Freedom of Speech is under attack in Washington County

From the Editors of A Miner Detail


At A Miner Detail, one of Maryland’s best local political blogs, co-editors Ryan Miner and Eric Beasley believe that a free press is one of the bulwark’s of a free society. The freedom of the press is one of the great cornerstones of our constitutional republic.

We believe that it is not only our duty as bloggers and journalists to question and challenge our public officials, but it is a fundamental responsibility of a free citizenry to ask tough and sometimes uncomfortable questions to hold our elected representatives responsible for their actions.

Recently, an elected Washington County school board representative responded to an email inquiry from Ryan Miner and filed a Maryland Peace Order against him.

Such a gross misuse of our legal system reflects poorly upon this elected representative and the board on which they sit. While there are many cases where women and men require speedy judicial protection from abusers, this elected school board representative is using the same system in an attempt to silence legitimate inquiries and questions from public citizens and journalists. 

No threats were ever made, nor is this elected representative in any physical danger. Mr. Miner only contacted the school board representative via her public Board of Education email account. At no time did this school board member ever request Mr. Miner to cease communication nor did she express a desire for Mr. Miner to discontinue his inquisitive emails. Mr. Miner has never contacted said school board member by phone and has never approached said school board member outside of a professional setting. 

In fact, this past Saturday, the elected school board member’s husband approached Mr. Miner during a public forum and physically accosted, threatened and assaulted Mr. Miner with an object while Mr. Miner was practicing his right to be left alone. Three witnesses, including the school board president, a previous school board president and a well-respected member of the community, witnessed the attack on Mr. Miner, committed by the school board member’s husband.

At A Miner Detail, our keyboard is our sword and fists. We use brainpower, not threats of physical violence, to promulgate our message. We challenge the status quo by asking hard questions of our elected officials. We believe in the power of the Constitution to protect our inalienable rights to ask tough questions of our government officials. And we believe in advancing the cause of liberty for citizen journalists to practice the fouth pillar of government.

The freedom to express and practice our beliefs is enshrined in the First Amendment. As citizen journalists and bloggers, we hold this right sacred.

It is a preposterous notion that any elected representative (a school board member) would seek to misuse our courts to stifle and suppress speech for which they fundamentally disagree. Our First Amendment was intended to ensure that public officials are held accountable by the press.

If an elected official (a school board member) no longer wishes to be questioned by members of the press or citizen journalists, then the elected official should resign his or her public position and retire to private citizenry.

The editors of A Miner Detail look forward to this absurd and reckless claim being thrown out of court with extreme prejudice.

Ryan Miner Administrator
Ryan Miner is the Editor & Founder of A Miner Detail.

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