April 23, 2018

Ty Clevenger — Joey Dauben with a law degree?

Ty Clevenger, handout picture
via WND.com
In my opinion, that could be one good way to describe the caped-crusading lawyer from central Texas now removed to Brooklyn.

Clevinger, for the unfamiliar, runs the Lawflog blog. From what I know, based on having known of him for several years and having some familiarity with the area, it has a fair degree of accuracy on Hearne and Robertson County issues. (IMO, he's spot on about most of what he writes about the Robertson County News.) That said, as Clevenger is both a lawyer and a former journo, he knows just how far to push something on the side of opinion or speculation while getting close to calling it fact, or on stuff that is fact but controversial, he knows just how much legal footing he has.

Joey Dauben, the erstwhile "publisher" of several online "newspapers" in Ellis County, had a hazier view of such issues. But, he had no money to make it worth suing, though — or some people may have thought that. He was sued successfully over cybersquatting and ordered to pay fines that he probably never coughed up before the Texas Department of Criminal Justice gave him a decades-long seat in one of its Holiday Inns. More on that parallel with Clevinger below.

Speaking of, back to Clevenger.

The further away from Robertson County you get, the less trustworthy he is. He's a gun nut, from what I can tell on Twitter, enough of one to do the "David Hogg Hitler salute" meme and enough of one to call for armed teachers. He's also a Seth Rich conspiracy theorist and a MAGA-head, one who touts right-wing and even far-right-wing blogs. This too would surely parallel Dauben, were Dauben not in the custody of the state of Texas.

On Rich? Clevinger (who is more than too clever by half, I see what I did) has filed an FIOA lawsuit. They don't require "standing," of course.

Of course, our legal beagle has one thing wrong from the start. Since the FBI is NOT investigating the death — that's still with DC Metropolitan Police — it's a non-starter (except to fuel conspiracy theories) to ask it, let alone the NSA et al, for files. Ditto on throwing Hillary in there. (See more on my blog post about Rich's parents suing Fox et al.)

Stick to Booger County Mafia, Ty. It's more fun watching your personal feud with Dennis Phillips play out.

Idries Shah
Meanwhile, I'm curious why some of the "other side" in Hearne tossed Ty aside after initially successfully using his services. I'm fairly sure that, even in a small town like this, this is yet another example of Idries Shah's famous utterance:
To 'see both sides' of a problem is the surest way to prevent its complete solution. Because there are always more than two sides.
Unfortunately, the third, and beyond, sides, are usually quiet about their take on issues. And, if they're would-be mediators, they get flamed by the first and second sides. At other places, I've seen third sides and more on issues.

All of this adds up to make him less than 100 percent trustworthy even on Hearne issues, like that, and even given the reality of what I know about Hearne. There, even, he's ... he's Joey Dauben with a brain and a law degree. Or, a more acerbic, low-rent, wingnut Glenn Greenwald.

Clevinger reminds me a bit of Dauben in other ways. Dauben would cybersquat on misspelled versions of website URLs. Clevenger creates websites like "Booger County Mafia" and "Dirty Rotten Judges" then lets them expire after a year or so.

On the third hand, per TPM, as well as the link below, he does take on Republicans as well as Democrats.

On the fourth hand, I'm not sure how much in the way of civil rights case work he does, and how broadly he defines that term.

Then, there's other parallels with Dauben. One would be the idea that the law and the rule of law don't necessarily personally apply to him. While part of it may be contempt for being held in judicial contempt, he — he of liking to expose financial irregularities – owes $150K in judicial fines. If he refuses to pay, the DC court, on that fine, should convert his now-completed suspension into a disbarment.

Yet another parallel, per this snarky tweet, is arguably anti-gay bigotry. I have no idea if, like with Dauben, there's any fire behind that smoke. Yes, he's married; that proves nothing. Ted Haggard was married when his gay sex scandal hit the fan, after all.

And, per tweets like this bashing Black Lives Matter, I'd argue that the fire of racism is behind that smoke. (Clevenger could say, "But, I've legally represented Hispanics and blacks in Hearne." I'd respond: "That proves nothing. You could be doing that just for your pound of flesh. Besides, have any of them seen your Twitter feed?" Beyond that, you represented them as city council members, not as individuals.)

Related to that? One brief pair of paragraphs at the very bottom of one long post is all Ty ever wrote about former Hearne officer Stephen Stem, fired after fatally shooting two civilians, in different incidents, in less than a full year on the job. Nor did Clevenger write a thing about Stem being no-billed by a Robertson County grand jury. Stem eventually lost his wrongful termination suit against the city, which Clevenger also won't tell you. Nor did he write about Stem's prior background.

Lemme know if one of your civil rights cases is for a gay person experiencing employment discrimination.

Beyond that, as another example from Twitter, he clearly thinks fundamentalist and conservative evangelical Christianity is the only "real" type.

I know that Brains, if not perhaps worshiping the ground he walks on, may think more highly of him than I do. (See his comment below.) That's perhaps because, in addition to his "Booger County Mafia" take on Hearne and Robertson County already being familiar to me years ago, some of his other stuff was also familiar to me.

Overall, Clevenger exemplifies my take on an old cliche: "Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my temporary ally of convenience and nothing more."

And, again, the bottom line is — his national-level conspiracy thinking and related undercut his local-level reliability to some degree.

At the state level, his "selectivity" is interesting. Is it because Abel Reyna was otherwise a "law and order" DA that Clevenger never blogged about the Twin Peaks post-shooting legal clusterfuck?

2 comments:

PDiddie said...

Hey, I just link to his blog and put him in the Wrangle once in awhile. As with Ted and Kuffner.

Gadfly said...

Maybe I harshed up on you a bit much ... i'll edit.

And, had I known part of what I didn't know before I briefly returned to Marlin, I probably would have remembered Clevenger earlier and that would have been a factor in not returning in the first place.