Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Blogger? Pt. III, (Or, Who The Hell Is Fank Knotts?)

me   So, for all of my loyal readers, if not my adoring readers, this is the latest instalment in a series of post, documenting the lengths, to which some people will go, to silence opposition.     As I have said in the previous two post under this title, this is larger than just an attack on one person, in this case me. The tactics that some people use to silence those who oppose them politically, in some cases, may border on extortion, but most assuredly, in my view, rise to the level of thug-like tactics.

In the past I have had cowardly anonymous actors, calling and writing the company I work for, and making wild accusations about my political activities. Unfortunately for these cowards, I am well-respected at my job, for the work I do, and the work ethic and integrity I bring to the job. Fail!

In another case, I had the police called on me falsely by members of the Sussex County GOP Executive Committee, to have me removed from a meeting. Why? Because I was openly critical of their actions. The false charges that were made against me, in calling the police were proven to be just that, false. Fail!

These attempts to silence me, go beyond just me, they demonstrate, in my view, a pattern of anger and aggression towards anyone who dares to disagree with the fringe elements of the Sussex GOP, of which I have been critical of in the past.

In all of this, I have shared my views and opinions of this element of the GOP. I have been called a liar, and just about every name the far right fringe can think of, which they feel will marginalize me. That is fine, I have chosen to place myself in the arena of public discourse. It is expected that some will disagree with me, some will be angered by that which I write.

Here at Delaware Right, since its inception, we have challenged all to come here and have a conversation. We have offered guest post to, and actually posted articles from, some of our strongest opposition. We do not censor ideas here.

I say this because there has been another attack on the idea of freedom of speech leveled at me, but one which carries far-reaching implications.

page 1

page 2

page 3

Now before some scholar shows up to inform me that my Constitutional Right to Freedom of Speech can only be infringed upon by a government entity, I know that. However, when you consider that the three people listed in this letter, either are, or have been, political public figures, then the attempt to silence political speech through threats such as have been leveled in this letter, should frighten all.

Mr. Calabro was the Chairman of a political party. In that position he would have the ability to mold and select candidates for office. Mr. Ayotte has run for a seat on the Sussex County Council, and also for State Representative, and has recently been chosen as the Chairman of the Indpendent Party of Delaware.  Ms. Lafferty is currently stating that she is running for the highest office in the state of Delaware, the seat of the governor. (As a side note, the attorney, Anthony N. Delcollo is also a Republican candidate for the 7th Senatorial District of Delaware.)

My first inclination in writing this post was to tear apart all of their fictitious claims. To point out that they are all public figures, by choice, and to state my case. Instead, I want all to see the larger danger here. If elected officials, or those who seek office, are willing to go to such lengths to silence political opposition when running for office, one can only imagine what they might do if elected and actually empowered with authority, to go to even greater lengths to silence their political opposition.

It is because of these tactics, these types of actions, by so many on the far right fringe, that I have been such a vocal opponent. I have written about that which I have witnessed, that I have heard first hand, and have publicized documentation of such behavior which has  been given to me by confidential sources.

The irony should not be lost, that all three of these people, self describe themselves as conservatives, and are fond of throwing around words and phrases such as, “We The People”, “We Own It”, “Constitutional’ this and that.

I have openly opposed these people in regards to their politics.

And for this, I have been targeted for attacks on my livelihood, I have had my reputation called into question, and now this latest attempt to silence me. Fail!

 

59 Comments on "Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Blogger? Pt. III, (Or, Who The Hell Is Fank Knotts?)"

  1. Fred says:

    Bang Bang…. They should be more worried about the dumb a** YouTube videos they put out..

  2. Meyer Persow says:

    In the immortal words of George Takei, oh myyyyyyyyyy. Go get ’em, Frank.

  3. But you didn’t answer your question, “Who the Hell is Fank Knotts?” :)

  4. Frank Knotts says:

    FDR, read the letter carefully.

  5. Mike says:

    By one of the members of the Indpendent Party.

  6. I did…now read my question carefully and then the title of your article carefully. :)

  7. Rusty says:

    Someone please remind these sussex so called leaders and candidates that politics is a bloody sport. If they can’t run with the big dogs then stay on the porch!

  8. Mike Rowe says:

    This is nothing more than a cowardly attack on the 1st Amendment by two Republican candidates (Lafferty, Gov & Delcollo, 7th Senatorial District), trying to inject the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ into Delaware politics. I don’t agree with some of what Frank writes about, but he has an inalienable right to offend his readers, and his readers have that same inalienable right to be offended. You cannot pick and chose which part of the US Constitution you want to adhere to. It’s all or nothing. And to attempt to extort money from him so he’ll shut his mouth is even more disturbing.

  9. waterpirate says:

    For every fool willing to part with their money and self respect, their is a lawyer willing to write a seemingly scary letter on their behalf. The 3 travelers here as well as their attorney will be lighter in the wallet and wear the egg on their face should they move forward. Maybe you should move the decimal point around and make it $6.00 so the group can get some coffee and wake up from their dream of censorship and hurt feelings.

  10. Meyer Persow says:

    The only way to defame Ayotte is to say something nice about him.

  11. fightingbluehen says:

    That’s rich. They really want you to cease and desist writing about politicians on a political blog? Well, I hope they at least got a group rate on their legal representation.

  12. Frank Knotts says:

    Let me apologize to those viewing on their cell phones, for some reason the letters are displayed on their sides. Not so on PCs.

  13. Sister says:

    Outrageous. I can empathize as I’ve been treated similarly by a certain cabal in the Dem party. Something is very toxic in the local political culture that people think it’s OK to bully, scream at, smear, and spread lies about those who dare to publicly disagree or even ask a question. Is it like that everywhere?

  14. fightingbluehen says:

    I predict that the threatening letter sent by attorney Anthony Delcollo ( himself a self described public figure) will have the opposite effect that they desire. Now, even more people and media outlets will be discussing this, and it may end up having a negative effect on Lacey Lafferty.
    It makes me wonder who is handling Ms Lafferty at this point, to let her get dragged into this clown show amidst a run for the Governorship.

  15. Dave says:

    Frank,
    I hope you perceive this as good news. It should be very interesting when your attorneys get to depose all 3 regarding the allegations. You’ll finally get to find out where the fund raising money went and the other two will have to own up to their comments on this site and even DP (which could result in additional fall out since LL is a candidate and her remarks even under a screen name, would be very telling about her character). It really is a great opportunity for some transparency. Make sure you get an attorney who recognizes that the discovery and deposition process is the crux of it.

  16. pandora says:

    Agree with Dave. Let this play out for discovery.

    The lawyer and his 3 clients are idiots who don’t understand the Constitution they claim to love. Sue me.

  17. But remember, the Constitution does not protect slander and defamation, which is what this letter is accusing Frank of. Since I haven’t really followed the self-made drama, I can’t – and won’t – comment either way, but while slander and defamation can be difficult to prove, it can be very costly if proven. In fact, if they do go to trial, I’m sure the lawyer will use this post as evidence of Frank’s “recklessness” to help build their case of slander and defamation.

  18. Dave says:

    It’s only slander if it’s not true and since deposition is taken under oath it should be enlightening.

  19. pandora says:

    Oh, let’s hope they go down this path! They got nothing. If they had a case then Rush Limbaugh and contributors at Delaware Politics would be sued out of existence. No more personal attacks on Hillary Clinton, right? That would be libel, right?

    This is a joke, and a lawyer should know better.

    Have you read Lacey Lafferty’s comments on this site? Somewhere an English teacher weeps. And if we want to look at what people write, may I suggest starting with Don Ayotte’s comment history across the Delaware blogosphere.

  20. fightingbluehen says:

    “This is a joke, and a lawyer should know better.”

    That’s why this case will never be filed. Frivolous litigation is frowned upon by the courts, and can come with consequences.

  21. Dorian Gray says:

    I’m a socialist leftist commenter on the DE Liberal blog. I would never even visit here, but I felt compelled to voice my support for you as well, Frank. In the words of Raoul Duke, “don’t take any gruff from these fascist swine.” I’m glad you aren’t bowing to this boilerplate C&D letter rubbish.

    Anyhow right, left, up or down, we’re behind you on this one. —–DG

  22. Rick says:

    I have never experienced censorship on this blog. Ever. For that, Frank is to be commended.

    I always experience censorship on Pandora’s blog, Delaware Liberal. This is because lockstep “liberal” totalitarians cannot stand competition- they demand a one-way “conversation.” The left abhors free speech and fears opposing ideas, because alternative views tend to expose their irrational positions to scrutiny. This is why “liberal” talk radio always fails.

    When the foundation of your politics is a lie, only continual obfuscation and censorship can advance your agenda.

  23. Why Lacey Why says:

    It’s one thing to attack the bias of the media as our GOP candidates did during the debate, I applauded their comments last night. However, suing the media in order to force them into submission and silence is another issue altogether and cannot be tolerated by any American.

    Lacey, you lost my vote.

    I wonder if Duke Brooks is going to continue to carry her water in light of this lawsuit? Did WGMD discuss this at all? It was on the other station.

  24. pandora says:

    Hey, Rick! Sue me. :-)

  25. Dan Gaffney says:

    Audio of Frank Knotts responding to the lawsuit threat on Dan Gaffney Show, Delaware 105.9 http://delaware1059.com/podcast_download.php?id=118856

  26. Pat Fish says:

    So as a contributor to Delawareonline I am concerned. I might not be as visceral as Frank but I give politicos a hard time. Seriously…..do they think this is going to work?

    However you may feel about Frank’s prose, he responds to all comments and the site does allow people to post with no editing…..if there’s issues with the post put up one of your own!

    I’m pretty sure this is some kind of joke but hey, I like it, and I’m watching, and when it goes to court….of course I will be there and I will be on Frank’s side.

    Get a grip people!

  27. fightingbluehen says:

    “I wonder if Duke Brooks is going to continue to carry her water in light of this lawsuit? Did WGMD discuss this at all? It was on the other station.”

    I would bet that they tried to get Doobie onboard with this “legal dispute”, but he was smart enough not to get involved….plus it would cut into his model train building time, which I can relate to.

  28. Pat Fish says:

    I do mean Delawareright.com….of course.

  29. mouse says:

    Liberal talk radio doesn’t exist because most liberals don’t get all their info from some tabloid shouting paranoid propagandist

  30. fightingbluehen says:

    Yeah, they get their info from credible sources like MSNBC.

  31. mouse says:

    The letter looks like something some amateur angry crybaby rubes put together and paid some Wilmington Attorney to send out. Looks pretty lame

  32. delacrat says:

    “I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.”
    – Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835

  33. Dorian Gray says:

    If you really think any serious person on the left believes MSNBC is a credible source for anything you are very mistaken. Talk radio, cable “news”, aggregation websites, (and even, with all due respect, local blogs) are for entertainment only. Really educating yourself takes serious work (eg. reading and reflection).

  34. I take exception to sweeping generalizations as referred by “local blogs”. Such sweeping generalizations are uttered and/or consumed by the nonthinkers.

  35. Fish Bites says:

    Delcollo is apparently a real dumb one.

    On page 1 he says that any attempt to change the unspecified offending posts will be addressed “to the fullest extent under the law” as if it was illegal to edit or remove your posts.

    And then on page 3 he demands the unspecified posts be taken down.

    Someone should hire him to argue with himself. Oh, right, Donny already did.

  36. pandora says:

    LOL, Fish Bites! Delcollo needs to make up his mind. “Don’t remove any evidence!” “Please remove evidence!” Is this what counts as sound legal advice in conservative circles? I’m so confused.

    Delcollo and his clients got nothing. Hopefully, Delcollo knows this and is just milking his clients for fees. If not, he’s a lawyer I’d never use. Come on, this is nonsense. Call their bluff, Frank.

  37. pandora says:

    One more thing, Fish Bites… You called Delcollo dumb. Be prepared to be sued.

    (I think I’m having too much fun with this idiocy.)

  38. mouse says:

    If I call myself stupid, can I sue myself and make my own insurance company pay?

  39. Dan Gaffney says:

    Lacey responded on her Facebook. Here is the exact cut and paste:

    “Lacey Lafferty’s statement regarding Dan Gaffney’s comments on 10/29/15 WXDE 105.9 radio program and blog site.
    Our nation’s lawmakers and subsequent laws have always been guided by one document which has withstood the tests of time, the Constitution. I have the utmost respect for this institution.
    Freedom of Speech is an invaluable right, however there is quite a difference self expression and slander.
    Intentional malicious defamation of character is not free speech especially when it is based on unfounded lies.
    Differences of opinion are as American as Apple Pie, differences on political viewpoints are considered healthy discord. Spreading lies is unlawful.
    I am not at liberty to discuss any further details of the litigation I am currently engaged in. I have faith in our legal system and the Truth will prevail.
    Speaking as a candidate and not a elected official I would hope that any ethical media outlet source would do their due diligence before reporting on anyone with the facts instead of conjecture. If they did, I would not have had to pursue this matter.
    God Bless,
    Lacey Lafferty
    Republican Gubernaterial Candidate for Governor 2016”

  40. AQC says:

    I love that “Apple Pie” is capitalized. It’s right up there with Constitution, God, and Freedom of Speech!

  41. This case is worth watching. No matter the outcome, it’s a win-win situation for Delaware. If Frank wins, those on the public stage will be put on notice that there does exist people they have to answer to who can’t be bought or bullied. If they win, those in the media (including amatuer bloggers and YouTuber’s) will be put on alert that freedom of speech comes with moral and ethical responsibilities. We need a little more morality and ethics in our information and entertainment venues.

  42. Fish Bites says:

    Among the other amusements in the letter is that three people are to be given $60,000 “in total”. Is that 60k for Lafferty, and nothing for the other two clowns? Ummm… dimbulb, if you want a sum of money to go to three people “in total”, then it helps to explain how you’d like that distributed.

  43. Frank Knotts says:

    Ok, I can’t stand myself. Someone else pointed this out to me.
    “Lacey Lafferty
    Republican Gubernaterial Candidate for Governor 2016”
    As opposed to Gubernatorial Candidate for? Dog catcher?
    And don’t lose sight of the fact you can’t spell gubernatorial, without guber!

  44. JS says:

    Ok, I know I’m going to get sued over this, so disclaimer first. This is purely a political euphemism (look it up Lacey) and is in no way meant to be a comment upon the sexual orientation (if any) of Ms Lafferty or Mr. Ayotte; nor is it to suggest any sort of sexual liaison or connection with or between Ms. Lafferty and Mr. Ayotte (eeewwww). The legalese now out of the way.
    What the hell is an announced Republican gubernatorial candidate doing “in bed with” the head of of the Independent Part of Delaware?

  45. simple man says:

    She’s just been going thru the game playing motions her intent has always been to run on the IPOD ticket. Ayotte has been her adviser confidant since day 1. She was a democrat long before she switched to the GOP. I wonder what the state chair thinks about yet another controversy within the Sussex GOP .

  46. Patti says:

    @ Simple Man,

    I don’t think John Sigler cares much about the problems in Sussex, his issues are North of Dover.

  47. simple man says:

    @Patti I don’t think JS is John Sigler.. John Sigler resigned as GOP chairperson in 2013

  48. Dave says:

    “Republican Gubernaterial Candidate for Governor 2016”

    I saw that. I thought it was amusing. One of the ways that I can usually tell who is commenting under what screen name, is their command of the English language and certain patterns of phrasing.

    Unfortunately, there are many who value and celebrate illiteracy as a demonstration of how much they hate the so called “elite” by being proud of their illiteracy. This includes STEM as well as the arts and humanities.

    Anyway, here’s hoping the suit proceeds to filing. I eagerly await the publication of depositions. There isn’t much that Frank hasn’t disclosed regarding what he knows, so it’s really the other 3 that will provide the most entertainment.

  49. pandora says:

    Know what’s interesting? The complete silence from the anti-Frank brigade. Normally, they’d be all over a thread like this.

    Frank, be sure to keep all the comments and IP addresses from those commenters. They might prove useful in discovery. Very useful.

  50. Frank Knotts says:

    Pandora, because of our openness we have a complete and constant record of all our commenters.

  51. Rusty says:

    The Party’s over in Sussex; now its time to get to work. Rebuild 2016 – its been a long 6 years.

  52. mouse says:

    Damn Frank, you made the big time in that uppity up state news paper. This could be your chance to run for governor

  53. laffter says:

    i laughed until I cried ………. to funny and thanks for the miles of smiles

    they have been threatening this for a while now – and all of us that have a thimbleful of legal knowledge knows its an empty threat…..

    what NO ONE has pointed out is while Libel and Slander can be proven, and one may be found guilty of participating in it – what goes hand and hand with it is the proof of the ‘actual damages” they have suffered.

    when people like Lafferty and Ayotte and the rest of their ilk damage their OWN reputations its kinda hard to show to what extent another’s words have done the same.

    one cannot just pull a figure out of thin air – they MUST PROVE actual damages – yeah, good luck with that….

    In fact, I personally could sue Lafferty for the lies she has both vocalized and written about me – I have the screenshots – but why would I waste my time…..????

    these people are a joke as is their erstwhile attorney – don’t they know that any attorney worth their salt would not even take on a case like this??? He must have needed the money to even write the letter – which indicates to me that he is little more that an ambulance chaser

    now the reputation of Cooch and Taylor has been diminished by one of their own attorneys and the attorney in question, by their own actions is one I certainly would never go to, nor refer anyone to

    most attorneys would listen to clients such as these three and show them the door. no wonder the Firm no longer represents them –

    but THANKS for the entertainment…..

  54. JS says:

    The lawyer, who has practiced less than 3 years,has cut and run already? What the hell happened to “This law firm has been retained….for the purpose of prosecuting claims against you”. He didn’t say, “I’ve been paid to write you a letter that will make my clients and me laughing stocks”. What happened, did the check bounce?
    Maybe, just maybe, it is just what everyone thinks that it is; a poorly conceived hollow threat designed to intimidate a critic into silence. It is just as clear that the lawyer never expected the threat to have been made public.That can be gleaned from just the second sentence of the whole letter where the lawyer absolutely misstates the Delaware law. Rule 408 simply makes offers to settle inadmissible evidence in a court of law. There is no rule, or law, that makes offers to settle confidential..The only reason, that I can conceive, for misstating the law, to a layman, by saying in effect that “this communication is, by law, confidential”, is the hope that the threat never sees the light. of day. Now that the 3 amigos don’t have an attorney and don’t have $60,000 , maybe someone with “wiggle room” can show them how to set up a “Go Fund Me” page.

  55. Douglas Muth says:

    Armchair lawyer here.

    What is really telling about Anthony Delcollo’s letter is that he doesn’t provide a SINGLE URL of an offending blog post. He doesn’t (as far as I can see) quote a SINGLE SENTENCE that his clients consider defamatory. And well… if you’re not going to explain which specific parts of specific posts are defamatory, that’s not very helpful now is it?

    I think the term is “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted”.

    As for Anthony’s demand that you stop referring to his clients AT ALL, that falls under “prior restraint”, which is kinda unconstitutional.

    That leaves us with the real question: Where did Anthony Delcollo go to law school?

    My guess is Costco.

  56. Laffter says:

    Maybe the “three amigos” can sue the ATTORNEY for misfeasance…… LOL

    they should probably look up that term along with libel and slander……and what actually constitutes it.

    Maybe Lacey needs more $$$$ for her campaign????

    and Ayotte is realizing that cutting social services is damaging his personal budget – He IS after all, a huge user of said social service, and is looking for a handout/payout.

  57. Dave says:

    I’m sure everyone hoped that they would press ahead with the suit. It would have been the most entertaining happening in Sussex County since the sheriff. Alas, it is not to be.

    I already used this today, but it seems to fit quite well here.

    Macbeth:

    “…a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    They are poor players indeed. The attorney may be the poorest of all since he has a reputation to think about.

  58. mouse says:

    The sheriff’s getting nearer lol

Got something to say? Go for it!