Spin, Not Denial: Walsh on the Leidecker Charge

Bob Walsh, Executive Director of the NEA RI, whom we all wish a speedy recovery from his procedure today, called in to the WPRO Dan Yorke Show yesterday morning. After clarifying that his “medical leave” involved a previously scheduled surgery and not a ploy to distract from the NEA’s travails, he went on to address the arrest of NEA RI Assistant Executive Director John Leidecker.

I can’t say too much about the incident, so to speak, other than I have great faith that John Leidecker on my staff [edit – or is that “and my staff”?] will be fully exonerated and this at best would be would be in the sophomoric prank category, not anything to do with communicating fraudulent information to voters. Most people in Representative Gablinske’s position laugh such things off. I mean, if I send you an e-mail, Dan, and said I was corresponding from Dan Yorke with a different name, you would probably laugh or be mildly annoyed. Instead, Representative Gablinske sends State Police officers to our office to pick up Mr. Leidecker’s computer, which seemed to be a bit excessive, but they’re just doing their job. …
But this will have its day in court. I have great faith that this matter will be disposed of and seen as frivolous on Representative Gablinske’s part.

What’s interesting here is that, rather than issuing a blanket denial or – more realistic – aver that he knows nothing about this matter, the Executive Director of the NEA RI, at four distinct points, attempts to play down or minimize the alleged activity.

sophomoric prank
laugh
a bit excessive
frivolous

It appears that we are past the question of culpability and on to damage control.

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Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

Plus, Walsh is blaming the victim. He’s questioning Gablinske’s “motives”, while at the same time getting upset for Gablinske referring to the NEA as “organized crime”.
So let me get this straight, calling the NEA “organized crime” is a very bad thing to do, but to sign up for an email address with someone else’s name, send lies about that person during a campaign and then take credit for that candidate’s loss is just a “sophomoric prank”. Mmm-hmm. How about I head on down to the NEA office and throw some rocks through their windows? Ha Ha Ha…Bobby, no that’s not criminal, that’s just a sophomoric prank, ha ha ha. Right?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

“Sophomoric prank”.Walsh as much as admitted the charge is true.Let’s see-who has a history of sophomoric pranks?

G
G
10 years ago

Didn’t anyone else hear “that John Leidecker and my staff” instead?

chuckR
chuckR
10 years ago

Did I miss the part where Dan Yorke was running for public office, like Gablinske? Is this a minor frivolous distinction?
Perhaps the NEA should be mindful that a Tenn Dem pol’s son who hacked into Sarah Palin’s email got 1 year and a day in Federal prison or a halfway house. That was a ‘prank’ too.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

Hmm, maybe we can create email addresses like larrypurtill@gmail.com or robertwalsh@gmail.com and write to individual teachers and let them know that they’re being watched by their administration. Tell some teachers they’re doing a great job and will be progressing next year, and tell other teachers that NEARI’s own internal evaluations show that teacher truly lacking and needs to pick it up, or NEARI will not defend that teacher in his upcoming contractual release.
Just imagine the chaos that would ensue.
Heck, it’s actually really easy to send out emails where the “From:” says LPurtill@nea.org or RWalsh@nea.org. So imagine that chaos. Why would anyone question the authenticity of an email from one of those addresses. And hey, if they figure out who it was, they could just claim “Ha ha, just kidding! It was just a sophomoric prank!”
Oh and Bob, I hope you enjoy the 25 Dominos pizzas being sent to your room at the hospital with the bill going to NEARI! Heh, just a prank! 🙂

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
10 years ago

Hi!
Since Gablinske is NOT a “common name” it was spelled as it sounds in the questionable e-mail any person unless they know the spelling could be confused. Even then those who know how to correctly spell Gablinske could think it was a “typo”.
At the very least very unprofessional and politically “dumb” thing for the e-mail. It will be interesting how the court will rule.
Regards,
Scott

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