Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Note from Scott MacLean

I received this email from Scott MacLean, who will be facing Miriam Masullo in the 1st District Republican Congressional primary, with a request to post it publicly.
Dear Genghis Conn and all the Connecticut Local Politics bloggers:

This is Scott MacLean, the GOP endorsed candidate for Congress in Connecticut’s 1st Congressional District. As I’m sure you and the entire Connecticut blogging community know, I will face Dr. Miriam Masullo in the Republican primary on August 8th. Although I am not a registered contributor to the Connecticut Local Politics blog, I read it and am familiar with some of the regular contributors.

I would like to put this question out to the blogging community, Republicans and Democrats alike, so I can listen to your comments and thoughtfully weigh them as I decide what to do in this matter. First the facts:

Last week, I received an e-mail directly from Dr. Masullo herself. It was addressed primarily to two churches, First Congregational Church in Bristol and a CC to my home Church, The First Church in Hartland-Congregational. The subject line if the e-mail said, “Personal and Confidential.” But she also sent a copy to me. Why, I don’t know. The subject line of my copy said, “Personal and Confidential (your copy.)”

So here is my question to the blogging community. What are my ethical responsibilities here? If I was still a practicing Minister, which I’m not, and someone sent me an e-mail saying, “Personal and Confidential” I would feel an obligation to preserve that confidentiality. But I am no longer a practicing Minister. Am I still obligated to preserve the confidentiality of something which was intended for someone else even though a copy was intentionally sent to me by my political opponent? Also, I made no agreement with Dr. Masullo to keep anything personal and confidential and we have no oral or written contract on this or any other matter. In fact, we have never spoken except for the few moments after the 1st District Convention in May. So in some ways I feel that if she sends something to me, directly, that’s it’s fair game and I can publish it. What are your thoughts?

I know you all have some curiosity about what the e-mail says but my question to you concerns the ethics of the matter, so please frame your comments in those terms.

I look forward to the thoughts of the blogging community on this. I’ll weigh them carefully and you’ll be the first to know my decision. If it is your collective wisdom that I am ethically free to publish this and if I then decide to actually publish it (of course the final decision is mine and mine alone) then I will break the story first on the Connecticut Local Politics blog.

Thank You.


Sincerely,

Scott MacLean
Republican Party endorsed Candidate for Congress
Connecticut's 1st Congressional District

Mr. MacLean also included this in a follow-up email, which I am also posting with his permission:
But let me also say something about Ethics in General. When I was in theological seminary I had a two course core requirement in Ethics, so it's an area where I have some specific training and I deem it to be important. But the thing about Ethics that makes it so complicated is not what decision you come up with, on any given subject, but the decision making process you use to get there, the reasoning behind your decision. That's why two different people, each coming up with a different answer, can both be considered ethical if their reasons and justifications are ethically sound.

This is why I welcome the discussion within the blogging community because two different people, coming from different places, can each come up with two different ethically justifiable positions.

Feel free to post your comments and ideas.

33 comments:

Gabe said...

Without knowing the context provided by the contents of the email, I don't see an ethical problem with you posting the contents of the email.

Assuming you received the email on purpose, someone who sends an email to two churches and cc's their opponent in a campaign has no expectation that the email will remain private.

MikeCT said...

What a strange and cryptic message from MacLean. Speaking of weirdness, don't miss Colin McEnroe's hilarious take on Masullo:

Actually, through an intermediary (my radio producer Bobby), Masullo said she would never speak to me again unless I apologize for what I wrote about her two years ago. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no memory of what I wrote about her two years ago....

I admire Masullo because she recently exhibited the guts to do something a lot of people are simply too cowardly to do in American politics: attack her opponent's religion. She pointed out that MacLean is an ordained minister in a bizarre religious cult called "Congregationalism" which was brought to Connecticut by a charismatic leader known as, I'm not kidding, "Reverend Hooker." Wow. Authority in this religion is concentrated in a supernatural figure known as "God," but this "God" allows the various congregations to determine their own beliefs. Show me a religion that does not fanatically impose an inflexible doctrine on its followers, and I'll show you a religion that's trying to cover something up.

Masullo said the Congregationalists support and cosset terrorists and suicide bombers, forcing MacLean to publicly and emphatically deny that he has ever blown himself up to make a geopolitical point. I happen to live across the street from one of their cells or temples or churches or whatever. It's called Immanuel. It doesn't take much rearranging of some of the letters to get El-Umman, which certainly looks Muslim to me.


Her minions are fearlessly hypocritical, raising MacLean's address as a campaign issue.

"She has no idea what she's talking about," he said, adding, "It's amazing when a person who doesn't live in the district makes an issue about where somebody lives."

Masullo lives in New Canaan, which is in the 4th Congressional District, but has said she'd move to the 1st District if she wins the seat that Democratic U.S. Rep. John B. Larson has held for four terms.


The first district would be so boring without these two.

Anonymous said...

What? Both this guy and his opponent are really weird. Do either of them want to talk about the issues? How about why they should be elected rather than Larson?

In answer to the direct question, there is no ethical problem sharing this. It was sent to you in your capacity as a candidate, not as a minister. If she was dumb enough to do this, you should feel free to use it however you want for your political purposes.

cgg said...

I think it was unethical to come to the CTLP community with this in the first place. This is the kind of thing that should have stayed within the campaign until you decided what to do.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

The Masullo campaign will have a lengthy response later today.

However it should be pointed out right now that at no time has Miriam attacked the Congregational Church; quite contrary.
The fact is the interview with Colin and MacLean is not available on the WTIC website due to Colin's lies ie: "Masullo said the Congregationalists support and cosset terrorists and suicide bombers...".

The leader of the UCC, John Thomas has taken some rather bizzare stances as of late which has prompted a response from The Simon Wiesenthal Center that includes the following:

"At least you are honest. .... It’s Jews you’re talking about, as you admit in your current letter..... keeping those pesky Jews from your offices, and from your convention floor when resolutions about the fate of Israelis came up.

Read the whole thing and John Thomas' letter that drew that response here

MacLean has constantly brought up the fact that he's an ordained minister. Indeed he now resides in a tax exempt parsonage. (I guess he does anyway - it seems he doesn't even know where he lives but complains about Miriam's address. At least she knows it and has been a registered Connecticut Republican for decades.)


It is MacLean that keeps bringing the church to the campaign and the rest of us have every right to know if he is in agreement with his own UCC leadership or if he's willing to disavow the hatred found therein.

For a guy running "the truth campaign" he's been lying from the very start.
His very 1st email to those of us on GOP State Central on August 20th of last year addressed us as "Fellow Republicans" when in fact he wasn't even registered to vote in Connecticut and never had been. One can not be a "fellow Republican" without 1st being a Republican.

The MacLean lies continue.....stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Well, what is Mr. MacLean's ethical thought process about publishing it? Is he doing so for political advantage, or does he feel obligated in some other fashion to share it?

And, is there a meta-conversation about ethics in political campaigns that has been ignored for the last two hundred and thirty years that we should be reviewing?

Wrath of Conn said...

What... the... hell?

Imagine all the productive things Mr. MacLean could have been doing to help his campaign during the time it took him to write that.

This is beyond weird.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

MikeCT said... "
Her minions are fearlessly hypocritical, raising MacLean's address as a campaign issue.


Not at all, at least we know where Miriam lives.

If MacLean is not legally registered due to his use of a false address he can not be an elector in the state; thus he can not be a candidate.

Getting him off the Republican line via any means possible is the only goal.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Wrath of Conn said... "
What... the... hell?"


Well put!

Miriam's a NICE lady with a big IQ.

She googles pretty well too.

As a retired research scientist she feels (as was her habit throughout her career) that those with a contrary point of view should be kept apprised of what she's saying regarding their work.
To that end she has copied MacLean repeatedly on a variety of issues, including internal documents where frankly I wish she hadn't.

MacLean, unfamiliar with the ethics of science, has no idea how to take it or her.

I doubt he's yet figured out why he even has an opponent.

Anonymous said...

When are we going to have a discussion of the real issues that people of the 1st CD care about??

Is Miriam Masullo going to campaign in the 1st CD??

At least I got a mailer and phone call from a MacLean volunteer.

Are they going to debate? I hear Masullo is scared to debate him.

Jim said...

Scott,

Something that I would guess is very important to bloggers and readers alike is the open exchange of information. I feel most of us would encourage that you bring the contents of the e-mail into the discussion of the campaign, but I would also be cautious. I find it very strange that she would copy you on this e-mail, and wonder if because of the contents it's something she can use as an attack if you release it.

-A Democrat who is giving you serious consideration for November.

Enfield_Dem said...

Genghis,

Have there been any posts that showed Larson’s, MacLean’s, and Masullo’s second quarter campaign fundraiser filings, and cash on hand? If so, could you please post the link for me? Thank you.

Hartford Republican said...

"I hear Masullo is scared to debate him."

MacLean won't even show up at a Republican Town Committee meeting if he hears Miriam's going to be there.

He skipped Hartford last Wednesday for example.

Genghis Conn said...

Here's what the FEC says about fundraising in the 1st District:

Masullo and MacLean have very little:

MacLean

Masullo

While Larson has a lot:

Larson's latest form.

drex3 said...

ACR,

When, oh when, will Miriam Masullo condemn Nancy Johnson for her membership in the Unitarian Church? When will Johnson finally denounce her theologicial allies?

The Unitarians have agreed with Amnesty International that the U.S. should suspend weapons and munitions aid to Israel. They have called for "equal rights for bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people." They have been pro-choice for decades. They support the abolition of nuclear weapons. They have called for the support of the ACLU, People for the American Way, and other civil liberties groups. They urge handgun control. How anti-Republican can you get?

Connecticut House minority leaders Bob Ward and Larry Cafero are Catholics. Have they condemned their church, which is notoriously soft on the death penalty, sympathetic to pinko notions like "economic justice," opposed to the war on Iraq, and supportive of increased welfare spending? I think not. (By the way, Masullo is suspiciously Catholic-sounding to me!)

Where is Masullo on these Republicans in Name Only? And what right-thinking religion does she subscribe to? Or is she another godless heathen, like those Unitarians? Where is the voice of the Republican leadership on this culture war when it counts?

Weicker Liker said...

I'm surprised the Hartford RTC even has meetings.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

drex3;

Your arguement rings hollow.

No one other than MacLean has gone to any lengths to keep bringing up the fact he is an ordained minister.

He brings it up yet should anyone question his stances on UCC topics he claims his church is being attacked.

It might well be all become a moot point anyway seeing as he violated CGS by regsitering to vote at a non-existent address.

Undoubtedly in a feeble attempt to conceal the fact that he's living in a church owned tax exempt property, and running a campaign out of it.
Now that that has been established the IRS will probably want to suspend the church's 501-C status for at least a year.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Genghis Conn said... "
Here's what the FEC says about fundraising in the 1st District:
"

The 1st dist has more D's than even U's and is the only such district in the state.

It is therefore for Republicans the worst scenario.

However in a state where the GOP garners under 10% of the Hispanic vote (vs nat'l of around 40%) it just makes sense to run Miriam.

Cuban, spent her teenaged years in Harlem, NY the woman can connect to otherwise unreachable to Republican voters like no one else.

The Architect said...

This sideshow is so entertaining. The fact that a few people with a little power in their hands can get so riled up and flustered over a pathetic primary race is hilarious. Even more pathetic is that these two "candidates" and their apparatchiks are tearing each other apart with no mercy, all for the glorious privilege to be the sacrificial lamb to John Larson. Very rarely have I ever seen people so encouraged over something so absolutely meaningless and stupid.

Anonymous said...

>>so absolutely meaningless and stupid

To allow someone with MacLean's baggage to remain the unchallanged GOP nominee gives that element a foothold in the party.

That is not acceptable to some of us.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea how this guy was chosen to be the nominee. I am embarrassed to be a Republican in the 1st District. Shame on Christopher Healy for backing this guy.

Weicker Liker said...

ACR

The whole rationale about Miriam Masullo appealing to Hartford's Hispanic voters is unfounded.

Her "agenda" does not appeal to this block of voters.

What does she have in common with them? Coming from wealthy New Canaan?

Her Hispanic connection in 2002 did. Nothing for her against Phil Steele. It will do nothing for her in 2006.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Weicker Liker


Little point in responding to you is there?

It's quite clear to me if no one else that promoting a Cuban refugee who spent her teenaged years in Harlem and went on to earn a phd offends you.

You appear to be exactly who the first post on my blog was in reference to.

Who are these characters calling themselves Republicans?

Anonymous said...

Thank God (in the UCC, open-and-affirming, inclusive, humanitarian, peace-loving fashion) for Colin McEnroe's sarcastic dissection of the most absurd and ridiculous campaign issue I've ever come across.

What stuns me is that Ms. Masullo is even contacting the First Congregational Church of Bristol and First Church of Hartland--those terrorist-loving, jihadi institutes of social unrest deep in the heart of Connecticut. After all, both are UCC. I'm sure the ministers there won't have time to get back to her about whatever banal issue she's bothered to write them about, however--they are too busy thinking of new ways to incite anti-Semitic beliefs at their weekly coffee hours.

Mr. McLean: Take the high road.

ACR: And you wonder why there are no “authentic” Republicans left in CT…we all got tired of looking like crazy, bigoted lunatics. Despite the opinions of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the UCC has a strong history of excellent Christian-Jewish relations. It is a member of the Interfaith Relations Commission of the National Council of Churches and is actively committed to finding a peaceful resolution to the situation in the Middle East. SWC and you may not like the UCC’s use of divesture as a political statement, but it surely does not make the UCC anti-Semitic.

Ms. Masullo continues to display an amazing lack of political acumen. John Larson must be laughing himself sick over the latest Republican implosion in the 1st district.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Anonymous 8:51

You miss the point I suspect intentionally.

MacLean keeps bringing up his ordination, no one else has and since he does that he raises the valid question; "Do you agree with John Thomas on the following issues...."?

Never mind his attempt at deception regarding his address which was clearly made on purpose so as to protect his landlords from the taxation they'll probably suffer now thanks to him.
read up on IRS 501-C)


Further; don't try the WASPier than thou crap with me.
I am a 10th (+) generation Congregationalist that has had quite enough of watching my tithe go towards nonsense such as a $50K "speaking honorarium" to Sarah Brady.

How many people could be taught to read for 50 thousand dollars?


"...bigoted lunatics.."

Looks like you might qualify to me; you are after all attacking a female Hispanic for no good reason.

Personally, I think Torrington native John Brown had the right idea as to how to handle bigots.
He was a real hero as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

Whoa...it's quite an intellectual leap to take my comments about Ms. Masullo (i.e. her lack of political acumen) and turn them into racial bigotry. I'm extremely offended to be called a racist, especially when my comments had nothing to do with Ms. Masullo's race, or even race in general.

In fact, the only one bringing race (or WASPiness) into this dialogue is you, ATR. I acknowledge a need for thick skin in the blogosphere--and even apologize if you were truly offended by my remarks--but it's completely unacceptable to imply someone is a racist because you don't like their critique of your candidate.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Anonymous 10:11

Re-read your own post of 8:51

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on all who contributed to this thread. You've now spent more time, energy, and thought discussing the Republicans running in the first district since Barbara Kennelly was being wet-nursed.

Scott--if you've got something, go with it. Your numbers can ONLY go up. Do what you have to do to raise the profile of your race--campaigns are a battle and, in your district, the Dems have the decided high-ground. You can't be sitting around on August 8th with bullets still in the chamber.

MikeCT said...

Jesus would be Swift Boated by Miriam Masullo if he were around today.

Anonymous said...

John Larson must be laughing himself sick over the latest Republican implosion in the 1st district.

I definitely don't know jack about this, but if I were he, I'd be about at "who"? Although laughing himself sick would be an appropriate response if he knew the answer to that question.

Anonymous said...

Why does this matter? Barring a meteor strike, Larson will beat either one of them like a drum?

That said: Maclean can use the letter for anything he wants. There is clearly no expectation of privacy in a letter sent to two churches and to the candidate. I might temper the NO expectation remark if the letter had been addressed to two specific ministers and was something personal - as the posting says: churches and clearly has a campaign angle to it - use the letter and have fun.

Anonymous said...

The Authentic Connecticut Republican needs to get an Authentic CAT Scan.

When McLean wins the primary by 50 points, I predict the Authentic Connecticut Republican will use his Authentic NRA-approved weapon of choice to swallow and Authentic bullet.

And I would be cautious, if I were him, in criticizing people who aren't, as he puts it, "in the game." I'm not so certain ACR is "in the game" either.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

The Miriam Masullo campaign has issued the following press release:

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

First District Candidates Are in Agreement About Debate

Republican Miriam Masullo launches the very first news release of her First District Congressional campaign to address a key issue and publicly challenge her opponents.



"National security and foreign policy are central issues of my campaign. My background as a basic research and information scientist gives me a unique perspective on what we need to do to defend America and keep the American people safe. I am challenging Democratic U.S. Representative John Larson, among other things, for his weak record and conflicting actions with respect to the War on Terror. We cannot take chances with unclear views or uncertain loyalties in our decision makers. On that point, my Republican opponent has less than a clear stance, and our differences must be highlighted by way of a debate."



During an on-the-air dialogue last week that was later removed from the WTIC Radio website for verified improprieties and untruths, Masullo's opponent, Scott MacLean, claimed that he is willing and able to debate candidate Masullo anytime, anyplace. In that segment, statements were made implying that Masullo was supposed to appear on the show with her opponent, but had declined; in just one of the various invalid comments made by the talk show host and her opponent.



In another development, also last week, candidate MacLean failed to appear at the Hartford Republican Town Committee meeting, knowing that Masullo would be there and a debate might ensue.



In reaction to these developments, Masullo issued a memo early Friday morning to inform the Republican leadership in the First District that in order to honor candidate MacLean's on-the-air request for a debate, she had already made arrangements with CT-N for coverage, and that CT-N agreed to video-tape the debate for subsequent video-streaming through the CT-N public services website.



After this internal communication with Party leadership took place, Masullo's opponent issued a press release stating that he has requested a transfer to Springfield, Massachusetts, also explaining that working for a living puts high demand on his time that conflict with his political campaign. This of course establishes hardships that could prevent him from debating Masullo.



Masullo is flexible and will help to facilitate the debate:



"A public debate to make both our positions clear on all issues important to Republican voters is more than called for. If my opponent cannot accommodate a debate in Connecticut using the resources of CT-N, I am willing to travel to Massachusetts and have the debate video-taped locally for subsequent video streaming through the CT-N website."



Adding the following comments, in reference to recent news reports about this race:



"It is high time to set the record straight. There is not a single sentence on my campaign website written by me about candidate MacLean or on any topic associated with him. There has not been a single press release issued by my campaign until now, and I have not been on the air at all, to speak on any subject matter whatsoever. So far he's been doing all the talking and freely attributing remarks and opinions to others, including myself. To get his positions on key issues is the reason why he is being challenged in the first place. It is about time that the candidate stops talking the talk and starts walking the walk to the primary."