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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Amendment X: Sexting in Washington State

The latest threat to our children that the evening news says we should worry about is sexting; teenagers using cell phones to act like teenagers. It turns out that a Freedom of Information Act request in Washington State found that the epidemic of sexting has spread to City Councilors using their government emails.
Kirkland City Councilman Bob Sternoff used city e-mail resources while the council was in session to conduct an intimate personal relationship with his girlfriend, recently released city documents disclose.

From May of this year until early this month, Sternoff, who was divorced 15 years ago, sent scores of messages, some of them sexually explicit, to the woman. In addition, many messages in the same e-mail threads contained disparaging comments about fellow council members and un-named members of the public who attended city council meetings.

The e-mails were released simultaneously to the full city council and a Kirkland blogger as well as to the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. EFF is electing not to publish them due to their explicit nature and to protect the privacy of Sternoff’s girlfriend, who is not a public figure.
Public officials behave differently when they know their constituents are watching. I'm sure Councilman Sternoff has learned that lesson well. Kirkland officials may now be less likely to treat public resources as their own private property.

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