Sunday, March 1, 2015

The strange case of Rep. White, a/k/a "Victoria Adams"

A state House member is under investigation for using online aliases to attack constituents who disagree with him.

The strange case of Rep. White, a/k/a "Victoria Adams"

The Pennsylvania Legislature never fails to offer oddity.

Take the case of Western PA Democratic Rep. Jesse White.

Two DA's, one in White's home Washington County, one in Harrisburg's Dauphin County, say they're investigating White for using online aliases to attack constituents, including local officials, who disagree with him on Marcellus shale drilling issues.

White, an attorney, initially denied he'd done so, then admitted it and now has clammed up about it.

The Pittsburgh-Tribune Review reports Thursday that the two DA's are looking to determing whether White committed any crime and, if so, in which jurisdiction.

KDKA in Pittsburgh reports White went after a local township supervisor, Elizabeth Cowden, using a post calling himself "Lizzie" Cowden and wrote an apparent fake confession: "I'll tell you who else is lying: me! It's amazing what you people will believe."

White, according to the Tribune-Review, also called constituents, including senior citizens supportive of the drilling industry, "mouth-breathers" and "dumber than a box of rocks."

Names under which posts were made include "Victoria Adams" and "Janice Gibson."

The 33-year old White did issue an apology and has met with senior Democratic House leaders, but has so far declined requests for comment from variouis media outlets.

Some of those targetted are calling for White's law license to be suspended. KDKA quotes legal experts saying it's unclear whether White broke any laws.

What is clear, is that the Pennsylvania Legislature always finds ways to display the strange variety of our state's public servants -- no matter what they call themselves.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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