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Congressional candidate lawyers up and threatens Wizbang, poorly...

John Kerry's former girlfriend, and current candidate for a Congress, Lee Whitnum, really, really wants to erase her 15 minutes of Internet fame. We did one story on her because in 2004 she was news (for a day) since she was John Kerry's ex-girlfriend and was "promoting" a novel based (you guessed it) on a Northeastern Senator's love life.

Lots of other sites, including Drudge, reported on Whitnum's Kerry scrapbook. Last year Whitnum tried to get Wizbang and MediaBistro to remove their 2004 stories. We both declined.

Now she's a Democratic candidate for Congress in Connecticut and the liberal bloggers covering the race have had a chance to get to know Whitnum. They're not impressed.

Last year Whitnum sued Yahoo for $125,000 in lost sales (ha!) for taking down her Hedge Fund Mistress site in the midst of a Drudge link and lost.

Last week I received the following poorly worded letter from her lawyer.


Clearly since she's wacky enough to sue Yahoo she probably wouldn't think twice about suing me...

She's got no case, and we've got a kick-ass lawyer so I'm not really worried...


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Comments (16)

Someone needs to clue this ... (Below threshold)

Someone needs to clue this "lawyer" in on the concept of "fair use," and then find out where they got their law degree so you can tell people not to go there...

If <a href="http://new.lib.... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

If this is the lawyer, then she got her law degree 66 years ago, and is currently about 90 years old.

Makes the third-grade level writing in the letter even more amusing. Of course, it's always possible there are two Philomene A. Gates in New York City practicing law.

After reading around some m... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

After reading around some more, Ms. Whitnum may have committed a serious booboo. Maybe someone who gives a crap more than I might want to drop the real Philomene Gates an email inquiring about the letter. Seems a certain author/politician wannabe has used fictious attorneys before as well.

I don't think someone thought their cunning plan all the way through.

Anyway, I was bored, this caught my eye, and I played with Google and your links for about five minutes. The attorney, Philomene A. Gates, is apparently a writer, a longtime attorney, and a small donor to the 2004 Kerry campaign, which is possibly the only real link she has to your letter. Maybe I'm wrong, but that letter does not seem to have come from an active senior citizen attorney with writing experience.

I guess the "j" in "fromj" ... (Below threshold)

I guess the "j" in "fromj" is silent?!

This lawyer also cannot eve... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

This lawyer also cannot even tell the difference between reference and preference. She misuses "allegedly" in the context of the letter, and mis-spelled from by including a 'j'. She also fails to cite the specific date of the incident, merely saying it was "four years ago". Granted, we all make mistakes when we are just tossing off something in a hurry and of no importance, but a formal demand letter from an attorney should be a bit more, well, authorative, but as been noted, an attorney who does not understand copyright law even well enough to comprehend 'fair use', is likely a poor attorney in other respects as well.

My fourth grader can type a... (Below threshold)

My fourth grader can type a better letter. He knows how to put periods at the end of sentences, how to spell "from", and where the date goes in a letter. Just saying.

Is the "appropriate legal ... (Below threshold)

Is the "appropriate legal action" to go to law school and buy a dictionary and/or spell checker? You might want to go ahead and force them to take that action, Kevin.

I'm also wondering ... it l... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

I'm also wondering ... it looks like they sent the letter via email.

Is an email address legally valid for confirmation of service? I don't think it is, since subpeonae and jury duty notices are not so delivered.

Could Kevin countersue for imposition of Stupidity? Surely so much professional incompetence in a single missive demonstrates the presence of a dangerous mind-imparing substance?

DJ, there is no formal proc... (Below threshold)

DJ, there is no formal process for the delivery of a letter. The statutory requirements for valid service don't arise until there is actual legal process to be delivered to initiate suit.

This is a pretty silly attempt. You'd think that she'd figure out by now that incoherent letters from faux attorneys won't work.

Hilarious. In a <a href="h... (Below threshold)

Hilarious. In a Google search of her name, the eighth entry is the first to not mention Kerry, and her campaign site is the tenth hit.

I can't wait to see Ron Coleman's response to the letter.

"I guess the "j" in "fro... (Below threshold)

"I guess the "j" in "fromj" is silent?!"

LOL! The whole thing is silent!

The Thunder Run has linked ... (Below threshold)

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 02/05/2008 A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

"You'd think that she'd fig... (Below threshold)

"You'd think that she'd figure out by now that incoherent letters from faux attorneys won't work."

They might not work *here* but I think that, in fact, they frequently work very well indeed.

Folks,I know that ... (Below threshold)


I know that the schadenfreude is nearly impossible to resist, but as the parent of one with a mental illness, I am compelled to ask that you recognize the obvious and perhaps show a little Christian mercy on this poor woman.

(That said, it is probably the only instance of sympathetic sentiment I would ever show to Kerry that he had the lack of discretion to bump into this situation. Can you say "eye-roller?")

Philomene? WTF????... (Below threshold)

Philomene? WTF????

"Philomene? WTF?"</p... (Below threshold)

"Philomene? WTF?"

Ivy league feminization.






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