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REAL Peoria mayor defends Twitter raid

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* From the Journal Star…

Jim Ardis said he doesn’t regret his attempt to protect his identity. Some City Council members and others regret Peoria has become a nationwide punchline.

Debate about the Peoria mayor’s legal pursuit of the creators of a Twitter account that parodied him reached dramatic tones before and during a council meeting that extended late into Tuesday night.

Ardis defended his actions, which led to search warrants, a police visit to a West Bluff residence and the arrest of one occupant on a marijuana-possession charge.

He said the profane tweets, on a Twitter account created by Peoria resident Jon Daniel, could not be tolerated. That was true even after the account was re-labeled as a parody and was deactivated.

“I still maintain my right to protect my identity is my right,” Ardis said in an interview with the Journal Star before the council meeting.

More…

Montelongo said the episode represented an abuse of Ardis’ authority, as well as the police department’s.

“There was too much power of force used on these pranksters,” said Montelongo, the 4th District councilman. “It made it look like the mayor received preferential treatment that other people don’t get or will never get.”

In his pre-meeting interview, Ardis said he believed his complaint was handled no differently than anybody else’s would be. He said he didn’t orchestrate the police investigation, nor the search-warrant process.

“That’s a heck of a lot more power than any mayor I know,” Ardis said.

Seriously?

It gets even better…

“You’re the ones responsible for getting full information, but not to spin it in the way you want to spin it,” Ardis said to a Journal Star reporter. “To make us look stupid.

“It’s your responsibility to put actual information out there and cover both sides. Not to opine. And that didn’t happen. Clearly, that didn’t happen.”

Umm, that’s funny because this was from the editorial that reporter’s paper put out last week when the story was fresh…

Among the some 50 tweets were vulgar references to sex and drug use and comparisons to erratic, reprobate Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Ardis says that “you couldn’t print the things it attributed to me in your paper,” that it was embarrassing to his family and that “there’s a line here that was not just crossed, but vaulted over.” We can appreciate how irritating that would be. It doesn’t say much for the adults who were responsible, who certainly invited scrutiny they may not have gotten otherwise. Ours is emphatically no defense of them.

(Emphasis added.)

Unreal.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        


58 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 7:38 am:

    ===In his pre-meeting interview, Ardis said he believed his complaint was handled no differently than anybody else’s would be. He said he didn’t orchestrate the police investigation, nor the search-warrant process.===

    “Jimocchio”?

    When you are a Bully, and you are caught being a Bully, you bold face lie. Reports indicated that this all was initiated by the complaint… if the Bully Jim Ardis.

    Dope.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 7:49 am:

    @DopeyPeoriaMayor - a Satire Twitter, police raids, trampled rights, no rule of law. Admitting you “didn’t” instigated the whole thing, cowardice? Who said that so I can raid them next! #LiarLiarDopeyMayorsGavelOnFire


  3. - Belle - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:03 am:

    This guy takes himself way too seriously for a politician.
    A prescription for a chill pill is in order.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:16 am:

    PEORIA SWITCHES TO ‘PEORIA-NET’ FOR ‘WEB ACCESS

    Peoria, IL - Glorious Leader Jim Ardis has once again blessed Peoria again. By decree, Our Glorious Leader has banished the evil Free Speech of the Internet, and has rewired Peoria to be run through the “Peoria-Net” computer service.

    “This ‘Peoria-Net’ I have given to My People filters out the ‘Free thinking’ that has poisoned My People with lies. ‘Peoria-Net’ will allow a fair amount of websites, and no one should worry about privacy; every single person will have the same amount of a lack of privacy like everyone else. I look forward to keeping a close eye on My People, and some might even get visits from our Friendly Brute Squad to remind you of the rules found in the ‘Acceptable Peoria-Net Uses’ handbook that is required for ‘Peoria-Net’ access.”

    Glorious Leader Ardis, a gift to Peoria and her People, scoffed at the perception, the false thought, he, our Glorious Leader doesn’t believe in free speech.

    “I believe in Free Speech. Once I approve what My People want to say, they can say it. I have a good sense of what I will accept and what I won’t. I am free to tell you the difference.”

    The Brute Squad will be doing. “Well Being” checks, to make sure “Peoria-Net” is working, and to make sure your “Peoria-Net” experience IS encumbered to the best of the Glorious Leader’s ability.

    The US Constitution, the out-dated hinderance to Glorious Leader Ardis has been “temporarily” suspended, but may return doubtful or even never.

    We all must thank Glorious Leader Ardis for watching out, for Us.

    ###


  5. - Concerned - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:19 am:

    So the mayor finds the content of the speech profane or offensive and then the police get a drug search warrant directed at the speaker? Is this Boss Hog-land or what? Perhaps worse.

    Kinda like when the Peoria police chief did a prostitution sting to entrap a councilman that was out of favor with police chief and perhaps the mayor!

    How do the people of Peoria put up with these antics?


  6. - Mason born - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:20 am:

    –To make us look stupid.—

    No mayor you did that all on your own. I’m sure that if i call Peoria police and tell them that someone is making fun of me on twitter 7 detectives will do a raid to save me.

    DumbArse.


  7. - John A Logan - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:30 am:

    Wow. This guy is way off his rocker. I think having a fake twitter account named after me would be a point of civic pride, at least someone cares.


  8. - A guy... - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:32 am:

    Hard to defend this Mayor given the circus around this, but it’s probably helpful that someone started the ball rolling on this kind of abuse. In other areas of life, this is very serious, beyond mean-spirited and should have some protection for innocents who are targeted with this abuse.


  9. - Name Withheld - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:35 am:

    Streisand Effect - meet Mayor Ardis. Mayor Ardis - Streisand Effect. You two have a lot to discuss.


  10. - RNUG - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:41 am:

    Even speech you don’t like is protected. And this is doubly so for criticism of public figures such as politicians. If you want to be a public figure, it goes with the territory.

    The reaction was way over the line. And from what little bit I know, the ones who stepped furthest over the line were the judges that OK’ed the warrant(s) … they should have known better than anyone the line they were crossing.

    Gives a whole new meaning to “will it play in Peoria?”


  11. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:41 am:

    “Fake Peoria ‘Police Blotter’

    * A 40 year old parent of a middle school child was arrested and charged with three counts of ‘Misspelling Glorious Leader Ardis in Public School Projects’, a Peoria Felony.

    * A 25 year old woman was pulled over for reckless driving due in part that her ‘Ardis for Mayor’ bumper sticker was not in a visible location, causing other motorists to strain to see it. Bond was set at $75,000.

    * A 62 year old woman was charged with Impersonating Mayor Ardis while teaching her grandson who is who in Peoria Government. The woman was overheard, by 7 or 9 detectives staking out the residence, saying, ‘Ok, now I am Mayor Ardis, who sits here?’ Impersonating Mayor Ardis, a felony, is punishable at the discretion of the Mayor. Bond was set at $2 Million.”


  12. - Name Withheld - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:42 am:

    Hard to defend the Mayor? It’d say it’s darn near impossible. The fact that the account was parodying him is in no way a justification for what happened. The charge of impersonating a public official is laughable on its face. A near-sighted glaucoma patient could see that the account wasn’t seriously attempting to represent the mayor, anymore than Chevy Chase could be credibly mistaken for Gerald Ford.

    The account wasn’t actually labeled a parody, but that runs afoul of Twitter’s terms of service - it doesn’t rise to the level of a crime (unless we want to bring the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act into this and completely lose all sense of credibility).

    The mayor had any number of remedies at his disposal, even after tracking down the address. He simply could have asked the people to stop. He could have created a real Twitter account. Instead, he created a crapstorm out of nothing.

    For additional enlightened commentary, I refer you to Popehat’s guest article from the mayor.

    http://www.popehat.com/2014/04/21/guest-post-peoria-mayor-jim-ardis-on-the-rule-of-law/


  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:43 am:

    === but it’s probably helpful that someone started the ball rolling on this kind of abuse. ===

    I doubt it.

    Signed, Benjamin Franklin


  14. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:50 am:

    This ain’t Turkey Jim. I could understand some cops knocking on the door with a request that he kindly knock it off, but a “raid” with a search, after the account was both labeled parody then deleted, that’s just overkill, and mayors in this country can’t act like despots just because someone made fun of them.


  15. - Just Me - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:51 am:

    I normally defend the pols and their right to have some privacy, but in this case I must say if you don’t want to be a public person, then don’t run for public office.


  16. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:57 am:

    I would add that I do understand that the warrant wasn’t based on twitter, but using police to silence opposition, that’s stuff they pull in Russia. And the two things are clearly linked. I hope the twitterer gets decent lawyers. They’ll get his drug charges kicked, and sue the pants off the city and the mayor personally.


  17. - bottom rung. - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:58 am:

    Thank you for my morning laugh Willy.

    The Democratic People’s Republic of North Peoria.


  18. - Mason born - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:07 am:

    Name Withheld

    The pope hat piece was great. That being said before this is over Ardis is likely to top it in the absurdity column.

    My brother lives in Peoria I asked him if i could use his computer to share with Mayor about this little thing called the Constitution. He told me No. He may be smarter than me.


  19. - OneMan - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    Stupid is as stupid does….


  20. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:17 am:

    A Guy, the mayor is a public figure. They’ve been fair game for satire and parody from the git-go.

    The only public figure who ever got any kind of pass was George Washington. Adams and Jefferson savaged each other with parody and satire in the press of the day, and it’s been like that ever since.

    See the 8-0 Supreme Court decision in “Hustler Magazine v. Falwell.”


  21. - Name Withheld - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    Mason born - you can always count on Popehat!

    And I have no doubt that reality will trump fiction before the end of this saga. I just hope Peoria doesn’t have to declare bankruptcy from the lawsuits they will be facing out of this. I would not want to be their FOIA officer right now.


  22. - John Wood - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:20 am:

    I guess the 1/35 guy lost his shovel.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:24 am:

    - John Wood -,

    It appears so. The problem with defending someone who is not only a Bully, but a Bully ignoring the constitutional rights of citizens, because the Bully is a “good man”, is that a “good man” wouldn’t trample the rights of others using police and the courts to do it.


  24. - Illini Lurker - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    I am far, far too tempted to start up another parody twitter account. And I don’t live in Peoria.


  25. - a drop in - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:30 am:

    Word, check out any recent history on Washington and you will see he got it also.


  26. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    Drop In, upon further review, you’re correct. Google is an amazing tool. Thanks.


  27. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    And if you don’t act quickly, Mr. Mayor, pretty soon the Peoria Journal Star might ask your office what other crimes were committed elsewhere in Peoria on the day your police force was busy executing the twitter raid… http://www.pjstar.com/article/20140416/NEWS/140419137/1998/NEWS


  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    Remember, this Dope wanted to be in the Illinois General Assembly.

    Can you imagine Glorious Leader Ardis in the Illinois Senate?

    “Senate Bill 9954, A bill to remove the rights of citizens to have satire of Illinois State Senators, and to make said satire a felony in the Illinois Criminal Code.”

    “Senator Ardis.”

    Yikes. Ardis would have been embarrassing all of Illinois, not just Peoria(?)


  29. - Peoria guy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    The Twitter account had been shut down by Twitter weeks before the raid by the city police. This was strictly revenge and was wrong on so many fronts. Mayor Ardis could have apologized last night, said he regretted going as far as he did and this would have faded away. But he is not smart enough to do that.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    @DopeyPeoriaMayor - I believe free speech to be in complete balance w/ how I feel about what is said. #LikeItAllowItDontLikeItRaidThem


  31. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    I think we owe it to the First Amendment, to ourselves and to our posterity to start crowdsourcing a new Peoria Mayor twitter account.

    Who’s with me?


  32. - OneMan - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    Soccermom

    In

    @FakePeoriaMayor I heard that girl who dumped me in middle school is telling people she did, time to use the militia


  33. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    @DopeyPeoriaMayor - a city employee looked at me and smiled. Must be up to no good. Only with a raid of the house will we be able to know for sure the employee is on my side. #QuestioningIsNotIntimidation


  34. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    @DopeyPeoriaMayor - “Citizen Question Time” is being converted to “How Great is Mayor Ardis Time” by popular request #DemandActually


  35. - TooManyJens - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    It’s perfectly fair for Jim Ardis to insist that the account be labeled as a parody, in accordance with Twitter’s terms of service. Everything beyond that has been suppression of free speech for which he should be ashamed of himself.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    - Soccermom -, not ignoring your comment. It goes without saying, you only need to ask…

    It’s yours, you know where to find me.


  37. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    Yes, TooManyJens, but the proper way to do that was an email or letter to Twritter, not a police raid. This reeks of Putin.


  38. - TooManyJens - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    Anon, yes, I agree completely about the proper way to do it.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    @DopeyPeoriaMayor - I am not saying that I am having the Peoria Police surfing the Internet for bad stuff written about me. I’m telling you that. Big difference. #BruteSquadJobDuties


  40. - a drop in - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Any truth to the rumor that the mayor is warning East and West Peoria not to mistreat Peorians that moved to those areas and the police are on the town’s border for “practice” raids?


  41. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    Mom, I’m in.


  42. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    == his complaint was handled no differently than anybody else’s would be ==

    Did he say that with a straight face?

    Mayor Ardis is telling us that if someone makes a parody twitter account of any Peoria resident, Peoria will then send a cadre of officers to raid their home and arrest them at work?

    Is he insane?


  43. - Kerfuffle - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    Let the lawsuits begin! I’m sure lawyers are lining up for this slam dunk.


  44. - yinn - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    If the Tweets last night from some of the fake Jim Ardises and Justin Glawe are any indication, the citizens who spoke about this overreach during the public comment portion of the council meeting (including at least one Peoria Mayor parody account owner) did a terrific job taking the mayor to task.


  45. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    Of the varying degrees of appropriate response to a situation like this,

    “trying to destroy the twitterer’s life” or

    “violating a constituent’s Constitutional protections”

    usually falls somewhere after about 20 different possible approaches. Like “ignore them”, “stop doing that” or “hey twitter, suspend this account”.

    Whoops. That last one was already done for him.


  46. - yinn - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    No charges to be filed: http://www.pjstar.com/article/20140423/NEWS/140429547?utm_content=buffer86927&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Law says impersonation has to be done, um, in person.


  47. - Name Withheld - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    Wow. Not surprised, but you’d think the judges who signed off on this stuff would have thought of that little tidbit.


  48. - Mason born - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    yinn

    something tells me the drug charges will get dropped too. Especially since the crime cited for justification of warrant wasn’t a crime.


  49. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    –No charges to be filed–

    Well done, Mayor Ardis, chief of police, seven detectives and three judges who signed the warrants.

    Not one of you had the brains to state the obvious: “This is stupid. We can’t do this.”

    Now, Peoria has enjoyed world-wide publicity that money can’t buy, at any price.


  50. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    Wordslinger said it best - you can’t buy coverage like this.

    When your name appears in stories from Al Jazeera to Ars Technica, you know you done messed up. The truly troubling question is why this wasn’t caught earlier by anyone in a position of authority.

    Did the Mayor, Police Chief, and judges who signed those warrants not know about the Constitution, state law and hundreds of years of precedent?

    Or did they just not care?


  51. - Cheswick - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    Plus, did they never hear of Mayor Emanuel?

    https://twitter.com/MayorEmanuel/status/40520445639786496


  52. - Jeff Trigg - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    Boycott Peoria until Ardis regains sanity. Shop across the river in tornado damaged Washington, they need the help.


  53. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    No charges to be filed on the twitter part. But since the warrant mentioned drugs, they still could file drug charges…


  54. - Name Withheld - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    The probable cause for drugs is a tweeted photo of a hand using a razor blade to cut a pile of white powder into lines. Now, I’m not a lawyer - but I’d say that probable cause is shaky ground.


  55. - Walker - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 4:38 pm:

    “Fruit of the poisoned tree”


  56. - Pensioner - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 7:31 pm:

    Concerned @ 819am…How do the people of Peoria put up with these antics?

    repugnican town my friend. We are used to Nixonian repugnican tactics.


  57. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 8:21 pm:

    @DopeyPeoriaMayor Caterpillar What? Leave this great City? Go ahead-Make My Day! #CallMYBluffDoug


  58. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Apr 23, 14 @ 10:42 pm:

    Yeah: the problem with the photos and statements by the defendants that they were the mayor doing drugs is pretty obvious.

    The mayor alleged they were making the whole thing up and so did the officer in seeking the warrant.


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* How times have changed; my mother would have smacked me upside the head if I asked for a “gap” year before college
* Hoosier-land a haven for people who want the triviality of electoral politics
* Library Patrons, Take Note
* The obliteration of the least empowered and the most marginalized of our citizens. “Do unto others” was not a suggestion; it was a command.
* We get letters.
* Howdy, Neighbor: Columnist Mark Brown Makes A Move
* Dan Mihalopoulos doesn’t get it. Good night.
* May Day pics, posts and tweets.
* Discover Clarendon Avenue With A Free Walking Tour Next Saturday
* The impact of the ESSA 1% cap on students of color.


* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact




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