7 Years of Political Silence

I stopped writ­ing about & voic­ing my polit­i­cal opin­ions back in 2008 or 2009 after J. Kevin Kel­ley & Kevin Payne got bust­ed by the FBI for their cor­rup­tion. At the time I tweet­ed some­thing along the lines of “I can’t believe I worked on a project with these scum­bags.” That project being a redesign of the Coun­ty Engi­neer’s web­site that had lan­guished for over a year, com­plete, but with­out sign-off to go live. The next day I got called into the Direc­tor’s office with my boss and syn­tax was struc­tured that tan­gen­tial­ly implied that fur­ther pub­lic com­men­tary from me on any­thing job-relat­ed would affect my employ­ment. That Direc­tor, Dan Weaver, lat­er got sen­tenced to 3 years in prison as part of the same giant pile of cor­rup­tion that infect­ed the man­age­ment of the entire Coun­ty. I think the FBI stopped fish­ing soon after because every­thing left was small fry.

They scared me. I had a brand new infant, a mort­gage, there were no job prospects in Cleve­land, so I delet­ed the afore­men­tioned tweet and kept my head down for anoth­er 5 years. The FBI burst in to my office because these crim­i­nals spat upon the same civ­il respon­si­bil­i­ty that I was hon­ored to con­tribute to. Every­one at the Coun­ty was impli­cat­ed. I know how louche it is to voice per­son­al opin­ions regard­ing one’s pro­fes­sion­al posi­tion, but some shit needs to be unequiv­o­cal­ly repu­di­at­ed. The fol­low­ing tweet is, as far as I can tell, the only one left stand­ing from that time:

I’ve spent 7 years with my lips zipped — which is not an easy thing for me to do. I’ve tried to be as non-par­ti­san as pos­si­ble in my deal­ings with every­one. Going along to get along. I’ve avoid­ed engag­ing in any­thing that might be politi­cized, but what isn’t these days? Ain’t nobody play­ing for low stakes.

I can con­tin­ue to kib­itz, or I can throw my two cents on the pile & see if any­thing shifts.

Main­ly, though, I’m tired of keep­ing my mouth shut.

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