Panned spam

Aug 23, 2000 at 12:00 am
Last week, Speaker of the House Chuck Perricone (R-Portage) and his chief of staff, Lorri Richar, had their hands full deflecting the heat over a derogatory spam e-mail forwarded by Perricone’s wife, Jennifer, to a group of friends. The mail contained derogatory, racist, sexist and homophobic statements. Bad move, Jen. Unfortunately for Mrs. Perricone, one of the e-mail’s recipients is also a member of the gay community and forwarded the e-mail to the Triangle Foundation.

The e-mail describes a required belief system necessary to be a good Democrat. Among them are such helpful hints as, “you have to be against capital punishment but support abortion on demand,” “you have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides aren’t,” and our personal favorite — “you have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites and bestiality should be constitutionally protected and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.”

Mrs. Perricone issued an apology to the recipient the following day, but remained angry that he had gone public since it has “punished Chuck for something he knows nothing about.” According to an apology e-mailed to the offended recipient, it was a “forwarded piece” and claimed that a difference of humor was the real culprit.

“Now, I realize that we all have different tastes regarding humor, but for you to take this to such extremes certainly isn’t necessary,” she said.

Meanwhile, Perricone’s office claims the “innocent error” was blown out of proportion for the sake of political gain by “a group that pleads for tolerance and understanding.”

“It’s standard Perricone posturing,” says Sean Kosofsky, director of policy at Triangle. “This is the most offensive and irresponsible piece of correspondence I have ever seen from a political family.”

According to the speaker’s office the e-mail was forwarded in error and the gist of it was unknown to Mrs. Perricone. We’re confused, Jen. Which one is it? Is it uproariously funny to you but you regret getting caught with your finger on the mouse, or are ya still unclear about what you sent?

Prema Oza contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette