'Shut up, or I'll sue your butts off'
Another day, another setback for the litigious team of Tom Reynolds-Bob Dohnal-J.J. Blonien, whose favorite campaign technique is to file complaints and threaten lawsuits against anyone who takes Reynolds' name in vain.
Dohnal, who publishes something called the Wisconsin Conservative Digest and picks fights on Reynolds' behalf, was frothing at the mouth last week about how the DA had found statements about Reynolds to be untrue and defamatory, and making threats about suing people's asses off.
Am I exaggerating? Here's a Dohnal e-mail. You be the judge:
The DA has ruled that the group, Building Wisconsin's Future was lying when they claimed that Sen. Tom Reynolds was using campaign money to heat his home or pay utilities as Gretchen Schuldt claimed. She started this whole smear campaign.Ok, let's check a few facts.
Let this be a warning to bloggers. You cannot say anything that you want on blogs. Your are subject to the same rules of libel and truth that prevail for other public discourse.
At present it is being determined what Building Wisconsin's Future is going to do but in the meantime they have pulled their ads.
At first I had blamed WEAC, but found that not to be true and immediately retracted and apologized. People, no matter who they are should not be subject to scurrilous lies.
Special note to Christofferson, Gretchen Schuldt and Jim Mcguign (sic). If you call Tom Reynolds and immediately apologize, run some tv ads to make up for the false material that you were propagating and apologize to the people in the 5th senate district he will probably forgive you. Tom Reynolds is a very nice and caring person. I am not.
I am tired of these sleazy charges being leveled against good people, conservatives who are friends of mine. If you do that you will face me and my bank of attorneys in court.
I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years hunting for trophies and have them over my fireplace. I would really like to add the butts of Gretchen Schuldt, Bill Christofferson and Jim McGuigan.
Bloggers bewares (sic), check your facts, tell the truth, drop the silly name calling and work to improve the debate. Bloggers can reach a place in the political discourse that is worth while. Otherwise bet (sic) to shut up.
Bob Dohnal, Publisher
The DA's office issued a letter today about a complaint against the State Senate Democratic Committee, which had produced a piece of literature repeating the charge about the utility bills. Reynolds had filed similar complaints against Building Wisconsin's Future, an independent group which ran some ads on the subject. Since it was the same issue, I assume the findings were consistent.
First of all, the DA's letter does not say anybody was lying. The DA's office did an investigation and concluded that the claim that Reynolds paid his home utility bills with the campaign checkbook was not accurate.
If you read the letter, you'll see the assistant DA who wrote it also said it was easy to understand why someone would make that claim -- because Reynolds' own campaign finance reports make it appear that's what was happening.
So, no intentional spreading of false information. An innocent mistake, caused by Reynolds' own sloppy reporting.
Another fact check: Building Wisconsin's Future didn't pull its ad. It had run its course, and the television buy was over. Dohnal says it "is being determined" what the group will do. I'm betting on nothing, considering the last sentence of the letter from the DA's office. It basically says it would be nice if the Senate Democratic Committee wrote a letter saying it's sorry, but the DA has no way to make that happen.
There's always that Dohnal lawsuit to see if he can put some butts over the mantle. Is it a little intimidating? That's what he wants it to be. And it can be a little scary when you're dealing with a fruitcake who talks so tough. He sounds like a road rage candidate who just might show up at your door with a gun instead of a subpoena. Apparently that's an occupational hazard if you're a blogger.
Dohnal might be better off just to find another hobby. You know how conservatives hate frivolous lawsuits.
UPDATE: Gretchen Schuldt has a few more questions about those Reynolds finance reports.
UPDATE 2: The SSDC has some questions, too.