Friday, February 15, 2008

The Silly Season Gets Sillier

Local resident Lee Whitnum has led a colorful life. She allegedly had an affair with Senator John Kerry back in the early 1990s, which seems to have been the defining moment in her life so far. She later wrote a book under the pseudonym Lee Roystone, Hedge Fund Mistress, that was loosely based on the Kerry days; it had to be recalled and reissued in a different form after a threat of legal action. Lately she has been working as a substitute teacher in the Stamford school system. Oh, yes, and she's running against Chris Shays for Congress.

Your scribe first met her in the local library soon after the first printing of HFM came out. She gave him her card, and urged him to read her book, the title of which he at first thought was "Hedge Fund Mysteries". His parochial ears apparently were not attuned to what she was actually saying, and in retrospect he had to wonder why she seemed so proud of the real title of her self-admittedly autobiographical book. While she was never Kerry's "mistress" - they were both unmarried at the time - she seemed to relish proclaiming the word loudly enough for all in the immediate vicinity to hear it. All, of course, except for your scribe, who only realized what she had said when he went to the card catalogue and discovered his mistake.

The book itself was interesting, but hardly great literature. The title pretty much gives away the rather thin plot. No doubt Ms. Whitnum had fun writing it, but apparently sailed a little too close to the winds of libel and thus had to tone it down for the reissue.

Now she wants everyone to forget that part of her life, including the pictures of her and Kerry that she posted on her web site a few years ago. But she has reckoned without the power of the Internet. Even though her site explicitly stated that she expected people to ask her permission before helping themselves to her material, she failed to understand that once something gets into the public domain it takes on a life of its own. Such was the case in 2004, when Kerry was running for the presidency, and such is the case in 2008, when Whitnum is running for congress. In both instances her photos were and continue to be so widely reproduced that whatever shreds of ownership she may have once have believed she had have long since been blown away by the winds of cyberspace.

So who is this candidate for elected office from our area? Take a look for yourself, gentle reader:

John Kerry Scrapbook

This collage comes not from Whitnum's web site (which is now all but blank), but from one of many third-party sites that have posted the archived content she herself once posted for all to see. You will notice that there are no photo credits, no copyright indications, or anything else that might call for restraint on the material's dissemination. In fact, Ms. Whitmun herself was fairly unrestrained when she wrote and assembled and posted it all on the Internet.

Well, gentle reader, there are many in Town who feel that it's time for Chris Shays to retire - or be retired - but your scribe is not sure that Lee Whitnum is the one to make it happen. But at least we can thank her for generating additional interest in an election that is still over eight months away. A lot can happen in that time, and your scribe, for one, will follow events with great curiosity to see what will unfold next.


Blogger Sarah Darer Littman said...

You should read some of insane posts over at My Left Nutmeg.

Like here, where she tries to paint Jim H as a Nazi but merely succeeds in making herself look foolish and somewhat deranged (look for the mention of yours truly written in truly lurid prose).

Or her post under her sock puppet name, Masked Man here.

And check out my post about her fictitious lawyer (who was also her book reviewer and apparently now a family member). There is some really choice Lee Whitnum nuttery in the comments section.

Is it any wonder that Fairfield County Weekly named her one of their "Clowns of the Year?"

February 16, 2008 12:06 AM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Ah, Sarah, posting under your own name, no less!

I'd read some but not all of your links before writing this post. Thanks for pointing out the others!

So...she wants to debate Jim Himes...the idea has a certain amount of charm...whaddya think?

February 16, 2008 10:39 AM  
Blogger Sarah Darer Littman said...

1) the woman has a page on her website entitled "Jim Himes' Nazi Connecticut."

2) As of her last filed FEC return, she'd raised a grand total of $5,000, which was a loan to herself. She was also her own treasurer.

She isn't a viable candidate and what's more, anyone who has read her posts will see that she's a few sandwiches short of a picnic. I can't believe she gets as much print space as she does when she hasn't even raised any money from anyone other than herself. (Haven't seen her latest quarter because she apparently files by hand)

Jim debating her would bestow legitimacy on her campaign - a legitimacy that she hasn't earned, by her actions or her fund raising capability.

February 17, 2008 5:13 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

I saw Jim in church on Sunday and asked what he thought about debating her - he paled beneath the tan.

Guess I'm the only one who thinks it would provide some badly-needed comic relief around here...sigh.

Although I understand she tried to make a platform speech at the controversial forum at the library Saturday morning, and was shouted down by the audience - sorry I missed that one! (I was upstairs doing my blog roll.)

February 19, 2008 11:04 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home