Commentary

House Majority Leader’s Stunt to Shame Elderly Woman Recklessly Goes Too Far

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In a shameless effort to promote his environmentalism, Representative Jeff McCabe took to Facebook this morning to publicly post any private information that he could find in locally collected roadside trash. The most concerning example of Rep. McCabe’s public shaming spree was a picture he posted of a medical bracelet with the caption, “Anyone sees (Name redacted) JR tell her no littering on Malbons Mills Rd.”

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This post was shared publicly on Rep. McCabe’s Facebook with the intent to shame this woman whom Mr. McCabe assumes littered intentionally. Perhaps more disturbing than the fact that Mr. McCabe assumed this was a case of intentional littering, is that he believes it gives him the right to post this woman’s personal medical information publicly online where it is easily accessible by the general public.

The recovered bracelet pictured has the woman’s name, phone number, primary care provider, birthday, medical record number and a QR code. By sharing her personal information, Rep. McCabe has opened this woman, who is in her sixties, up to a variety of danger from burglars seeking prescription medication, to scammers or potential individuals seeking to do her harm. Mr. McCabe is not aware of this woman’s situation; he does not know anything about her aside from the personal information he proudly decided to publicly share and defend on the internet.

“When I saw Rep. McCabe’s post I couldn’t believe any elected official would do something so reckless,” said Maine GOP Chairman, Rick Bennett. “There are medical privacy laws in this country for a reason, I am sure that Rep. McCabe, as a Leader in the Maine Legislature, has some awareness of these laws. Rep. McCabe’s complete and reckless disregard for this woman’s privacy is reprehensible and should be investigated by local law enforcement and possibly Attorney General Janet Mills.”

“Rep. McCabe should apologize to this woman for posting her personal information online, as well as refrain from posting other people’s personal information in the future. Even if he thinks his actions here are legal, they go against the moral responsibilities of an elected official tasked with ensuring the safety of Maine people,” concluded Chairman Bennett.

About Nina McLaughlin

Nina McLaughlin is the Director of Communications at the Maine GOP. A Brunswick native, she earned her degree at Ohio University and has since worked for various Republican organizations around the country. She likes ice cream, House of Cards and her dog, Ali.

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