Sen. Reinbold sued by Chugiak woman for blocking her on Facebook - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, May 13, 2021
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Sen. Reinbold sued by Chugiak woman for blocking her on Facebook

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Alaska State Senator Lora Reinbold is suppressing free speech, says Bobbie McDow of Chugiak. The woman says Reinbold has removed McDow’s comments from Reinbold’s “Senator Lora Reinbold” page because McDow has posted messages critical of Reinbold’s position against wearing face masks during a pandemic.

“State Senator Reinbold’s mindlessness is not surprising: she has accused Alaska Airlines of ‘mask tyranny,’ been banned from Alaska Airlines for violating its mask policy, publicly criticized Governor Dunleavy’s vaccination efforts in Alaska, and been banned from parts of the Capitol for violating basic COVID-19 guidelines,” the lawsuit says.

“Now, State Senator Reinbold is violating the Alaska constitution by discriminating against Ms. McDow based on her viewpoint. Because of her viewpoint, Ms. McDow is banned from commenting on posts on the public and interactive ‘Senator Lora Reinbold’ Facebook page. She is also banned from liking or otherwise reacting to State Senator Reinbold’s posts, from replying to or liking the comments of other users, from conversating with other users, and from messaging State Senator Reinbold,” the lawsuit states.

Because the page is labeled “government official,” McDow, who is a registered Democrat, points out that she is being blocked from expressing herself on an official government site.

Her complaint documents in detail the political and interactive nature of Reinbold’s Facebook page, including Reinbold’s many calls to action regarding issues she is championing.

In 2019, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the interactive portion of a public official’s Facebook page is a “public forum,” and that means an official cannot block people from it just because of the opinions they hold.

That case involved a member of a board of supervisors in Virginia. Supervisor Phyllis Randall briefly blocked a critic from her official Facebook page and also deleted a comment he had made about her board’s use of public funds.

This new complaint, as filed by the Northern Justice Project in cooperation with Alaska Legal Services, using a template from Alaska Legal Services is listed here:

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Ironic that the government representative who goes on and on about fighting for and protecting constitutional rights is actively trampling on the 1st Amendment rights of her constituents. I wonder if she will ever say which rights she’s fighting for and protecting, or if she will just keep saying constitutional rights without actually knowing what they are?

  • Why is this Senator even on Fakebook?
    Why support the Zuckerberg?

  • If it her personal Facebook page she has the right to block and delete anything. However if it is a Facebook page tied to her position serving in government that is a different story as that would be considered public.

  • Lora is unusually tolerant of negative speech. I have read comments that are threatening go her on Senator Reinbold’s page. In the interest of peace those could be blocked. I enjoy reading Lora’s reports and usually following comments. Some are just upsetting and reflect badly on the writer. A gut check is if one feels sick…go in peace. I suppose there is a range.

  • Also I notice the thickness of disparagement of Lora Reimbold is on a par with the unremitting disrespect of Alaskan Native women who also
    bear the identical vulgar insults usually by the same vulgar, low information suspects.

  • Wow, Lisa Murkowski did the same to me a couple years ago.

  • Those two deserve each other

  • There are three comments on the story. You have added blue stars that say loading on each of my expressions of interest on your story. No doubt my thoughts are out of sterotype for my demographic. Your page Says “No Comments”. You have three comments but they aren’t real evidentally. Perhaps a real caucasian will comment then mine will be added. C’mon people. Hah!

  • Here is a clue for you as a Chugiak resident Senator Reinbold is not even your Senator. Get a Life.

  • Ms McDow,
    Everyone blocks their Facebook. Look at the political ads, the only thing you can do is share the Post and You cannot do anything with the comments. You have no violation of your Freedom of Speech…

  • Oh dear! Social media tool bites agian. This only proves more reason why public officials and people shouldnt be using social media tools. There gives too much room for misunderstanding because of too much context is missing. I bet the accuser comments how they replied was vulgar and aggressive. Who knows Facebook might had even blocked her themselves just to mess with her head.

    Social Media Tools has turned people into maniacal raging lunatics.
    If they talked over the phone and face to face their dissent be more civil.

  • Anyone who yells at me I’d block them too.

  • Hate to burst the plaintiff’s bubble but Democrat public officials delete people’s comments off their pages too.

    I got proof, it’s happened to me multiple times cause they don’t want anyone else reading truth.

    It was always the truth spoken more well written comments that get deleted, while my crappy replies stayed.

    Reveals a lot for their brain! Hahahaha

  • At least she got blocked. Most legislators don’t even read their Fakebook comments. For them it’s just an “I speak – you listen” tool.

  • Sen Reinbold is a government official, hence why the FB page says so. The page is not an official government site, nor under the control of the government. This lawsuit is dilatory and will be tossed, very fast. It is a waste of the courts time.

  • So, I scrolled through the long, long, pages of this lawsuit with all the little screenshots, emojis, etc. Who spent such massive amounts of time detailing this–Ms. McDow or her attorney? That degree of butt-hurt is quite amazing and makes a major case AGAINST Ms. McDow. Interesting in all those pages, not once did we get to see anything SHE actually wrote or commented on. How can we really know anything about this when we haven’t seen the other side? We don’t get to see if she was rude or used bad language or any of several things that would make Senator Reinbold want to block her. All we know is that somebody got their feelings hurt and decided to make a really big hoopla about it. Good Grief, Ms. McDow, you’d think you’d try a little harder to make people appreciate your side of this (by including your responses) instead of looking like the snowflake everyone accuses Democrats of being. This is a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black. If there is any group of people who love to “censor” others, it’s Democrats. Don’t like it when the shoe is on the other foot? File a lawsuit! I’m still laughing!

  • Don’t you folks have anything better to do than to follow this inane Peyton Place story?

  • You know why there are so many of these BS lawsuits?

    Because it’s an industry that earns lawyers, judges and associated staff and employees a lot of money.
    They could shut these nuisance lawsuits down but that would cost them so they never will.

  • Get a Life.
    Delete Facebook all together.
    Why is anyone on this bull 💩 Waits it’s true, if it’s on Facebook!

  • In 2019 the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower courts ruling that President Trump violated 1st Amendment rights when he blocked Twitter users because he used his Twitter account “to conduct official business and to interact with the public.” The judges further wrote “[The] First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,”
    .
    Senator Reinbold fighting for your constitutional rights while actively trampling on your 1st Amendment rights!

  • That’s funny. A Democrat squawking about being censored.

  • Message to both parties:

    GROW UP!

  • Funny, isn’t it, that the liberals get upset when someone who happens to hold public office deletes, censors or blocks someone who makes objectionable comments on his or her non-governmental (or governmental, for that matter) social media account but the same two-faced, hypocritical, lying, scumbag Democrats applaud when Facebook or Twitter or some Democrat they adore does the same or worse.

    And these liberal mental lightweights (aren’t they all?) can’t even see their own double standard.

  • You’re so right

  • Boy, I don’t know about you guys but I have been blocked and deleted by several Alaskan civil servants on public pages. Be careful what you wish for folks. This could blow up in your face.

  • Not surprising that this author also blocks anyone on Facebook who dares to disagree as well.

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