At this point, the NSA phone-spying scandal is nearly irrelevant. Privacy-wary individuals shouldn’t be worrying about the federal agency spying on their text or email conversations — they should worry about that information being leaked by other individuals or through court mandates. Basically everything that a person sends on the Internet can be easily accessed and revealed to the rest of the world. If there’s a scandal on a public scale or a law suit, whatever an individual has sent online will inevitably emerge.
Somehow, politicians fail to understand this concept. Anthony Weiner caused multiple scandals related to his sexually-suggestive text messages and tweets, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s staff caused controversy regarding an email thread that indicated their involvement in the closure of the George Washington Bridge.
A newly released email thread demonstrates the racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic nature of a conversation between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s staff members.
According to the Huffington Post, the released email chain includes correspondence between Thomas Nardelli, who was Walker’s chief of staff, and his deputy Kelly Rindfleisch. At the time of the email thread, in 2010, Walker was the Milwaukee County executive.
In the email, Nardelli states the following: “In the nightmare ... I am homosexual, and on top of that with a Mexican boyfriend. Oh, my God ... Black, Jewish, disabled, gay with a Mexican boyfriend, drug addict, and HIV-positive!!! ... Say it isn’t so!!! I can handle being a black, disabled, one armed, drug-addicted, Jewish homosexual on a pacemaker who is HIV positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, lives in a slum, and has a Mexican boyfriend, but please, Oh dear God, please don’t tell me I’m a Democrat.”
The message doesn’t fully make sense without context (the Huffington Post alleges Nardelli was describing "a 'nightmare' scenario"), but it does demonstrate his ignorance.
That email was just one of thousands released by a Wisconsin Court of Appeals in response to an investigation into campaign activity during Walker’s tenure as county executive. Walker himself is not being investigated, but numerous members of his staff are under the spotlight. The Washington Post and other media outlets have uncovered some unusual stories by combing through the massive amounts of emails, but none have implicated significant wrongdoing on behalf of Walker’s former staff.