Since I posted the link to Matthew Petty’s Tweet page site - http://twitter.com/mpetty - lots of folks have been logging on, and passing along some of the more interesting bits of Petty eloquence. At one point, an amusing quote came my way, with Petty praising developer John Nock’s Twitting skills.
After that, I emailed Fayetteville’s Avenging Alderman with an FOIA request, asking if John Nock had contributed to his campaign. Answering in the negative, he was also kind enough to pass along a copy of his campaign contribution report.
But then, the oddest thing happened. Odd, because it is something that Common Sense would dictate a public official should never, ever yell out publicly to a developer, especially one who has been in the news as much as John Nock has been. Yet Fayetteville Alderman Matthew Petty went on Twitter and sent out the following post:
Richard Drake is snooping around for something. He FOI'ed my campaign finance report to see if you contributed. FYI10:02 AM Apr 8th from TweetDeck
Some folks who found this and sent it to me were pretty irate - and some were just amused, truth to tell.
Nobody thinks for one second that Matthew Petty or John Nock are up to anything untoward, but if you didn’t know them - and they lived in another city altogether - and you read this message, what possible conclusions might you reach?
Alderman (and it’s important to remember that title) Petty has done John Nock no great service by sending out such an irresponsible message, for all the world to see. Whether Matthew Petty likes it or not, he is an alderman all day long, morning, noon and night.
It’s not a role he slips into several nights a month. It’s what he is, for the next several years.
Quite simply put, elected officials just don’t warn developers that journalists are “snooping around.” Especially developers who deal with the city that said elected officials happen to represent.
Before the alderman doth protest too much . . .
There is a medical term for elected officials who hit the “send” key on an electronic device without proofreading what they have written:
And he can pretzel the English language as much as he likes to explain this one, but the fact remains that on April 8, Matthew Petty was irresponsible. Being the individual in question, however, I suspect that the fault will all be attributed entirely to Other People.
Quote of the Day
Character is much easier kept than recovered. - Thomas Paine