Archive for Tuesday, January 17, 2012

State senator says she caught Rep. TerriLois Gregory recording conversation

January 17, 2012


— A state senator said Tuesday that she caught state Rep. TerriLois Gregory, R-Baldwin City, recording a conversation between the two of them.

“I found it shocking,” said state Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka. “I have been really taken aback by it. I don’t expect colleagues to record colleagues inside an office.”

The incident occurred last week, Schmidt said.

Gregory came into Schmidt’s office and asked her some questions dealing with Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to privatize Medicaid, specifically how it would apply to those with disabilities.

Schmidt, chairwoman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, has been holding discussions this week in her committee on the plan.

Schmidt said she saw a red light in Gregory’s purse and at first thought it was a cellphone, but then she asked Gregory about it. Gregory said it was a tape recorder and that she was taping their conversation.

In response to the incident, Gregory gave a prepared statement.

“I care deeply about the disability community and wanted to be sure I got my facts straight. My goal was to be sure I fully understood, and offending Senator Schmidt was not my intention.”


defenestrator 6 years, 3 months ago

This lady has very shady ethics. Period.

If (and that's a big IF) her intentions were noble, why would she not have disclosed to the senator that she wanted to record their private conversation?

I am embarrassed that this person represents me in the statehouse.

Scut Farkus 6 years, 3 months ago

The statehouse IS an embarrassment to all Kansas residents.

Mike1949 6 years, 3 months ago

That is the most intelligent comment I have ever seen on these pages. Our whole Kansas government is an embarrassment to all Kansans that know the different between right and wrong. The problem is the majority of the right which for the life of me has been Kansas down fall for the last 50 years has an agenda that the majority of Kansans should, and I mean that seriously, SHOULD make every Kansan ashamed!

optimist 6 years, 3 months ago

Nonsense. Seems to me that recording the conversation would only shine a public light on a conversation between two people representing the people, in the people's house, discussing the people's business. Not sure why she felt the need to record the conversation. Maybe we should consider why she felt the need record this conversation. Maybe the person we should be concerned with isn't. Gregory.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Maybe you should consider that recording conversations without the other person's consent is generally illegal, if one isn't in the law enforcement business.

RoeDapple 6 years, 3 months ago

In Kansas a conversation may be recorded as long as at least one party of the conversation (including the person doing the recording) is aware they are being recorded.

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

"The state’s highest court has interpreted the eavesdropping and privacy statutes to allow one-party consent for taping of conversations and in interpreting both statutes has held that as long as one party consents to the conversation, the other party loses his right to challenge the eavesdropping in court. Kansas v. Roudybush, 686 P.2d 100 (Kan. 1984)."

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

I stand corrected.

That seems rather wrong to me, and an invasion of privacy.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Why do you see it as an invasion of privacy for someone involved in a conversation to record it? When you talk to another person, you know that your words are being "recorded" if you will in the listener's mind. I don't see how your privacy has been invaded if the listener makes a more accurate recording than her mind would make.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Because my discussion with that person is not public information that should be available to others without my consent.

It's information that I choose to share with one specific person, and unless I consent to having it shared with others, I consider it a "private" conversation.

I suppose if the person recording never shared it with anyone else, and simply used it to make sure they understood correctly, it might be ok.

But it still feels funny, if I don't know it's being recorded.

You don't mind if your conversations are recorded without your knowledge and consent?

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Honestly, no. (Unless it's recorded by the government.)

I just come at it from the perspective that if I say something, it can get out there. Unless I'm talking to one of my best friends or a close family member or unless I specifically say, "this is just between us," I don't feel entitled to have what I said out loud not be shared.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Why do you care if it's the government, and not otherwise?

Also, of course, in this case it was the government, wasn't it?

And, given this law, a best friend or close family member, etc. is still permitted to tape you without your consent.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

4th Amendment concerns for the government. And, no, one legislator chatting with another isn't what I would consider. I'm merely thinking police investigation kind of thing. Although if I'm voluntarily talking to them, I've already waived my 4th and 5th Amendment rights, now haven't I. So, you're right, it's not a very logical distinction. Still, a civilian being recorded by the government just seems skeevy.

And, yes, you are absolutely correct that my friend or family member could legally record me. But I wouldn't expect them to because of that whole trust thing. But that's my point: unless it's someone I have that high a level of trust with, I don't feel any entitlement to my conversations being entirely private. What I say to a colleague or to an acquaintance or to a neighbor is fair game to be repeated. Why wouldn't it be? I just don't understand how one can go through life thinking that every conversation is entirely private and should remain solely between the two parties to the conversation. I don't think anyone is entitled to that.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Being recorded without my knowledge or consent seems "skeevy" to me, regardless of who's doing it.

BigDog 6 years, 3 months ago

Talk to Teri Lois Gregory sometime .... you will understand why she needed a tape recorder. Let's just say most blonde jokes .... are about her

ThePilgrim 6 years, 3 months ago

Yet another week of shenanigans at the Statehouse by people who are not qualified to be state legislators, people who rose one step up from their local shady, crooked city council seats.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

And yet, enough people voted for them so they could attain their positions.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

She thought that was a bad scene? That's nothing!

I know a couple, and the husband became suspicious. So he rigged up a hidden tape recorder that recorded all the phone calls made or received at the house.

And then, he listened to them,,,

Oh boy!

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

And he was a schemer, too. Since he had access to all of the telephone calls, he knew exactly what the plan was. I think she was going to pay for the motel room, since her guest was going to have to travel a long ways to meet her. And, all of the credit cards were in both of their names.

Later, he told me what his plan was. Wait until late at night, and then go to the desk and tell the clerk he had lost his key. For identification, all he needed to do was present his credit card. Since that would have been the card used to pay for the room, surely they would give him a key.

And then, late at night, he would listen for an appropriate time, and then unlock the door and walk in.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

P.S. They're still married. They got over it.

woodscolt 6 years, 3 months ago

"as the world turns" or wait, was that the "guiding light"

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Very often I say this: "It's our own faults that we find most irritating in other people."

chootspa 6 years, 3 months ago

I know a news agency that hacked the phone of a dead girl and interfered with a murder investigation.

triplegoddess13 6 years, 3 months ago

Last time I checked it wasn't illegal to record conversations as long as one of the people being recorded is aware of it.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

My father used to say this once in a while:

"Illegal ain't nothin' but a sick bird."

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

Bein' illegal don't make it wrong too.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

I'm not at all sure that's true.


progressive_thinker 6 years, 3 months ago

You are correct. Kansas is a one party notification state. [See KSA 21-4002.]

I do not understand what the big issue is. Both of these individuals were working for the people of the state. Accordingly, there should be nothing on that recording that would be an embarrassment.

Public officials should welcome a recording, that is, if they are behaving in a manner that is commensurate with their position.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

That may be - apparently some states think that's ok, while others don't.

I find it a rather intrusive violation of my privacy to be recorded without my knowledge and consent - wouldn't you?

progressive_thinker 6 years, 3 months ago

Only 12 states require two-party notification. The controlling federal law and the laws in the remaining 38 states only require that one party be notified.

As a public official, in a public building, doing business of the public, my conduct should be above reproach. As well, there should be full transparency of what my actions have been. I should not fear a recording of anything that I have said or done while conducting the business of the people. In general, my records and meetings should be open to the public anyway.

If this had been in the privacy of my home while not conducting the business of the people, I would tend to agree with you.

Jafs--have a good day. I always enjoy reading your posts.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure that I think everything a public official does all day at work should be considered "public" - should we record them going to the bathroom?

What about having casual conversations in the bathroom, or at the water cooler?

If we really feel that way, then maybe we should record everything that is said in public buildings by public officials all of the time.

But, that seems a bit intrusive to me, and too "Big Brother" like.

I also enjoy your posts - enjoy your day!

progressive_thinker 6 years, 3 months ago

One has to temper their judgement about what to record. However, on balance, I believe our state law and the federal law to be sound public policy for a couple of reasons.

  1. It enables law enforcement to gain access to conversations involving illegal activity without having to obtain a search warrant, if one of the parties has decided to "come clean" and cooperate by wearing a wire or submitting to a telephone wiretap.

  2. It allows a person to help hold a dishonest or otherwise unethical governmental official accountable for their misdeeds. It can be used by a subordinate to capture evidence that otherwise would amount to one persons word against another. In short, it helps to uphold a culture of reporting misconduct. From my perspective that is a good thing.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

I tend the other direction, that of preserving 4th amendment protections.

There's always a dance of sorts between the need to protect our freedoms, and the need to prevent/deter/prosecute crime.

I recall Justice Black (not a well known liberal by any means) answering a question about law enforcement. He was asked "Don't these things (4th amendment, etc.) just make it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs?" His answer was "Yes, that's what they're supposed to do".

progressive_thinker 6 years, 3 months ago

Good points--agreed that there is quite a balancing act, and no perfect answer.

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

"Almost like you're a formerly banned user...and arehere to mock me. "

Ahh, the irony abounds in that statement.

Bit of a persecution complex therein, though.

lunacydetector 6 years, 3 months ago

i think that only applies if the conversation being recorded is over the phone.

progressive_thinker 6 years, 3 months ago

KSA 21-4002 specifically provides:

"......or other means of private communication"

I could be wrong, but I do believe that this applies. I would be interested if there is some case law one way or another.

Have a good day.

Bob Forer 6 years, 3 months ago

Why is it that Republican religious social conservatives tend to be unmitigated hypocrites. Jesus admonished us to clothe the naked, heal the sick, and feed the hungry. Apparently, Sam has misinterpreted the Bible to direct Christians to "make the wealthy wealthier."

Brownie is not without company. Take the case of Rick Santorum and wife, whom base their entire campaign on a claim that they have superior moral character to President and Mrs Obama. This whore - and she IS a whore - stands by her (current) man with a sanctimonious smirk on her face, while he demeans people of color and vows to ensure that any woman who becomes pregnant as a result of rape or incest will be forced to endure the gestation and birth of that child as some sort of religious penance. (although, of course, when she developed a severe infection after a surgical procedure to save the baby, Ricky and wife agreed to an abortion to save her life) . Mrs Santorum should be taken to task, asked to explain herself for not only living with an abortionist, but acting as his pimp by bringing young girlas to his office and ensuring them that the procedure "isn't so bad." Mrs Obama simply stated her elation at what she (and the rest of us) thought was a new day in freedom and race relations in this country...and was flayed for it, called a traitor and a communist and a militant. I wonder if the Santorum children knew their mother was a whore before this story broke.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 3 months ago

Republicans have this thing about taping illegally or listening in..

Richard Milhouse Nixon listened in on the democrats illegally in hopes of not losing the upcoming election. He resigned after being caught....think Watergate.

I believe this scoundrel TerriLois is working with Brownback to unseat certain republicans therefore it is safe to say Vicki Schmidt is on the Koch Brothers/Brownback hit list or I should have said Vicky Schmidt is among those republicans on the Koch Brothers/Sam Brownback hit list. Very facist like thinking = Koch/Brownback!

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 3 months ago

It is amusing watching the rusting, squeaky gears turn inside the prefrontal conspiracy lobes of some posters. Anything -> Brownback -> Koch Brothers -> facist!!

Ken Lassman 6 years, 3 months ago

I guess I don't see the great harm in taping a conversation where you are trying to get a complex issue correct, and as far as providing managed care for folks with disabilities goes, practically everything hinges on the details. Sure, she should have said what she was doing, but she wasn't hiding it when asked, and sounds like she will tell folks in the future. Call me naive if you like, but in this case there is a distinct possibility that she was actually trying to do her job!

realisticvoter 6 years, 3 months ago

This broad doesn't have a clue as to what her job is, much less have the ethics and honesty needed to do it.

Ken Lassman 6 years, 3 months ago

Wasn't she visiting Schmidt's office? It's poor judgement to not put it out in plain sight, but once again, she openly admitted that the plainly visible red light meant that she was recording the conversation. Even tho I don't agree with Gregory on all issues, I think that there's no reason for me to not take her version of the taping at face value: she was wanting to make sure she got the details of a complex topic right.

In the past, I've actually talked to her about funding issues for folks with disabilities before, and she's evolved in her understanding and support in this area. Isn't that what we expect our legislators to do--to find out more information than what is fed them by leadership by talking to constituents?

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

Not only would placing the recorder on the desk eliminate the possibility of a misunderstanding regarding her motives, it likely would have made for a much higher quality recording. Hidden microphones seldom provide high quality recordings.

Personally, I believe she had ulterior motives.

Ken Lassman 6 years, 3 months ago

Whatever. I have personal experience where she's moderated her stance that was handed down from house leadership, so I know she is capable of independent thinking, despite all of the accusations being thrown around this forum.

Can I prove she had ulterior motives? No more than I can prove that you don't have ulterior motives, so that doesn't really go anywhere productive now, does it?

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, placing the recorder in plain view goes a long way toward dispelling the notion she had ulterior motives, doesn't it? You don't have to disprove ulterior motives, it's just my opinion based on the fact she and her posse have taken aim at moderate Republicans including (somewhat ironically) Schmidt. It's interesting to note that Schmidt was either so alarmed or irritated by the issue she decided to go public rather than discuss it and then drop the matter without telling the "lame-stream media".

Why not just be forthright and say "This is a complex issue that I'm still working to gain command over. I want to make sure I capture all the nuances of our discussion today. I don't really want to take notes as that might be distracting to both of us and I could miss something important while writing. Would you mind if I record this?"

That is how I would approach the matter. Unless I had ulterior motives, that is.

Ken Lassman 6 years, 3 months ago

We both agree that even the appearance of secretly recording was a demonstration of poor judgement, right? Recording is not illegal, tho, as is explored in the much better Topeka article:

Seems to me that secret recordings are frowned upon primarily because legislators don't want to be recorded saying things that they don't want made public. Gregory was saying that she was not doing it for this reason, rather she was trying to understand the nuances of the complex issue of managed care as it applies to folks with developmental disabilities. Many of her constituents have real issues with this approach, and judging from her history of concern in this arena, it seems entirely credible that she was truly trying to deepen her understanding of the issue. That is my reason for not seeing ulterior motives in recording her conversation with Schmidt, and why I feel perfectly comfortable taking her public statement about the matter at face value.

Of course, you are entitled to your "ulterior motive" theory, but I see no compelling reason to believe your opinion is based on anything that would change my opinion, which is based on my personal knowledge of her history of interest on this topic.

Ken Lassman 6 years, 3 months ago

So why would recording Schmidt's conversation on a topic that both care about deeply--the topic of using managed care for folks with developmental disabilities--give Gregory some kind of secret ammunition against Schmidt? More likely, it would give her the details that she needed to carry on an informed conversation with her constituents about a complicated topic, either for or against the proposal. This still seems to be the most likely reason for this recording, at least to me. How do you think it could be used as part of the moderate vs conservative fight that Dolph talks about? I just don't see it.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

If she was really concerned about details of the topic, why not communicate via e-mail?

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

Well that's arguably the pretext for initiating the conversation. Where it might segue from there is certainly another possibility to consider. I realize this is speculation on my and others' part, but it appears more likely than not to me given Gregory's stated agenda to take out moderate Republicans.

As I noted yesterday, it would be interesting to know whether the conversation terminated at the point of discovery.

Ken Lassman 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, this conversation now officially qualifies as idle speculation as it is now just about what we think she might have been thinking about, or why she didn't do A or B instead of C, with not one shred of evidence one way or another. I'm losing interest quickly, since nobody has anything substantial to base their speculation on.

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes, all this input and reaction is pure speculation and nothing more. We wouldn't want to give any deference to the opinion of the person directly involved and offended by the actions. We can also completely ignore the stated agenda of the person committing the offensive act. No reasonable inferences or ulterior motives to be drawn from any of that.

Got it.

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

This would make a great scenario for a Saturday Night Live skit starring Jon Lovitz as Tommy Flanangan, President of the Pathological Liars Club...

Ken Lassman 6 years, 3 months ago

So you have Schmidt on tape saying why she doesn't want to have her conversations taped? I find it much more likely that politicians get nervous around tape recorders out of principle, because they don't want to be caught sometime saying something incriminating, than your ulterior motives speculation.

Once again, why in the world would a conversation about the complex issue of managed care for folks with developmental disabilities provide TLG with any incriminating evidence for anything? It just doesn't compute, even on SNL--Lorne Michaels would reject the skit as implausible.

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

"So you have Schmidt on tape...?" It's a bit ironic you would want me to have it recorded.

Nevertheless, from the article above:

“I found it shocking,” said state Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka. “I have been really taken aback by it. I don’t expect colleagues to record colleagues inside an office.”

You really need it spelled out more distinctly than that?

There's a continuum of denial that runs from unable to understand to willfully imperceptive. I'll leave it to you to determine exactly where you lie therein.

Ken Lassman 6 years, 3 months ago

""So you have Schmidt on tape...?" It's a bit ironic you would want me to have it recorded."

Sorry--should have given you the humor alert.

You choose to interpret Schmidt's quote as proof that TLG was trying to gather dirt on Schmidt as some kind of ulterior scheme to bump moderates. I, however, read the same quote and interpret in completely differently, saying that Schmidt was offended with the idea of being recorded because TLG broke the post Nixon legislator's code of not recording anything off the record lest it come back to haunt them.

You interpret TLG's statement afterwards as being completely disingenous and lying about the recording's purpose, while I, based on my knowledge of TLG's intense and abiding interest in folks with DD, have no problem with accepting her written statement at face value.

Do you really need it spelled out more distinctly than that? Neither of us can completely rule out the veracity of either perspective, nor do is there any way to resolve the issue further. Such is the nature of public discourse and public officials, I guess. If you care to call either Schmidt or Gregory and gather more information, please do and let us know what you found out, and I'll do the same. Otherwise, you can stop presenting your perspective as God's truth, as you clearly are making speculative assumptions that are far from persuasive to me and probably many others.

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

I never presented my perspective as God's truth, anymore than you did. I see my perspective as the more reasonable interpretation of the facts as we know them. You see it your way-that's fine with me. I choose to see it from the perspective of the one that was directly affected by Gregory's behavior. I don't trust Gregory particularly given her expressed agenda. That's the millstone hanging around her neck of her own creation.

I am not willing to just dismiss what I perceive as very questionable behavior. Many others, most likely the majority of those opining on this thread, have indicated they object to this behavior and believe it to be suspicious.

I don't believe this is the last we will hear of Ms. Gregory. Time will tell.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, I think it's illegal to tape a conversation without the other person's consent.

And, if she's actually concerned about getting the details right, that's what e-mail and written communications are for, isn't it?

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

That's ok.

I find it disturbing - seems to me that I should have to know and consent to my conversations being taped.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago


But if I'm one of the participants, then I should know and consent to any taping, in my view.

Do you disagree?

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

That's horrible, of course.

And, I guess it's fine for her to tape it, if it's the only way that he'll be held accountable for it.

Of course, one hopes that there are other ways to do that - for example, if the wife hadn't been party to it and had spoken out.

Seems a far cry from recording a normal conversation to me, though.

By the way, what's happened to that judge? Is the daughter in someone else's care now, someone who won't abuse her?

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago


The mother could also have left the judge, taking her children with her, couldn't she?

I'm disappointed that he wasn't charged and convicted of child abuse.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago


I couldn't watch the video - I'd heard of it, and didn't want to subject myself to the viewing.

I have a low tolerance for watching people be hurt like that.

Jana Rea 6 years, 3 months ago

Finally some sense instead of drivel! it doesn't sound like the recorder was hiding if it could be seen. I guess it is hard to see earnestness when a mind is suspicious.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 3 months ago

As long as honesty is top priority, recording it should not be a problem.What was she trying to hide?

Bob Forer 6 years, 3 months ago

I think she is probably lying when she claims that she was simply recording the conversation because they were discussing an issue she had a hard time understanding.

The person she was recording is a moderate Republican, who the right wing have targeted for defeat in the next primary. My guess is that she was fishing to try to get anything on tape that she thought the right wing repubs could use to defeat the gal in the primary. .

deec 6 years, 3 months ago

How can someone practically outright admit they are someone else who was uninvited to the party, and still be here again?

woodscolt 6 years, 3 months ago

Suffering from a simple case of "no matter where you go there you are"

deec 6 years, 3 months ago

More like "how can you be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all?"

Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 3 months ago

T-Lo was attempting to record Sen. Schmidt bad mouthing Sam Brownback. Period.

You do not bad mouth Il Marrone.

texburgh 6 years, 3 months ago

Please show more respect for the Italian language and Italians. Not all of us want our beautiful language sullied by being tied to Brownback.

appleaday 6 years, 3 months ago

She should have been up front about it and told her she was going to record the conversation in order to correctly remember the facts. Concealing it and recording without permission is the issue.

karma2010 6 years, 3 months ago

The people of Johnson County where she lived before going to Baldwin tried to warn everyone in your district about Terri. Figured it was just a matter of time before she revealed her true self. Beware.

woodscolt 6 years, 3 months ago

Secretly recording a conversion generally implies that the person doing the recording has an agenda that may not be acceptable to the person being recorded. In this case, it certainly violates etiquette regardless of legality. Oh well, isn't it nice when the pubs have to use their tactics on each other.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

math: "At least I'm honest about my past and present"

Best line of the year so far.

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

Where's Linda Tripp? I'm sure she could offer some great tips on covert taping to Gregory.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

If people don't know and consent to it, then no they shouldn't be taping/recording, in my view.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Should people you speak to be allowed to repeat things you have said to others? If yes, then why be so reluctant to be recorded because then at least they'll be quoting you exactly.

If no, why?

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

That's a good question.

It depends on the conversation, and the others - I'm not a hugely secretive person, but I sometimes say things that I wouldn't want repeated in some circles - doesn't everybody?

Are you ok with everybody you speak to repeating what you say to anybody at all?

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

This is where I come back to the closest friends and close family thing. I feel like my relationship with those few people entitles me to privacy re: anything I say to them that ought to be private. Obviously, though, if we're talking about KU basketball, for example, of course what we say can be shared with others. Context of the conversation and relationship of the parties dictates.

But outside of those very obviously private conversations, sure, I have no problem with someone repeating what I have said. As I said before, unless I either specify the desire for confidentiality or my relationship with the other party already has confidentiality assumptions, I don't feel entitled to have my words remain between the two of us. If I am uncomfortable having people hear my words, I just shouldn't say them.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

I wonder if most people feel as you do, or as I do?

You must be pretty circumspect - more power to you.

Most of us aren't that careful, I think, and say things in one context and to one set of people that we wouldn't say in another.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

I do that, too. We all get careless. I just don't feel entitled not to have that come back to bite me. And, hey, at least if it's recorded, no one can exaggerate what I said, misquote me, etc. And if tone is the issue, at least people could hear and decide for themselves.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

I remember something that happened when I was a young adolescent - I hadn't thought of it for a while.

I and a friend were visiting some girls, who were acting strangely - they kept running out of the room, giggling, etc.

Since we were left alone a lot, we started talking, and wound up talking about sex, in a rather graphic way, involving one of the girls.

After we had left, a little while later, my parents got a phone call from the parents of one of the girls. Apparently they had taped us, which we didn't know, and were very offended and upset. Her parents demanded an apology from me.

I always thought it was a bit off - they didn't apologize for taping us without our knowing, and we were acting in a perfectly natural adolescent male fashion.

We wouldn't have said any of those sorts of things directly to the girl - it would have been embarrassing and uncomfortable. Does than mean they were in the right somehow?

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

First of all, if they weren't a party to the conversation, they weren't entitled to record it. So the scenario you are explaining is very different from what went on here.

But second of all, is it possible that you and your friend learned a lesson that perhaps you shouldn't talk about girls quite so carelessly, especially in their own home? I get that people talk candidly sometimes and do so expecting that the subject of the conversation will never find out. But speaking as someone who was once the subject of such a conversation and did, unfortunately, find out, I can assure you that just because I was never meant to know about it didn't stop me from feeling demeaned. I don't have a problem with the fact that the people who engaged in that conversation had to face some consequences for it and had to be confronted with how upset I was.

Is it really so outrageous that people might oughta be held accountable for the things they say?

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Our behavior was completely natural male adolescent behavior, and was meant to be a conversation between us, not for public consumption.

The fact that they were upset and offended isn't actually our fault - probably stems more from their own hangups about sex.

Don't we deserve an apology for having our privacy violated?

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

If you're looking for someone to side with you that you and your friend were the totally aggrieved parties and did nothing wrong, you've come to the wrong person.

I will agree that it was wrong for them to record you guys while they were out of the room. But dare I suggest that they were also engaging in totally normal female adolescent behavior? Having once been a teenage girl myself, I know the lengths such creatures will go to to find out if a guy likes them. I would guess they learned a lesson, too, that those who want to hear themselves being talked about aren't always going to like what they hear.

I'm a little troubled by your insistence that their offense is entirely their fault. Are you sure you wouldn't be bothered by hearing two teenage boys talking about your daughter the way you were talking about that girl? Just because your conversation was normal teenage behavior doesn't mean it wasn't also offensive or hurtful.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

What did we do that was wrong?

We talked about girls and sex - a completely natural and normal thing for adolescent boys to do.

I like that you pointed that out - I was going to mention it.

If I don't go around secretly recording people, I won't hear a private conversation between two teenage boys about my daughter.

And, for the record, as I said, we were forced to apologize, and they never did.

I think that her parents made some very bad choices there - it would have been a great opportunity to talk with her about sex, how it's natural, how boys think about it and talk about it, etc.

Instead, they taught her that it's reasonable to be offended when a boy thinks about her that way, that there's something shameful and nasty about it, that men should apologize for thinking about her that way, etc.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

If I say to you, I think you're an arrogant, pompous jerk, that's a hurtful thing to do.

But, if I say it to a friend, without ever meaning for you to hear it,...

In the world you seem to be creating there, we all have to be so careful about what we say because it may be secretly recorded and broadcast where it isn't intended.

Something about that bothers me.

No offense, by the way, regarding the above comments - I just used them as an example.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

All I'm saying is you don't have a free pass in this world to call me an arrogant, pompous jerk and then act like you're the party who was wronged if I find out about it and find it upsetting. (and I did not think you were calling me those things. I'm not. I'm really a very nice person. As I suspect you are. Really as I assume most people to be.)

I'm not creating a world where we all have to be careful about what we say because it might be broadcast. I'm simply asking people to accept accountability for their own words. I think you're the one wanting an unattainable world where we can carefully contain all of our words solely for the audience we want and never have our words escape the tiny box we intend to put them in. That's just not realistic. Nor is it a very open world.

You just don't get to micromanage the world to that extent.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, it's a bit complicated.

I accept full responsibility for my actions and words, when they're heard by those I'm speaking with.

If others record me, and then share that with people I didn't intend to speak to, I don't think I bear the same responsibility there.

Gossip is a funny in-between thing, and a bit harder to judge.

If I call you names (to someone else), and then somebody tells you that, and you're upset, I say there's shared responsibility. Whomever I told undoubtedly knew (or should have known) that I didn't intend for you to hear it. And, we're all responsible for our reactions to things.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree with you that the person who rats you out has some responsibility, though context is very important there. Say I'm running around thinking this guy is the one and he's saying nasty things about me behind my back, I feel like the decent thing to do is to tell me. But if I'm purely venting in the heat of the moment and my confidant passes it on to stir up trouble, that's worse.

I disagree that the speaker's responsibility is different. Either way, they're your words and you have to own them. Now, there may be mitigation in the second situation, but you're still fully responsible for saying it.

And I'm not sure I can fully agree with your assertion that the listener is responsible for his reaction. I'm with you to an extent, but I'm still troubled by the earlier part of this conversation where you don't seem willing even to consider that the things you said about that girl were in any way rude, disrespectful, hurtful, whatever. Often the listener does in fact hear words through her own filter, of course. We all have our own unique experiences that can in all kinds of subtle ways affect how we perceive things. But there's a concept in the law that I think is somewhat applicable here. You take your victim as you find him. Meaning if the blow you inflicted on the victim should have caused only minimal damage to a normal person but this particular victim had a heart condition that was entirely unknown to you and your blow caused death, well, you're still guilty of the effect of your acts, meaning some level of manslaughter, as opposed to battery, which is all you intended to do.

If your words cause someone pain or offense, I think you do have an obligation to consider that person's perspective and to wonder if maybe you should have phrased things differently or not engaged in the conversation, etc. I feel like you're a little too inclined to disavow responsibility if your words cause someone offense.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

It depends on the situation, of course.

If I call you a moron, then yes, that's a hurtful thing to do.

If I talk about you in a sexual manner, I don't think there's anything at all hurtful in that, even if you take offense.

There's a great distinction for me between pain and offense - offense seems to me almost always rests with the one offended. Many people are offended by many things, and I generally think people should be less quick to be offended, and that the offense comes from their own makeup, rather than the other person's words.

Sticking with my example, I think that I did nothing wrong at all by talking with a friend about sex and girls - there is nothing that was intended to harm, and nothing inherently harmful about the topic.

The fact that women often take offense at the topic is very unfortunate, but it doesn't mean that men are the ones responsible for that, in my view.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Clearly you and I are not going to agree on this and anything more you say will only run the risk of angering me severely. I think your attitude toward women is beyond disrespectful and I think your unwillingness to reconsider your remarks in light of the way they make other people feel is appalling.

And that attitude in a workplace is going to get you into serious trouble some day.

Too bad you didn't learn your lesson from that teenage incident.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Just to be clear, though. You were a guest in someone else's home. And you felt entitled, free, allowed, and perfectly in the right to talk about a teenage girl in whatever sexual terms you deemed appropriate. (Not clear on whether the girl in question lived at the house or was the friend, but either way, you were clearly a guest.)

And when the teenage girl and her parents found out and were hurt, oh I'm sorry, you claim only offense, which apparently is not the fault of the speaker, you not only decided their offense was their own fault based on their own presumed sexual hangups and that it was just too darn bad for them they couldn't accept this normal teenage behavior, you felt THEY owed YOU an apology??

I might expect that attitude from the teenage boy at the time. But from a grown man, that is a juvenile, arrogant, self-absorbed, entitled, obnoxious, outrageous attitude. (I have more adjectives...) What on earth gives you the right to say whatever you want to about people and claim no responsibility as long as you hide behind this "you weren't meant to know" nonsense?

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

So, you apparently think that it's fine for them to secretly tape us in order to find out what we're talking about, but terrible for us to talk about sex.


Why would it hurt you to find out that a man had talked about you in a sexual manner?

Most men wouldn't feel that way if the genders were reversed.

Yes, I think that our society is very messed up when it comes to sex, which is a completely natural thing. It's both over-sexualized and puritanical, which is a strange combination.

I hear and understand that you are angry about what I've said in this conversation.

For the record, I'm not, although it's a little upsetting to be called those sorts of names.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

I figured we'd get here sooner or later.

It's too bad - this could have been an interesting conversation.

I hear and understand that what I've been saying upsets, angers and offends you.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

I have not called you names. I have used adjectives to describe your behavior. I am sorry you don't like hearing it, but honestly, sometimes people need to be challenged. I think your utter refusal to accept accountability for your words justifies some tough love, if you will.

I said from the beginning it was wrong for those girls to record you. Don't act like I didn't because the proof is about 10 comments above. I even mused that those girls probably learned a lesson about eavesdropping. I just wish you had learned a lesson about the proper way to be a guest in someone's home and the way to reassess your actions when you learn they have upset someone.

As for why I or any woman might be upset about being spoken of in a sexual manner, I think you may be right that it wouldn't bother men. But that doesn't mean women are just overly-sensitive prudes if it bothers them. In my particular case, the conversation involved colleagues who I had assumed saw me as a respected professional. To be reduced to a sexual object was profoundly upsetting (more upsetting than I would have thought) in large part because I felt so disrespected as a professional.

I just think our world would be a whole lot better if people wouldn't blow it off, as I perceive you to be doing, when their words or actions upset, anger, or offend other people. Engage in a little introspection and think maybe you'd rather hear other people's perspectives and maybe even adapt your behavior a little. But for crying out loud, don't claim the absolute moral high ground and act like you are the sole aggrieved party.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

The only thing you ever said is that since it wasn't a conversation in which they were a participant, that it didn't match the subject we were discussing.

Do you think it was wrong for them do so so?

Thank you for sharing your personal experience - I'm sorry that you had an upsetting experience, but, why do you think that men seeing women as sexual is inherently disrespectful?

You don't think it's possible that they both respect you as a professional and see you as a sexual being?

I question that sort of assumption and attitude.

Men think about sex a lot, and about a lot of different women - it doesn't mean anything beyond that, unless either the men or women involved make it mean something more.

Is it ok if they think about you that way, as long as they don't say it out loud, or does the very thought offend you?

By the way, just for the record, I love and respect women, have generally had more female friends than male ones, support equality of women in our society in a variety of ways, etc. I just also think about having sex with them. In my world, the two are completely compatible. And, if you asked any of the women in my life about my attitudes towards women, I think they'd disagree with your view.

If it's not possible for men to both respect women and be attracted to them sexually, and see them in those terms, that's quite a big problem, I think, for relationships between them.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

By the way, are you "blowing it off" if your words and actions upset me?

You used a variety of insulting language in your post, and I have done nothing like that in mine.

How much responsibility do we have for our reactions?

I have done and said nothing disrespectful to you in this conversation, yet you feel perfectly justified in disrespecting me.

How does that work exactly?

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

No, I'm not. But I was fully aware that you wouldn't care for my characterization, but still think my characterization was justified. I think it is juvenile and arrogant to think that it's ok to talk about women in whatever sexual terms you deem appropriate and then refuse to rethink those terms when it turns out the subject of the conversation didn't care for it. I recognize and accept that this characterization will offend you, but I stand by my words.

I did say it was wrong for the girls to tape you. I just added that it was also wrong of you boys to talk about the girls however you wanted to, especially while you were their guests. I still am troubled that you refuse in any way to see that you were in any way in the wrong.

Context is everything, so it's hard to get into a general discussion on a subject like this. Not all sexual talk is offensive or hurtful or whatever. That should be obvious. But there are lines, and they may be different for every person and for specific situations. But just because you don't seem to acknowledge any boundaries doesn't mean that other people are wrong to think some of your behavior or words crosses boundaries. It doesn't mean they're prudes with hang-ups about sex, either.

And of course it's possible for men to both respect women and be attracted to them sexually. It's also possible to respect women on the whole and still on occasion do something disrespectful.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

I am going to resist the urge to respond in kind, which takes some self-control and discipline.

I agree with your last 2 paragraphs, but suggest that it's not limited to men, or to sex, that we all bear some responsibility for how we interpret and react to things, and how we choose to express ourselves.

In this particular case, it seems to me that I have respected you much more in this conversation than vice-versa.

And yet, you want to criticize me for a lack of respect - that's a bit odd to me.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

"but suggest that it's not limited to men, or to sex, that we all bear some responsibility for how we interpret and react to things, and how we choose to express ourselves."

But isn't that what I have been arguing for all along?!

I would, as respectfully as possible, have to disagree that you have been far more respectful than I. You have ignored many of my points, changed the track of things when I made a good point, claimed I did not say things which I clearly did, demanded that I should take your side and feel you were violated when caught talking about someone in a way she didn't like while in her (or her friend's) home. You've also accused me of calling you names when I didn't.

I get that you don't like being told that your behavior is inappropriate. But that doesn't make me wrong or disrespectful for finding it, and calling it, inappropriate. You seem to be all about demanding that other people take responsibility for their actions and words and apologize profusely for offending you without ever once being willing to take on that same level of responsibility yourself. In fact, you've gone to great lengths to explain why no one should be allowed to find your words or behavior offensive. I can't respect that.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

If you feel I have treated you disrespectfully in this conversation, I apologize.

I demand nothing, as is evidenced by the fact that I have continued to talk with you even after you've insulted me to my face - I haven't even "requested" an apology.

If you are responsible for how you express yourself, then you have chosen to do so in a way that is blatantly insulting and disrespectful to me.

Why exactly should I want to keep talking with you?

And, thinking back over our previous conversations, I retract my last comment above. It's not at all odd, in fact, it's the norm, in our conversations, for you to insult and dismiss me.

I'll have to re-think my interest in them.

Also, just as a tactical suggestion - your characterization of my attitude, if intended to change it, is poorly chosen.

Your last comment is completely incorrect - I never said anything of the kind. I merely questioned whether it's my responsibility if others are offended.

If I am offended by your obvious insults, is that your responsibility?

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Honestly, I don't feel that I have insulted you. I feel that you hold people to much higher standards than you are willing to be held. I am not sure there is a way I could express my concern with your behavior or attitude that you would not find insulting. So am I just not allowed to say when I think you are in the wrong because that is inherently insulting?

In regards to my last comment, you have, in fact, repeatedly expressed that you did nothing wrong in that teen incident, that the offense was due to the listener's being uncomfortable with "normal adolescent behavior" and their own hang-ups. You went so far as to suggest that the parents did the girls far more harm than you and your friend. Maybe I should have said that was obtuse instead of juvenile? Thoughtless instead of arrogant? But, yeah, to me that is going to great lengths to disclaim responsibility.

As for me dismissing you, I would suggest that the fact that I have engaged in this conversation as long as I have provides ample evidence that I have done nothing of the sort.

It seems to me that the last time we engaged on this forum, you also accused me of being insulting and dismissive when the law and the better argument was clearly on my side. So am I insulting you by having the better of the argument?

Kim Murphree 6 years, 3 months ago

Besides the blatant unethical behavior of TeriLois Gregory...if she wanted to tape the conversation for clarity, she could have just put the recorder on the desk and told Rep. Schmidt what she was doing and asked if that was ok with her. The fact that she didn't do it with that kind of openness strongly suggests a different agenda. So, we all know what she was up to---the funniest part about this is her complete inability to complete the task without getting caught...I mean, for crying out loud...she didn't even check to see if the recorder could be seen through her purse? Tell you what just keep sending spies like TeriLois out, and the rest of us won't worry too much about leaking any secret info to them.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 3 months ago

One other point that might be worth mentioning: these are public officials in (I assume) public offices. I do know Kansas allows taping as long as one party knows and your ethical points are well taken, but would you feel differently if the "conversation" took place in email and was released to the public by one party or through a KORA request? I suppose my point is that my ethics test is a bit lower knowing that they are public officials in a public space.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

That's a funny comment.

"my ethics test is a bit lower knowing that they are public officials..."

Do you really mean that public officials shouldn't be held to higher ethical standards?

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 3 months ago

Meh. It was a poor way to express my point. Virtually everything a public official does in office is (or should be) public record. What I meant is that I would have more difficulty with this story if it was a meeting between a public official and a private citizen or, I suppose, two private citizens. In this cases, it would still be legal but more ethically challenging because one generally assumes an amount of privacy even if they don't have it. Make sense?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

When I was a student at KU in the 1980s, a tape recorder in class was fine, if the professor consented to it.

But I never asked, I just took my tape recorder, placed it on my desk, and so the professor was obviously very aware of it.

I have some problems, and at that time it was manifested by my falling asleep in class. It took less than five minutes, and I was totally asleep, still sitting at my desk, holding my pen. I would wake up once in a while, and frantically try to write down all of the mathematical equations that were on the chalkboard.

It was very obvious to the professor that I was really trying to get through the class. I was never late, I never missed class, and as long as I was awake, I paid very close attention to everything he said.

And, I had a great deal of difficulty sleeping at night.

So, the professor never said a word, and I never did complete that class. It was one of only four classes that I lacked in order to complete a degree in Electrical Engineering.

Kim Murphree 6 years, 3 months ago

Besides the blatant unethical behavior of TeriLois Gregory...if she wanted to tape the conversation for clarity, she could have just put the recorder on the desk and told Rep. Schmidt what she was doing and asked if that was ok with her. The fact that she didn't do it with that kind of openness strongly suggests a different agenda. So, we all know what she was up to---the funniest part about this is her complete inability to complete the task without getting caught...I mean, for crying out loud...she didn't even check to see if the recorder could be seen through her purse? Tell you what just keep sending spies like TeriLois out, and the rest of us won't worry too much about leaking any secret info to them.

Ken Lassman 6 years, 3 months ago

You give no compelling reason for me to believe that she had ulterior motives. A much simpler explanation than your paranoid Brownback spy scenario is that she just didn't think through the consequences of taping someone without asking first. She has a well documented interest in the topic of providing services to folks with developmental disabilities; she has constituents who are concerned about Brownback's managed care plan, so I see no need to take it beyond her face value explanation.

thebigspoon 6 years, 3 months ago

Another question: how many times and with whom has she exhibited (or hidden) this behavior? It's said that one who is dishonest once is dishonest many times. AI'm very interested in how many times this has happened.

Kim Murphree 6 years, 3 months ago

Besides the blatant unethical behavior of TeriLois Gregory...if she wanted to tape the conversation for clarity, she could have just put the recorder on the desk and told Rep. Schmidt what she was doing and asked if that was ok with her. The fact that she didn't do it with that kind of openness strongly suggests a different agenda. So, we all know what she was up to---the funniest part about this is her complete inability to complete the task without getting caught...I mean, for crying out loud...she didn't even check to see if the recorder could be seen through her purse? Tell you what just keep sending spies like TeriLois out, and the rest of us won't worry too much about leaking any secret info to them.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

You say this behavior is blatantly unethical. How so? There is a Kansas law explicitly authorizing her behavior. Since that law had to be passed by the Kansas legislature, it seems unlikely that the legislature has an ethical rule that would prohibit one-party consent recordings. Indeed, wouldn't most Kansans be up in arms if the legislature protected themselves against something that all the rest of us are subject to?

I get that people are having a visceral reaction to this, that they feel it is seedy, unseemly, etc. But I don't think it really is. If she was indeed spying for the conservative wing of the party, couldn't she just report back to people about what Schmidt said? Would it be unseemly or unethical to take notes?

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

Merely taking notes would not be unseemly to me, however Schmidt might have been more cautious regarding what she said-who knows? Schmidt would however, have been placed on notice in a very visible fashion that a form of "recording" was occurring and the conversation was being memorialized to some extent.

Let's say Schmidt was unaware that a recording in any form was taking place. In the interest of furthering dialogue she decides to have a heart-to-heart with Gregory, was truly candid and criticized Brownback or said something that was not in lock-step with the policies Americans for Prosperity/other entities the ultra-conservative right currently espouse. An actual recording would seem much more credible, authentic, unimpeachable and possibly damning for Schmidt rather than comments captured via pen & paper. You minimize if not completely avoid the "that's not what I really said", or "it's taken out of context" argument with a recording.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

But what is unethical about making the recording? I don't think being denied the opportunity to claim a political opponent is exaggerating your words or taking them out of context is a good argument for the recording being unethical. I think getting called out for saying something and then trying desperately to deny having said it, even though you did, is pretty shady, isn't it?

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

Sorry-should have clarified I'm not riding the "unethical" train. My comments are directed solely toward the ulterior motive aspects.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Gotcha. I'm only on the unethical train because I don't like to see that word thrown around without substance to back it up. I'm not entirely decided on how I feel about the open vs. surreptitious recording, about whether we can infer bad faith motive from that.

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree with you regarding the unethical issue. As I remarked somewhere earlier, I find it quite interesting that Schmidt took this to the fourth estate rather than merely burying the hatchet with Gregory. That indicates (to me at least) Schmidt found it patently offensive and likely suspect in motive. It would be interesting to know whether the conversation ended at that point.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

What motive could there be to do that secretly that didn't involve bad faith?

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Embarrassment. If I were having a hard time grasping a particular issue, I could easily imagine that there would be particular colleagues I wouldn't want to admit that to. And I could see how wanting to re-listen to the colleague's ideas could help.

Self-protection. Maybe you don't trust the colleague you're speaking to and want to make sure she can't misquote you.

Sheer hubris. Probably not the case here, but you don't think there might be some people (say a Newt Gingrich or a Donald Trump) who would think their conversations are worth saving for posterity, meaning for that best-selling memoir they're going to write someday?

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

The last two wouldn't require doing it secretly, of course.

Only the first one would.

So, in order to spare yourself embarrassment, you secretly tape your conversation. I'd say that the other person's right to privacy outweighs your right to not be embarrassed.

Also, of course, one can easily communicate via e-mail, which provides a record of the discussion, and everyone's aware of that fact. Is that too embarrassing to do?

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

There is no "right" to privacy at play here. And I was just spouting off the top of my head silly theories. Frankly, I think those of you assuming bad faith have the burden to prove it, not the other way around. And "I would never do such a thing and find it disturbing that anyone would" doesn't cut it.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, I disagree, as do many others.

I think that secrecy of that sort provides the necessity for those engaged in it to justify it.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

And, there's also no "right" to not be embarrassed.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Of course there's no "right" not to be embarrassed. Did I ever say anything remotely like that? As for the "right" to privacy, I strongly disagree with using the word right loosely. I might agree to an "expectation" of privacy. But the only right that is actually at play here is the legal right of one person to record a conversation, even without the consent or knowledge of the other party.

But since you're so big on this "right" to privacy, why doesn't the recording Rep have the "right" to privacy? Why doesn't she have the right to engage in legal conduct without having someone snooping around in her purse and demanding explanation for her actions?

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, if you're going get all legalistic on me, you're right, of course.

I suppose we'd have to define our terms first.

Do we have no other "rights" than legal ones? I think there's some sort of moral right, even if our laws don't recognize it (at least in KS - apparently 12 states do).

In our system, the government can't infringe on our privacy if there's that "reasonable expectation" of it, right? Why shouldn't individuals be held to the same standard?

There's something inherently intrusive about recording somebody else without their knowledge - it's surprising that you don't see that.

Is it ok if they secretly videotape you as well?

What if it's in your own home, and a guest secretly tapes you?

By the way, I appreciate that we've had an interesting conversation on a variety of topics, and that you didn't choose to simply end it, despite being upset by some of it.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Getting legalistic is what I do. And, yes, defining terms is also beneficial to any discussion.

I do think not all rights are legal ones, but I don't think we have a right to privacy in our day-to-day interactions with other people.

I do not see it as intrusive to be recorded in general. Obviously, there are limits to that. Surreptitious recording in bathrooms, changing rooms, etc. The guy who had a camera on his shoe and would position his foot to catch shots of women wearing skirts. (Seriously disturbing.) But to have a conversation recorded (whether just audio or video as well), I just don't have the same visceral reaction you do. I'm not sure I can explain why beyond what I have already written.

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

"Why doesn't she have the right to engage in legal conduct without having someone snooping around in her purse and demanding explanation for her actions?"

Plain view doctrine ;-)

Just kidding. I know Schmidt is not a LEO nor are we discussing evidence of a crime, but it sounds like the recorder light was somewhat apparent and no surreptitious "snooping" was required.

Per the article, Schmidt "asked" her what it was and Gregory told her. That's a substantial degree in difference from "demanding explanation for her actions" as you characterized it. Disclosure at the minimum, if not an outright request for permission from the person to be recorded arises from respecting the expectation of privacy you alluded to above. Schmidt was obviously disturbed and offended, thus exhibiting her expectation of privacy. I believe Schmidt also thought Gregory's intent was not beyond reproach.

As I and numerous others have expressed, if Gregory's intent was indeed beyond reproach, all she had to do was put it on the desk between them. The issue would have at least been addressed if not completely avoided. In addition, the quality of the recording would have been much better than when obtained while confined in a purse. Schmidt would have had the opportunity to consent or decline and this particular controversy avoided. From my perspective, this is a simple courtesy. Failing to disclose the presence of a recording device will always raise the specter of ulterior motive-deserved or not.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Judging by the smiley face, I trust you understand that my rhetorical questions were meant to make a point and not actually serious statements.

I don't disagree that it would have been courteous to inform Schmidt of the recording. I would suggest that her immediate acknowledgment of what the red light was is evidence that there was no bad motive. She could have claimed it was her Blackberry, after all.

I just don't see any impropriety here and don't quite see why people are so incensed.

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

Or we could look at this from the perspective that Gregory got caught "red handed" and was at least bright enough to cut her losses and admit to recording the conversation with something of a plausible explanation. She might have even planned what she would say in the event the recorder was noticed.

I can't help but be troubled by the nature of Schmidt's reaction toward a fellow Republican. She was there and has the best opportunity to gauge the circumstances. We don't know what happened between the two following the discovery. We do know they didn't resolve this between them. Schmidt took this public. That is evidence to me that she perceived ill intent or motivation on the part of Gregory.

Well, I believe I've thoroughly beaten this horse. Have a good day.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes, we all have beaten this horse pretty thoroughly, haven't we?

just one parting thought, though. what if Schmidt's reaction really is more about her? It seems that a lot of you here (and so perhaps a lot of people in the state) would be shocked to find they were being recorded and would automatically assume it was an act of bad faith. Perhaps Schmidt, like so many others, immediately jumped to that conclusion rather than only getting there based on some specific body language or non-verbal cue from Gregory.

I'm not really sold that Schmidt's reaction is all that telling because it seems to be the reaction that a lot of posters here would have had.

bad_dog 6 years, 3 months ago

Point taken. Again, I would like to know what transpired between them following the "discovery".

Where is Paul Harvey when we need him?

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 3 months ago

The answer to that question is most definitely above my paygrade as he died almost 3 years ago... :)

topeka411 6 years, 3 months ago

Why did TLO have to hide the fact that she was taping Senator Schmidt? The answer is obvious. She is carrying water for the hard right who have targeted Sen. Schmidt for defeat. They believe, Bible in hand, that whatever dirty tricks they pull are just fine! The rules don't apply to them, because they know best.
And, one dare not disagree or they'll be sanctioned! Just ask the high school student tweeter.

pace 6 years, 3 months ago

Rep. TerriLois Gregory is a sneak and a liar.

sciencegeek 6 years, 3 months ago

If the intent was to get the facts straight, the recording device should have been brought out in the beginning, accompanied by " Mind if I tape this?".

The more likely scenario is that a conservative wingnut Republican wanted to get something on tape to be used against a (gasp!) moderate Republican. Or hadn't you noticed the scorched-earth intent of the radical conservative wing?

So much for the moral platitudes of the "Christian" right-wingers. They wouldn't know decency if it sat on their desk.

Bob Forer 6 years, 3 months ago

"They wouldn't know decency if it sat on their desk."

I like that. It's a lot more polite than "if it bit them on the ass" yet still gets the point across.

verity 6 years, 3 months ago

Legal or not, if a friend taped me without telling me, they would no longer be my friend or allowed in my house. It's creepy, it's rude and I would certainly consider it unethical. Why would you even want to do it without telling someone unless you were trying to pull something?

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Seems pretty straightforward, doesn't it?

equalaccessprivacy 6 years, 3 months ago

Think about tightening up the relevant laws in KS! I've experienced the hacks in KU's HR and General Counsel try to criminally frame innocent people by taking secret recordings and then misrepresenting their time, date, and circumstances.

goodcountrypeople 6 years, 3 months ago

"Caring deeply about the disability community" might be read as a patronizing, offensive card to play in a state so politically unaware and insensitive that aggressive street harassment against strangers rather than treating people equally and with dignity and like mature people who can manage their own affairs constitutes the accepted norm for telling ourselves and others we are charitable people. People with obvious but to many yokels invisible intellectual challenges prey on those with the most minor visible physical limitations to increase their own status. It's demeaning.

Steve Hicks 6 years, 3 months ago

In defense of TerriLois, who's my state representative:

She was on the committee hearing testimony for Kobach' voter I.D. legislation. She was generous in sharing the testimony that committee heard, and willing to listen to my critique of it. In the end she (along with the committee, state government, and most Kansans) were snookered into furthering Kobach' personal agenda. But that's because of the bad political principles she follows (along with the committee, state government, and most Kansans).

The current ruling faction in our state and the Republican Party take as their principle the Reagan inaugural sound-bite that "...government IS the problem." But government conducted on such an ANTI-government principle can only be illogical, misdirected, and harmful: the situation we currently have.

If government is evil, it raises the question WHY Reagan-followers would want to be part of it ? And when they are (the situation we currently have), their operative principle forces them to see any GOOD purpose of government (health-care, education, regulation of financial or energy companies, the arts) as evil (i.e., "socialism").

Despite their purported "Christian" principles, that faction's view (and practice) of government contradicts the New Testament view: that human government should do GOOD (healthcare for the poor, possibly ?) and punish evil-doers (banks and financial companies that nearly destroyed our economy, do you think ?).

TerriLois follows bad political principles. If she twists scripture to whitewash those as "Christian" principles, she's got problems bigger than her politics. But the same could be said for her faction, her party, our governor, Kris Kobach (whose national ambitions make him the most deeply sinister of the lot), most of the state legislature, and a lot of Kansans who've been deceived by them.

TerriLois has followed bad principles. From my contacts with her, however, I don't consider her a bad person. She's seemed to TRY to do the right thing as a legislator, but been led astray by the evil principles she follows.

People who do harm because they've been deceived to think it's RIGHT deserve pity and forgiveness, not censure. On the other hand, it's not wise to give such an individual, faction, or party, governmental responsibilities.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 3 months ago

Educate me. Is Senator Schmidt a moderate Republican? is Represntative Gregory a conservative Republican?

karma2010 6 years, 3 months ago

Do you really believe that this is the first time she has done this? Think again.

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