursday, Arkansas Times' Max Brantley had the story on his Arkansas Blog.
KATV Channel 7's Katherina Yancy emailed me around 10:30am Thursday, requesting I phone her to set up an interview regarding the story.
Fox 16's Katherine Johnson emailed me about 230pm Thursday, also requesting an interview about it.
KARN's Dave Elswick had guests from Saline County on his radio show that afternoon - State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson, Sheriff Bruce Pennington and Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan. They were on the show to discuss a legislative matter, but Elswick began asking them about what was going on in Bryant. I phoned the show to let Dave know I was willing to talk about it, if my website - my personal, one-owner, small business was going to be discussed.
The instance in #6 was the only time I initiated contact with the media, and only because they were already talking about me. But all these media outlets somehow knew of the case without my help. This would point to the plaintiff as the "ring leader" of the "media circus."
(I won't tell you folks who to vote for, but my preference would be someone who pays attention to the needs of the City, not someone who continuously blocks progress by stirring the pot.)
I'll post a simplified version of the coming 2nd MySaline.com Freedom of Speech Rally + Fundraiser for Legal Fees in the events section, but to let you know here, it's planned for Friday, June 1st, 2012 at Denton's Back Porch. KARN's Dave Elswick will broadcast live from the porch from 2-530pm, Comedian Michael "Doc" Davis will emcee the evening, and seasoned blues band Clover Blue will entertain at 9pm. Performer at 8pm to be determined.