Steel City Stonewall Democrats Statement on Hijacked Email

Earlier today, someone apparently hacked into the website of the Steel City Stonewall Democrats and sent a very strange rumor out that a local LGBTQ businessowner is a rightwing Republican along with the thinly veiled suggestion that patronizing those businesses would fill the coffers of George Bush.  Something like that.

It took me about two minutes flat to debunk that rumor.  First, the message itself was poorly written and included a recommendation to visit MY site if the Steel City site went down.  That's odd, especially as I have no content up about that individual at all.  Second, I hit the City Paper website and found evidence that the individual had contributed to the Bruce Kraus campaign.  Kraus is not a Republican.  He is not a rightwinger.  He wasn't even endorsed by the local Dems. 

Finally, I asked Steel City for the heads up.  They have issued a statement:

Early this morning a message was sent out to a large number of addresses in our database from treasurer @ by some unauthorized person who hacked into our system or somehow obtained a password. We regret this unfortunate incident, and we are investigating the matter at this time.
The message pertained to a business owner in our community.  The business owner in question has in fact generously supported our community, including efforts by the Stonewall Democrats and the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force.  We apologize to this individual and to everyone who received the message.
Kris Rust

I'm amazed at how many people came to my site in response to this rumor.  I'm further amazed how many times it was posted on livejournal.  My God, people, think!  What if someone posted an anonymous rumor implying you were betraying your community with no evidence to back it up? 

Ledcat thinks it is the handiwork of Diane Gramley or another wingnut.  Regardless of the source, we have to think before we pass along rumors.  Steel City Stonewall is a good organization that makes things happen on our behalf.  They deserve better than to be punked for a personal vendetta. 

So if you think this sucks, surf on over and do the best thing — join.  Become a member and do your part to be part of building a strong local LGBTQ wing of the Democratic party.  We cannot afford to take things for granted here in Western Pennsylvania as far too many of our elected Democrats are social conservatives and shelter their homophobia behind the Catholic Church.  It is very important that the people we elect remember the LGBTQ in “we” especially as we head into the next Gubernatorial election (hi Dan O.), the 2009 Mayoral Election (Luke doesn't support gay civil unions, remember?) and so forth. 

The only valuable lesson is the reminder to think twice before spending your money in establishments that are hostile to your own self interest.  Put your gay dollars where they count.  Start with Steel City Stonewall Democrats.  Ledcat and I belong.  All the cool homos do.


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  • That's funny. While I don't agree with the tactics users to hijack the SCSD's e-mail system, I think its funny that the owners of these establishments were called out.
    While they do donate money to organizations in area, its usually with a bunch of strings and not altruistic. Then when things don't go the way they think they should be going (whether its rational or irrational), they start their own negative publicly machine against the organization.
    I say this from experience first hand and not rumor or malice. I have volunteered for organizations that have tried to work with them, not be able to communicate effectively with them or give in to their irrational demands, only to find out they go to parties or events and publicly unfairly criticize the all-volunteer organization that I have been part of, saying they we “screwed them”. Afterwards they have also publicly humiliated volunteers of our organization when we asked to hang posters and distribute literature on events at their bars.
    This is just my experience, I have heard similar stories from others who have dealt with them and encountered the same treatment, so I find this e-mail to be karma coming back to them. I think their bad reputation has caught up to them and it makes me smile that some of what they stand for comes to light. Just my humble opinion, everyone can disagree with me if they want.
    However, I agree with your assertion that people should not spread rumors or take cheap shots at people the way this was done.
    People should also get involved with the SCSD and find out what they are about to help the community as a whole. If folks in our community gave more of their money to non-profits and LGBT political organizations and less money at the bars, the community as a whole would positively benefit more. Again, just my opinion. I want to see the LGBT community grow, prosper and unite in Pittsburgh. People like the owners of these bars do nothing to help this cause.

  • I agree that having diversified investments within our community is important, ranging from the organizations we support to the LGBTQ owned businesses we patronize — restaurants, yoga studios, plumbers, paint stores, coffeehouses, bars and so forth. We must also remember local businesses that are LGBTQ friendly and welcoming. Would you prefer a milkshake from a LGBT owned business or one owned by a family with not one, but two adult children working in the Bush White House? Seriously …
    I can't comment on your statements without any verification, but I can agree that it is important that our community pay attention to the intersection of our LGBT businesses and the community groups. Transparency and accountability important.
    There's a lot of good stuff out there, folks. It serves our own best interest to stop investing in Wal-Mart and start shopping at A Pleasant Present.

  • first of all, if you are going to write something that is true… and you can back it up, then why would you have to do it by hacking or simply as “anonymous?” if it any allegations are true and both the hacker and this first reply are able to back up what they have to say, how come no one is slapping a name on their messages.
    and to the businesses that were attacked… why would you care? this is queer pittsburgh. no one actually takes a stand in this community. we are all a bunch of lazy queens. you could give money to the taliban and our community will still patronize your business as long as you provide the 4 D's. (disco, drag, drugs & dick)
    and for the record… i know the owner & staff of the businesses that have been attacked… good people, hardly bush supporters or right wing.
    funny how once an oppresed people begin to get rights, they begin to oppress their own. sad. truly friggin' sad.

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