Monday, June 30, 2008

Juicy Political Gossip! Local Candidate Whitnum Doesn't Like That Internet Leaves a Record, Doesn't Like Immigrants

Jim Himes, the Democratic Congressional candidate, walked from Greenwich to Bridgeport yesterday to show that our district is connected. Cool. Himes is the endorsed candidate on the ballot this fall vs. incumbent Republican Shays. A woman named Lee Whitnum just got enough signatures to challenge Himes in the August 12 Democratic primary. Whitnum lives in Greenwich and is a substitute teacher in Stamford.

Here’s the gossip: Whitnum appears to be bonkers. I feel bad saying that, but I can’t think of another explanation. Get ready for a lurid/goofy webpage, light S&M and, most importantly, Whitnum’s lack of understanding that everything we do and say on the internet leaves a permanent record about us.

The best account of Whitnum’s strange internet past is at My Left Nutmeg (MLN), a liberal political blog. "A Voter's Guide to Lee Whitnum" starts with Whitnum's 1990 relationship with John Kerry (he was single at the time). She told the press about it during promotion of her fictional book Hedge Fund Mistress in 2004. The book was written under the name Lee Roystone, but Whitnum said the events in the chapter about a Massachusetts senator Presidential candidate are all true. The chapter includes a sex scene with light spanking. But that's not even the gossip.

MLN also includes a link to a bizarre webpage by Whitnum (rather, Roystone) that looks like a collage about a high school boyfriend... but it’s about John Kerry. The page, part of the HFM site, was taken down, but a cached copy exists. Memorabilia on the collage include photos of Whitnum with Kerry, a phone message written on a pink heart and newspaper clippings.

On Whitnum’s current book site, a note says: “This page has been removed. This page never contained G-rated photos of the candidate at the podium...the candidate at a tree planting... etc. Do not believe the bloggers. Lee”

However, the cache page does show Kerry at a podium. What is Lee talking about? Is she trying to say the webpage never existed at all? Does she mean that bloggers altered it? Why does it even matter if he was at a podium? Was the collage meant to be fictitious and created by the character? If so, Whitnum should state that. She’s running for Congress and voters will want to know if that collage was serious, a joke, or a mix of the two that makes you pity the collage-maker.

I’d say, “I’m confused,” but I can tell Whitnum is the confused one. Galley Cat, one of mediabistro’s blogs, has a post from last summer about an author who emailed to ask them to remove any reference of her from their site. Guess who? Yup. Why does Whitnum think she can edit the internet record to her liking?

What’s freaky is that her political webpage says she got a degree in computer science. That makes her actions even more puzzling.

Even the Greenwich Time got confused by Whitnum. (Who can keep up with her? I’ll provide article links at the end of this post if you want to try to untangle the convoluted stories.) From a recent GT article: “In a case of ‘he said, she said,’ Congressional hopeful Jim Himes is accusing fellow Democrat and Greenwich resident Lee Whitnum of calling him a Nazi on her campaign Web site and on a popular Internet blog.”

CT Local Politics points out how misleading the GT article is: First of all, this is not “a case of ‘he said, she said’.” The post by Lee Whitnum, which has been removed from her website, is still available, right here, where she posted it on My Left Nutmeg. Helpfully, it is entitled Jim Himes Nazi Connecticut, by Lee Whitnum Candidate for Congress. In it, she writes, “I went to bed a congressional candidate and I woke up to find myself in Jim Himes’ version of Nazi, Germany.” There is no “he said” here - her words have been immortalized online.

In this case, maybe the Greenwich Time is confused, but I’m going to bet their mistake involves Whitnum saying she never said that... which, again, she obviously did.

All you can do is shake your head, right?

No- because Whitnum does more just say all the wrong things. Not only does her campaign website have typos and grammar errors, it has inflammatory comments about immigrants. I can take the typos, I can take the grammar errors (just barely), but don’t call people “illegals” as if they are things.

You can read my analysis of her website. Imagine the most racist, anti-immigrant person you know; that’s what her comments about illegal immigrants sound like. (Although, if she sees this, she might take it down.)

Before looking at her sloppy Whitnum 2008 site, I might have turned a kind shoulder and dismissed her as a tactless but harmless person who I should leave alone to bumble her hapless way along.

Instead, I found a person who comes off as if she is entitled to say whatever she wants with no consequences. Those kinds of people bother me, because even while they purport to be the “average” person who gets shat upon by a “tiny, elitist group: the wealthy, Greenwich, Wall Street male,” they are the ones who sound like they think they are better than others. Quoted words in this paragraph are from LW’s campaign home page.

Whitnum is blustering about how Himes should debate her. Can you imagine?

If you want further reading, try these links:

--A post by Whitnum called "Jim Himes Nazi Connecticut, by Lee Whitnum Candidate for Congress" on My Left Nutmeg. She rails on local bloggers big time, who respond in commments. Dec 18, 2007

--Another self-righteous post by Whitnum at MLN: "Lee Whitnum Returning Your Hired Assassin" Jun 27, 2008 She calls Himes a “wimpy candidate” and tells an MLN blogger that he has "no soul."

--A CT Local Politics post: “Lee Whitnum and the Greenwich Time” Read more on how she tried to explain her Nazi comment. 6/13/08

June 2008- Slightly Positive Advocate article about Whitnum possibly debating Himes

Feb 7, 2008--Whitnum responds to being named Clown of the Year by a local paper; staff at the paper responds.

--Aug 8, 2004-Kerry's Ex-Lover - Is Her Web Site A Plant Or A Scam?


Anonymous said...

Now there's a candidate that makes one want to run out and vote... NOT!

patty said...

She is plainly coo coo for cocoa puffs. Look at her eyes in that picture - they tell me everything I need to know.

And look at Kerry's. If only this were a video rather than a still; we'd see him blinking "HELP!!" in morse code.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or is there an uncanny, "separated at birth" likeness between Whitnum/Roystone and fellow crazytown resident Ramona Singer of the Real Housewives of New York City? (RS is pictured on the far right in the link below). It's definitely in the eyes. (Shudder.)

While I find the unbalanced to be highly entertaining, I don't want them in public office.

Stamford Talk said...

See, this is why I watch so much trashy TV; so I can keep up with my readers' cultural references. I saw Ramona in the finale; what an attention grabber.

I also have nothing against unbalanced people; a few of my favorite people in this world are imbalanced. I like crazy people, actually, in many contexts, but I don't like what I see of LW so far.

Anonymous said...

I like hanging out with crazy people occasionally too -- I count myself among them on my rougher days. However, that doesn't mean I will contribute my vote to sending someone who is apparently incapable of completing a paragraph without at least one run-on sentence and three obvious spelling errors to congress. I think the government is generally embarrassing enough these days without adding this nitwit to the mix.

Manager Mom said...

I can tell by the look in her eyes that she's a nut job.

Anonymous said...

I have had the mispleasure of meeting her and she is a nut job