It seems as though Jack Thompson may have burned his final bridge in Utah – and turned a former political ally into an adversary in the process.
In an e-mail sent out earlier today, Thompson claimed that Utah State Senate President Michael Waddoups (R, at left) has threatened to have him prosecuted if the disbarred attorney doesn’t stop sending him e-mails.
Waddoups, who presided over the Utah Senate as it overwhelmingly passed Thompson’s video game bill last month, apparently became upset by an Easter Sunday e-mail in which Thompson attacked Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
As GamePolitics has reported, the disbarred Florida attorney and the popular Utah A.G. have been trading insults ever since the bill was vetoed by Gov. Jon Huntsman. On Sunday Thompson slammed Shurtleff in yet another e-mail which claimed that the A.G. is ignoring the sale of pornography to minors. That’s a highly questionable assertion, since in this case Thompson is defining Grand Theft Auto IV as pornography.
To back up his point, Thompson included a screenshot depicting of a pair of strippers giving GTA IV protagonist Nico Bellic a lap dance. Why Waddoups reacted so strongly is not entirely clear, although it is possible that he was offended by the pic. Or perhaps he has grown weary of Thompson’s persistent attacks on Gov. Huntsman and A.G. Shurtleff, both fellow Republicans. GamePolitics contacted Waddoups for comment, but the Senate President did not return our call.
In any case, Thompson supplied the text of an e-mail that he says he received from Waddoups earlier today:
I asked you before to remove me from your mailing list. I supported your bill but because of the harassment will not again. If I am not removed I will turn you over to the AG for legal action.
In response, Thomson re-sent the lapdance pic to the entire Utah legislature:
If you are offended by seeing this, as was Senate President Waddoups, then know that you should be more offended by the fact that Utah kids can buy the game in which there are repeated sexual encounters like this…
You will apparently read in the Salt Lake Tribune tomorrow morning that Senator Waddoups has now threatened me with criminal prosecution by Mark Shurtleff for sending him “porn.”… Mr. Waddoups now threatens me for alerting him to this… I look forward to my criminal prosecution in Utah…
GamePolitics readers may recall that Thompson has a bit of a track record for attaching actual porn – not the GTA virtual variety – to his e-mails. In 2007 a federal court judge and the Florida Supreme Court took him to task for doing so (see Judge Spanks Jack Thompson For Including Gay Porn in Court Filing).
UPDATE: The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Waddoups wants to pursue Thompson under federal anti-spam legislation:
Waddoups, on Tuesday, confirmed he would attempt to pursue legal action under the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.
While that law carries a punishment of up to $11,000 in fines, it covers "e-mail whose primary advertisement purpose is advertising or promoting a commercial product or service," according to the Federal Trade Commission.
UPDATE 2: Predictably, Thompson has written to the U.S. Attorney in Salt Lake City, urging that Waddoups be prosecuted for violating his civil rights. The letter, which we have also received via e-mail, can be viewed in the comments to the Salt Lake Tribune story.