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.
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.