September 26, 2018 Dena Jensen
For our 32nd day of Doug’s Got to Go posts, we pay tribute to the 15 people who were bold, yet polite in their commenting, and were blocked by Republican State Senator Doug Ericksen from his Public Figure @SenEricksen Facebook page and subsequently signed onto a letter, along with around 60 more people, mostly constituents.
This list of citizens asked the Senator to, “open your social media forums to all constituents and discontinue your practice of silencing those presenting opinions or facts that are inconvenient to your propaganda. If any constituent is still blocked from your social media forums on August 1st or thereafter, you will elevate this matter to legal action.” Here’s the link to that letter: https://riveterscollective.org/2018/07/letter-to-doug-ericksen-re-first-amendment-violations/
While the letter achieved success in having Senator Ericksen unblock most of the people who had been blocked from his Public Figure Facebook account, at least one person had to repeatedly ask over a period of weeks before they were unblocked from the page. Meanwhile, one person who was previously blocked, then reinstated, has once again been blocked just a few days ago by the Senator for no good cause. There was neither abusive language nor unsubstantiated claims. (Screen shots were taken to prove it).
It is not surprising that Senator Ericksen is behaving in such an unprofessional manner, taking actions that according to the ACLU, violate First Amendment rights, when he represented this combative attitude about the issue reported by Joseph O’Sullivan from the Seattle Times on July 22, 2018:
“Some of those citizens say the senator deleted their posts or blocked them just for expressing displeasure with a post by Ericksen they found controversial.
“Ericksen, who last year served as a temporary appointee in the Trump administration and later declined a full-time job, sees a darker motive. In an interview last week, he accused his constituents of ‘bullying, monopolizing, intimidating.’
“‘Their goal is to have me take my Facebook page down,’ said Ericksen, who is running for re-election.
“In a text message Friday, Ericksen said he decided to unblock people because the dispute was ‘an unnecessary distraction from the real issues of jobs, protecting ag, cherry point [refinery] industries, new energy taxes etc.'”
Far from attempting to get the Senator to take his Facebook page down (he had already taken it down himself for months with no one asking him to do so, and then reactivated it when he was beginning to campaign for office again), local citizens just want a place to speak to the senator where they will be heard and potentially responded to in a non-derisive manner.