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Michigan asst. AG cyber bullies gay student assembly president

Y'all don't know this, but I have a muse out there who brings things to my attention that I might have missed and ultimately demand wider attention. Remember that piece on the feds looking for Ebonics translators? Thank him for that. And for this new oddity he's just highlighted for me. An assistant attorney general for the State of Michigan is waging an ugly one-man crusade against the first openly-gay student body president at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He may be doing this on his own time, but it raises issues of fairness and security. How can the gay men and lesbians of Michigan trust a lawyer for the state when he spends every waking hour out of the office denigrating who they are?

Since Chris Armstrong was elected in April, he has been hounded by Andrew Shirvell. "Chris Armstrong Watch" is the primary vehicle for the public servant's seemingly unhinged rants against Armstrong and his "radical homosexual agenda." Shirvell also called Armstrong "Satan's representative on the student assembly," a "privileged pervert" and accused him of recruiting incoming freshmen "to join the homosexual 'lifestyle.'" You'd swear the two were running against each other for office. Or that Shirvell's constant and vitriolic blog postings would constitute cyber bullying. But there's no anti-cyber bullying law on the books in Michigan.

In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper last night, Shirvell said that he was practicing his First Amendment rights of free speech. That's fine. What's stunning is his total lack of judgment and his seeming inability to understand how, well, strange his actions are.

Even Shirvell's boss, state Attorney General Mike Cox, took him to task for his lack of judgment. "Mr. Shirvell's personal opinions are his and his alone and do not reflect the views of the Michigan Department of Attorney General," Cox said earlier this month. "But his immaturity and lack of judgment outside the office are clear." And inside the office? That's what I'm worried about now.

By Jonathan Capehart  | September 29, 2010; 12:29 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

So the point of all this is what? Your finally coming out of the closet? Two adults disagree with college lifestyles? Anyone who disagrees with a purported liberal cause should be tarred and feathered? Maybe Capehart, you should go for the job as an Ebonics translator, it might pay better after November.

Posted by: elcigaro1 | September 29, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Elcigaro1: Not sure if you saw the video, but he believes Chris Armstrong is out to cause harm and believes his sexuality is a lifestyle. The man is bigoted/closeted.

Posted by: andresz | September 29, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart;

That was fascinating; thank you. The links were especially interesting - especially the link to the "Chris Armstrong Watch". Lovely lay-out, frightening content. Has any addressed the fact that Shirvell is a grown man, out and about in the world, who seems to spend all of his time out of the office (and perhaps some of his office time as well) fixating on the undergraduate life of his alma mater? What about that isn't creepy - all the gay-bashing, homophobic drek aside? If nothing else, it's stalkerish in the extreme.

Sadly, it doesn't look like his boss, the DA is going to do anything about it. How about a strongly worded letter from his alumni association?

Posted by: seabelly1 | September 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Andresz - don't make yourself crazy responding to elcigaro1 about his nonsensical faux-nazi swagger. There are people in life you can talk to, and there are people who are best left to the care of their therapists and parole officers. I'm thinking el fits snuggly into the latter group.

Posted by: seabelly1 | September 29, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The sooner that Mr. Shirvell comes out of the closet and gets psychotherapy -- the better. He is an angry and dangerous man to be an assistant attorney general. But, I guess Michigan has very low standards for its public officials.

Posted by: mykolas1 | September 29, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The sooner that Mr. Shirvell comes out of the closet and gets psychotherapy -- the better. He is an angry and dangerous man to be an assistant attorney general. But, I guess Michigan has very low standards for its public officials.

Posted by: mykolas1 | September 29, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

So the point of all this is what? Your finally coming out of the closet? Two adults disagree with college lifestyles? Anyone who disagrees with a purported liberal cause should be tarred and feathered? Maybe Capehart, you should go for the job as an Ebonics translator, it might pay better after November.

Posted by: elcigaro1 | September 29, 2010 2:22 PM

The person above needs some help, as well as that assistant ag, and badly.

Posted by: citigreg | September 29, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I've never seen someone as obviously gay (and closeted) as Shirvell.

I seriously hope that Armstrong doesn't get murdered by that lunatic.

Posted by: kenk3 | September 29, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

It would seem likely that Shirvell needs to be called on the carpet and told that persons in his position essentially lose many of their freedom of speech rights when they take the job, because everything they say may be taken as official positions of the state he works for.

If he wants to continue his one man decency campaign, he needs to resign so that he doesn't seem to be making it Michigan Policy to harass individuals whose lifestyles aren't in accord with the personal convictions of some individuals in high state office.

On the other hand, he shows just where any state accepting his kind of politics is headed, and the Party most given to professing his kind of politics is the republican/T Party, and letting that truth out of the bag won't help the R's in subsequent elections.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 29, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Does the Republican Party accept that Shirvell is doing this?

Posted by: ceflynline | September 29, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Typical twisted extreme Right Wing Lunatic is what Andrew Shirvell is!

Posted by: cyekim | September 29, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"Decency campaign"? On what planet is obsessively stalking a stranger and creating a blog where you deface his picture with swastikas and slanders "decent"?

This man is a dangerous obsessed stalker, and almost certainly seriously mentally ill. Let's hope Ann Arbor police keep Mr. Armstrong safe.

Posted by: Blurgle | September 29, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

* Vice President Joe Biden lashed out at fellow Democrats. He said that those Democrats that didn’t get what they wanted should just “buck up.” Of course, Joe Biden has “bucked up” a number of times.

Posted by: adamnescot1 | September 29, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

While Andrew Shirvell's first amendment rights are protected, I think I've seen private firms firing employees who's after-work activities reflected negatively on the company's profile. And those dismissals have been upheld in court. Why is this guy still employeed? And when is his next yearly review?

Posted by: B-rod | September 29, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Watched the Anderson Cooper interview of this person... Wow! Why is it that those "straight" people who are the most virulently devoted anti-gay SEEM to be such thinly disguised, prissy queens? Someone should warn Asst. AG Shirvell how mortifying his conduct will seem to him 10 - 20 years down the road, after he finally comes out...

Posted by: jwwjr1953 | September 30, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Someone who works in government - or anyplace else, really - has a right of free speech. People who are adult also exercise a certain level of discretion as to what they say or do.

Someone who is employed by the public (and this would include attorneys general and their assistants) has a responsibility to that public - ALL that public - to deal with them without discrimination. This man's off-the-job (but quite public) comments have been sufficiently incendiary that one has to wonder whether he could deal fairly in his official capacity.

Yes, he has "free speech" rights. It's a pity he doesn't seem to have much in the way of judgment about exercising them, and "judgment" is a necessary quality for an AG, isn't it? So, his off-the-job comments, and the fact that he makes them, would certainly seem to unsuit him for his job. Perhaps his supervision might come to the same comclusion.

Posted by: Palladia1 | September 30, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

There's something really disturbing about that blog. Who took the photographs? Who took the videos of the police "raid" (what appears to be a pretty routine response to a noise complaint or some other minor infraction)?
Is Mr. Shirvell following Chris Armstrong around with a camera? Because it sure seems like it. This isn't "speech", or even cyberbullying. It's stalking.
The AG should can this guy and Armstrong should get a restraining order.

Posted by: monsieurtofu | September 30, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

And the State Attorney General is keeping this guy in office because....? It is a direct, reflection on the Attorney General and the office itselfas well as the bully.

Posted by: dmcampbell | September 30, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

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