I hardly have the words to describe how shocking and shameful this is:

An Alaskan state legislator revealed in his constituent e-newsletter Friday the identity of an anonymous local blogger who was made famous by her criticisms of Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign season.

Apparently, this brain-dead legislator got his panties in a bunch because the anonymous blogger, so-called “AKM” who owns the wildly popular Mudflats blog, once called him out for some inappropriate emails he was sending to his constituents:

AKM earned the ire of Alaska Representative Mike Doogan (LD-25) of Anchorage (who happens to be a writer by trade) when AKM wrote a blog post about a rude email that Doogan sent to his constituents: “Are you people nuts? You send me — and everybody else in the legislature, from the looks of things — Spam and then lecture me on email etiquette — as if there were such a thing? Here’s an etiquette suggestion: Abandon your phony names, do your own thinking and don’t expect everybody to share your obsessions.

Well, this Mike Doogan spent months cyberstalking AKM to find out her real identity and then publicly outed her in an official legislative newsletter (which is currently on the homepage of the Alaska Democratic Caucus!):

Anonymous Blogger Anonymous No More

The identity of the person who writes the liberal Democratic Mudflats blog has been secret since the blog began, protected by the Anchorage Daily News, among others. My own theory about the public process is you can say what you want, as long as you are willing to stand behind it using your real name. So I was interested to learn that the woman who writes the blog is Anchorage resident [redacted].

Best wishes, Mike

This is the mark of a shameful, petty man. Regardless of this cruel asshole’s protestations to the contrary, the right to remain anonymous is firmly ensconced in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As the Supreme Court held in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission:

Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.

Here is the email I sent to Representative Doogan:

Dear Rep. Doogan,

While reading the news today, I was shocked to find out that you took it upon yourself to reveal the identity of the anonymous blogger behind Mudflats. Are you capable of understanding how damaging your actions may have been?

You chose to run for public office and expose your family to the harsh light of the public sphere. The woman that writes Mudflats did not make that choice. She is a private person with a passion for commenting on current affairs in Alaska.

She chose, for reasons you probably know nothing about, to remain anonymous. Certain founders of our country wrote the Federalist Papers anonymously, to avoid the threat of reprisal.

Maybe the woman who writes Mudflats has a boss who would fire her for her views.

Maybe she has an abusive boyfriend who would beat her for her views.

Did you know any of this when you took her privacy and threw it in the garbage? Of course not.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

If you want to take action, send him an email yourself; his email address is: [email protected].

If you want to really express your outrage, you should write an email to the Democrats with the real power, the Minority Leader and Minority Whip. Their email addresses are [email protected], and [email protected].

Also you should email the Alaska Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics. Their emails are [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] .

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