Monday, November 1, 2010

Cross Post from Simple Justice: Blogger Warren Redlich Meets Political Insanity

Scott Greenfield, a criminal defense lawyer in New York City who writes Simple Justice - easily one of the finest blawgs on the net - posted this piece this morning condemning a political character assassination flier attacking New York Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Warren Redlich as a dangerous sexual predator. Scott was kind enough to let me re-post it here in its entirety. I agree completely with Scott. What do you think?

Blogger Warren Redlich Meets Political Insanity

When I first heard that Warren Redlich, a DUI lawyer up in Albany who blogged for business, was running as the Libertarian candidate for governor of the State of New York, I chuckled. Talk about an endeavor without a payoff. Of course, I had no idea at the time that the alternatives would be a zombie and the only one of Mario's offspring who got his good looks. Suddenly, Warren doesn't look nearly as silly.

Apparently, others are concerned about Warren as well. In order to screw with him, this appeared:

redlich mailer.jpg

There are place[s] no one should go, and this is one of them. Is there a word, lie, defamation, libel, that captures just how twisted this is?

The purported basis for this "attack" is a blog post of Warren's that questions the prevalence and hypocrisy of Puritanism in America.
The story also hits on how Puritanism is still so prevalent in America. The greatest love interest in the history of romance is at least arguably Juliet from Romeo and Juliet. Juliet was 13 years old. For some reason females become fertile in their early teens and peak before the age of 18. You would think those who believe in the theory of evolution would see this as the design of the species. And in an interesting alliance with Darwin, shouldn't religious people (and not just those in cults) believe teenage girls should be sexually active (in marriage of course), as that would appear to be the intent of the intelligent design? Instead both groups appear to be together on the opposite side.

Another take is the notion that men who find teenage girls attractive are perverts. If you look at literature like Shakespeare, and at some historical figures like Sir William Johnson (a prominent pre-revolutionary leader in New York), you get the impression that it used to be normal for men, even much older men, to be interested in teenage girls.

While this isn't something I would have written, and I frankly find it distasteful and, well, wrong, the flier is just outrageous. Rough politics is hardly unheard of in New York, but this goes beyond the pale and hits a new low.

Warren blames the Paladino campaign for the flier.

Redlich said Paladino was responsible for the ad, without backing up this claim. Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo rejected it on Sunday.

Redlich has said his goal is to get more votes than Paladino on Tuesday, which would give the Libertarian party the second highest spot on the ballot, a big advantage in voting, just below the Democratic Party.

The Paladino campaign denies responsibility.
"That would be like Bill Clinton jabbing Pat Paulson in the 1996 New Hampshire primary," Caputo said, referring to the joke campaign of Paulson, a comedian. "Never wrestle the comic relief _ you just get clown white smeared all over your suit."

However, one-time Nixon and Paladino campaign strategist Robert Stone, rather than disavow the flier, argued that it was fair:

Roger Stone, a former campaign consultant to President Richard Nixon who now advises the anti-Prohibition party candidate Kristin Davis and once worked for Paladino, but no longer does, said neither he nor the Davis campaign produced the mailer. But Stone defended its content.

Stone said Redlich has "exotic views on sex with teens," citing postings on Redlich's blog. Stone also said Redlich is "crying crocodile tears" after calling Davis a prostitute, when the former Manhattan Madam has repeatedly said that although she ran a prostitution enterprise, she was never a prostitute.

The minor party candidates in New York have been appreciated for bringing some fun moments into an otherwise moribund campaign. Heck, anything is better than being forced to watch Paladino's face of death on the telly, and no one will ever forget the Rent Is Too Damn High candidate, whose party name alone said all that needed to be said. But this gutter politics, outright defamation, goes way too far. Way, way too far.

Given the views of many in the criminal defense community toward sex offender registries, the gross over-reach of sex offender laws and designations, and the unreasonable prohibitions heaped on those given our modern day demonization, there aren't many criminal defense blawgers who wouldn't be staring down a flier just like this should they run for office against someone sleazy enough to smear a candidate in this way.

What cannot be tolerated is the inability to express oneself in the blawgosphere on these controversial issues without exposing oneself to such a wholly unjustified and flagrantly false smear campaign. To say that whoever did this is a disgrace is insufficient. The line has been crossed by a mile.


  1. Warren Redlich is a raging asshole. He loves to cyber-squat, send anonymous e-mails and call people names. Now held to acccount for his sick views on sex with teens he cries like a bitch.

    The LP loses with this creep. I'm voting Davis- a real Libertarian

  2. Hmmm... Perhaps we've found the flier's author?