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Peoria Mayor Thinks Outrage Over City's Raid on Twitter Parodist Is Everybody's Fault Except His

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Stupid Jim Ardis, stupid mayor of Peoria, Illinois, looking stupid.
Peoria Mayor's Office

When Peoria, Illinois, Mayor Jim Ardis responded to a parody Twitter account by calling out the police, the story quickly went wide nationally, and he became the butt of even more jokes and additional parody accounts.

He regrets nothing, though, and seems to think a parody of him violates his right to free speech. His response and the subsequent police raid became a big issue at Tuesday night's city council meeting. A Peoria Journal Star reporter was in attendance:

"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.

"Are there no boundaries on what you can say, when you can say it, who you can say it to?" Ardis said. "You can't say (those tweets) on behalf of me. That's my problem. This guy took away my freedom of speech."

Perhaps his stated concern about the profane nature of the tweets makes him unfamiliar with the seminal Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell Supreme Court decision that parody is a protected form of free speech. No doubt a man as pure and clean as him would never touch an issue of Hustler or read anything about it. But anyway, he has it exactly backward, and everybody seems to get it except for him and his local police department. Even the Peoria City Council members appeared a bit aghast at his behavior, the subsequent raid, and the unrelated drug arrest that resulted, especially when the story went national.

[Council member Jim] 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."

Ardis, though, has decided to blame the media:

Ardis said the situation provides an opportunity to discuss the proper limits of commentary on social media. He also said the news media is responsible, in part, for the problem.

"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."

Clearly, that didn't happen. So in the spirit of Ardis' complaint, I hope he clicks on the link to the Hustler case above so he can avoid future situations where the media makes him look stupid for being a person in a position of power who apparently knows very little about the First Amendment.

UPDATE: State's Attorney Jerry Brady said today the originator of the parody account will not face charges and furthermore said that the fake tweets are not violations of the state's law against impersonating public officials.

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  1. Thank fully, Jim Ardis replied in detail denying the alleged abuses of power:

    Let me clear some things up right now:

    ? I am devoted to my loving family and have not “shacked up” in a motel with a so-called “notorious furry.” I do not visit motels because their low thread-count sheets make my skin chafe. I have not been observed at any motels and if I had been it would have been to visit with community leaders about growing jobs in Peoria’s business climate. I had a soiled fox costume in my car because I was going to participate in a pantomime for children at a local cancer hospital. My staff’s nickname for me is “Swift,” not “Yiff.”

    ? I have not hired any sex workers. I have nothing against them, and feel our system should do a better job protecting them from harm and providing them with opportunities to better themselves and stop being such fucking liars about important people.

    ? I do not have a “drug problem.” Drugs are a scourge of impoverished, powerless, and dark people everywhere. I am fortunate to be affluent, to have friends, and to know many people in the criminal justice system. Throughout my career I have strongly advocated that people, including myself, avoid the ruinous consequences of drugs.

    1. And that’s why I (heart) Popehat.

      1. I seldom laugh aloud, but the last line of the second bullet point did it for me.

        1. The very deliberately worded third bullet got me.

    2. I’m beginning to suspect his attempt to shut down his parodist might have backfired.

      1. Asshats like that never see it coming. He has Harry Reid syndrome.

    3. But will this play in Peoria?

      1. Will it get them off of their tractors?

  2. What a stupid motherfucker. I am very glad he’s in Peoria, and not my town. Not that I have anything against Peoria. Except that I visited it once on bidness w/Caterpillar, and it is a fucking rank shithole. But I’m sure the people are nice. Other than the mayor some of them elected. Who is a fucking retarded dickface.

    That is all.

    Well, no it’s not. I’m gonna go find out how to get hold of him and I’m going to tell him myself. Maybe he’ll try to sue me or something, which will be fun.

    Here we go….!!

    1. Other than the mayor some of them elected. Who is a fucking retarded dickface.

      Alleged fucking retarded dickface.

      1. right – thank you

  3. PS Maybe Mayor Ardis should try a Twitter campaign to generate positive feedback. I heard that worked out pretty well for the NYPD.

    Just trying to help. #caring

    1. There’s actually nothing surprising about Twitter parodists being viciously tracked down by the police, because if we don’t speak up for everybody’s rights, we better be ready for our own rights to be trampled on when we least expect it. It starts with criminalizing deadpan satire in the form of “Gmail confessions” intended to embarrass or “injure” a well-connected academic department chairman, and from there it moves to criminalizing Twitter parodies intended to “injure” a city mayor. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal-satire case at:

      http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      and consider, in particular, the NACDL’s statement that if certain individuals “feel aggrieved by online speech with academic value, they have remedies in tort,” rather than in criminal courts.

      http://raphaelgolbtrial.files……-brief.pdf

      The “Gmail confession” case, despite being widely reported on in the press, has been ignored by nearly every legal commentator in the country, so it’s not at all surprising that the police now feel free to go after the creators of satirical Twitter accounts embarrassing to wealthy and powerful members of the community, whether they be politicians, university presidents, or anyone else ordinary people might choose to mimic and mock on the Internet.

      1. P.s. the Hustler case is also cited in the material documenting the New York criminal satire case,

        http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpr…..of-satire/

        but this did not stop a New York criminal court judge from explaining that the defendant’s “criminal intent brought you a parody over the line.” The lower appellate court then held that the defendant was to be punished for “giving the impression” that he was another, and not for his speech. The matter is now being reviewed by New York’s highest court, but if Ardis has been following legal developments in this area, it’s understandable that he thought he could claim he had been a victim of “identity theft,” which is precisely the central charge of the New York case.

  4. So, instead of just putting the shovel down, he reaches for a backhoe.

  5. Streisand Effect ftw

  6. I note the conspicuous absence of statements that he doesn’t beat his wife or fuck sheep. One can only speculate why.

    1. This comment is in English: AAW ?.

  7. Anyone else think he looks like notorious prick Richard Blumenthal?

    1. Dick Blumenthal’s eyes, Christina Ricci’s forehead and Jame Gumb’s mouth. What’s not to love?

      1. Nice. He should rent that forehead space out – could put a billboard-sized message there. Prime money for that.

        1. Some people have a forehead; he has a fivehead.

        2. Some people have a forehead; he has a fivehead.

  8. Is that a punchable face, or what?

    I would rate it a 8.5 of 10 level of punchable.

  9. I think that everyone in Peoria should mock this guy mercilessly until he resigns.

    I would suggest that they also drink heavily, because they live in Peoria.

    1. He’s the mayor of Peoria. That’s like chief Peorian. Hasn’t life mocked him enough?

  10. If he had half a brain, he would have said something like this:

    “Hey, there are some parody accounts out there poking fun at me. You know, there’s some stuff on them I really don’t like, but I actually laughed at a couple of things. Here’s a couple of the better ones. Lets try to get some better jokes on them, OK?”

  11. Updated with the news that the Twitter parodist will not face charges because he (duh) didn’t break any laws.

    1. What does not breaking any laws have to do with not getting arrested, anyway?

      I swear I just saw a story about some old guy who didn’t break any laws, but caught a beatdown, an arrest, and some charges anyway.

      1. I’d hardly call lying on the gravel being beaten not breaking any laws.

        1. Reckless endangerment: What if someone trips on him?

          Obstruction of justice: If he protects his head with his arms, he’s obstructing our peace officers in their work.

          I could keep going…

    2. How about some charges against the mayor?

      1. Charges? 50KV to his nuts with a cattle prod until the fry off sounds about right.

  12. impersonating public officials.

    Which always involves going full retard.

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