Labor leader convicted of cyberstalking an anti-union candidate



PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The case of Rhode Island v. John Leidecker should tell the public all it needs to know about teachers unions.

The case involves National Education Association-Rhode Island (NEARI) Deputy Executive Director John Leidecker, who impersonated and cyberstalked Democratic state Rep. Doug Gablinske during the 2010 elections. Leidecker was formally an assistant executive director with the NEARI, but was promotedto executive director after his antics resulted in voters ousting Gablinske, a mortal enemy of the teachers union.

Using an email account he created to impersonate the candidate, Leidecker emailed voters with lies that Gablinske supported tolls for the Mount Hope Bridge, when in fact the lawmaker opposed the measure. The devious stunt apparently confused enough voters to cause Gablinske to lose the Democratic primary. The lawmaker then attempted to mount a write-in campaign for the general election, but lost.

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