01 July 2005

Communication Breakdown

Ah, upstate New York…

It's where I grew up, you know.

Lots of history. (Cradle of the American Revolution)
Beautiful scenery. (The mighty Hudson River)

And some of the dumbest politicians to ever get
elected. (I'm looking at you, Governor Pataki)

But this guy sets a whole new standard for the word dumbass:


The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 29, 2005

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Thinking he was sending
an e-mail to an aide, Assemblyman Willis Stephens
instead sent a note to nearly 300 constituents,
making the following comment on their listserv:

"Just watching the idiots pontificate."

In the message, meant for aide Beth Coursen,
Stephens wrote that he subscribes to the Brewster
based online discussion group to monitor area
happenings, but he doesn't post messages.

The accidental note went out early Monday
morning. Within an hour, Stephens sent
another e-mail apologizing for the first one.

"To all who read and post on this group,
I honestly enjoy reading most of what is
exchanged on this site and do not direct my
indiscreet characterizations to anyone in
particular or to the group in general," he wrote.
"In fact, now I most closely resemble the
type of poster I described."

When reached for comment Tuesday, Stephens
said he was embarrassed and reiterated what
he said in his e-mailed apology.

Michael Santos, a Brewster resident and
Democratic village trustee who created the
discussion group, said he's a longtime political
adversary of Stephens. Stephens has called him
a lot worse than a pontificating idiot, Santos said,

"I guess I was taken a little aback at first,"
Santos said. "On the other hand, I should probably
send Will a thank-you note, since my in-box is
now full with requests from people asking to be

Stephens, a Republican, represents an area that
includes a handful of towns in Putnam and
Westchester counties and the Town of Pawling
in Dutchess County.